FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As Fresno Unified students gear up to head back to school, there are important reminders and changes for parents to pay attention to.
After testing a pilot program last year, more parents will come across the ParentSquare app.
"Four little dots is the icon, and it's a really wonderful tool to know everything that's happening in live time with the kids and the families of the kids we serve across the city," explained Bob Nelson, Superintendent of Schools with Fresno Unified School District.
The app looks similar to a social media feed and is expected to be used district-wide.
"Back in the old school days, we'd stick paperwork in the backpack, and that had varying degrees of success about whether or not that will actually come home, and we've tried various tools: email is one, texting is another. This is kind of a comprehensive one-off tool that is really good, and it's really handy," added Nelson.
Beyond technology upgrades, additional safety measures have been added to help keep students safe to and from school, including new security cameras, crosswalks, and an executive safety director that will continue safety improvements throughout the year.
Regarding teachers in the classroom, contract negotiations with the Fresno Teachers Association union are ongoing. Their contract expires in September.
"In any scenario, we will not be closing schools, we hope that's not the case in the event of a strike, but if that does occur, we are prepared, we will have substitutes that are critical for learning with our students, and we will be offering them $500 a day," said Nelson.
And though the first days of school will be hot, rest assured that air conditioning will be cranked up, full blast.
"We have lovely, air-conditioned classrooms, air-conditioned buses. We have been making the pool available to families as well to cool off this summer," said Veva Islas, Board President for Fresno Unified School District.
For parents and students looking for a sports physical or to update immunization records, there will be a free clinic at Tioga Middle School.
For more information on dates and times, click here.