Face mask policy changes for Fresno County schools

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The face-covering changes come with just two to three weeks left in the school year for Fresno County schools.

Outside of the classroom and other campus buildings, the masks can come off.

County School Superintendent Jim Yovino says guidance from the Fresno County Health Department is in line with the state mask mandate.

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"It really says that we're making great progress and I think that's what we don't want to lose sight of," he said. "As long as we can maintain that social distancing outside, and kids are outside playing, let them take it off."

About 60% of the 206,000 students in Fresno County returned to the classroom. The rest of them continue remote learning from home.

Outdoor face-to-face conversations have helped teachers and students make a more personal connection.

"We've got a year of lost expressions that we have to get back and our kids have to be able to see us talking to them, and we see their faces as they're reacting to it," Yovino said.

The graduation season is now upon us. Design Science High was first up for Fresno Unified.

Fresno County schools plan outdoor ceremonies so family members can watch the graduates make their ceremonial walk.

Masks and social distancing will be required.

"I think you're going to see our crowds back watching our students graduate, which is exciting for everyone," Yovino said. "Again, there are requirements like what percentage of people can be in the stands and to watch."

Summer vacation is almost here but many kids will enroll in summer school, especially those who struggled academically during the pandemic.

Governor Newsom says the state will do away with its color-coded tier system on June 15th.

Beyond that, Superintendent Yovino expects all students to be back on campus in August for the new school year.
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