Valley educators hoping for normal school year, preparing for COVID surge

Fresno Unified, Central Unified, and Clovis Unified all say they're hiring for multiple positions.

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Saturday, August 6, 2022
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While COVID precautions - like extra sanitizing - will still be in place, Valley educators are working to make this school year as normal as possible.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- 'Back to school' looks a little different for Valley districts these days.

Amid a new normal, school districts are busy sanitizing and hiring.

"We are continuing our stepped-up cleaning processes - we have systems that will allow us to quickly sanitize a classroom," says Kelly Avants with Clovis Unified. "We're looking for specialty positions in our bus driver ranks, food service ranks."

While they're starting the school year in person, they say they're ready to pivot if needed.

"If the pandemic ramps up, we have the infrastructure to go simultaneously - it's just not how we want to begin our year," says Fresno Unified superintendent Bob Nelson.

Fresno Unified is also hiring for hard-to-fill positions.

"There's a little bit of fluidity, moving teachers from site to site, but the goal is to have a credentialed teacher in front of every student. Now we're down to the things everyone struggles with. Not a lot of people fall into special education and the number of special education graduates is waning," says Nelson.

Central Unified also tells us there are still some positions they're actively working to fill - including special education teachers.

They've also added intervention counselors, health services staff and parent outreach this year to help close the learning gap that opened during the pandemic.