Fresno Unified adds more instruction time for students

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Unified students may be logged in for a little longer this semester. Students returned from winter break today to some changes.

In the world of distance learning, Fresno Unified says one thing is clear: time is of the essence.

"Overwhelmingly what we've heard was it's very hard during that short time, 45 minutes, to learn mathematics when we used to have almost 2 hours in a day. Same thing with literacy," explained FUSD Instructional Superintendent Edward Gomes.

No matter the subject, there simply was not enough instruction time.

"There's a lot of complexities, with checking for understanding, engaging people who are on the other side, especially children," said Gomes.

When the district switched to distance learning, instruction time was scaled back, presenting a challenge for teachers in the virtual classroom.

"I'm going to read the story, can you hear me? Can you open to page 17? All those nuances that we take for granted, that were so simple when were face to face now has to be put through a complexity when you're now in a virtual setting," said Gomes.

This semester, they're adding back instruction time. Students grades 1st-6th will have 95 minutes of additional live instruction a week, while secondary students will have an added 35 minutes per period per week.

"Now there's time for students who didn't get it, maybe some hand raises," said Gomes.

The district will also add additional learning time once they start the transition to in-person learning. That won't take place until Fresno County moves into the less restrictive orange tier.
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