Fresno Unified won't reopen campuses until county is in 'orange tier'

A return to the classroom for Fresno Unified students won't be happening anytime soon.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County's return to the 'purple tier' has moved Fresno Unified campuses further away from a reopening date.

"The calendar is not in control. It is the disease that is currently in control," says the district's superintendent Bob Nelson.

Fresno County hopes to first get back to the 'red tier'.

Its new case rate is 14.6 per 100,000 people.

A move to the 'orange tier' can't happen until the county has less than 4 new cases per 100,000 people. Only then will in-person teaching at the district begin.

"If we are not as a county in the 'orange tier' by February 23rd, we'll pause until the beginning of the 4th quarter," says Fresno Teachers' Association president Manuel Bonilla.

That means the focus remains on remote learning.

After winter break, on January 12th, Fresno Unified plans to expand online teaching hours.

The district received a state waiver in October which allowed some special ed students to return to campus and they will stay in classrooms.

"We will not stop our small cohorts, even after we've gone back to purple," says Nelson.

With in-person learning delayed, high school sports remain on the back burner.

"There was some discussion we were going to resume physical play against other schools in January. That has been put on hold and so we are awaiting additional advisory from the California Interscholastic Federation," says Nelson.

Superintendent Nelson also shared safety protocols which will be followed once students are able to return to campus.
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