Fresno Unified, Central Unified school districts to continue with remote learning for now

"We can't do this 'start then stop, start and stop'," Fresno Unified's superintendent said.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Getting the green light doesn't mean all school districts are a 'go' to return their youngest students to in-person instruction.

Fresno Unified superintendent Bob Nelson says the district, which serves nearly 80,000 students, isn't deviating from October plans to only return to in-person instruction when the county reaches the orange tier.

Nelson says, "We can't do this 'start then stop, start and stop', once we get kids back they need to be able to stay back. One of the provisions in the new guidelines are that you have to COVID-test the kids and faculty members that are going to come back and serve them."

He's also concerned the dwindling vaccine supply across the county may impact the positivity rate, which could delay that orange tier assignment.

"The valley has to advocate for itself at this time; and we have to get access for the vaccine both in the federal and state level," Superintendent Nelson added.

Central Unified is also sticking with the plans it developed before winter break to return when the county reaches the red tier for K-6 and the orange tier for secondary schools. Small cohorts that were already in the classroom will return February 16th.

RELATED: More Fresno County elementary students to return to campus

Superintendent Andrew Alvarado says there is a positive takeaway from the health department's announcement.

He adds, "We're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel the numbers are really moving in the right direction."

Selma Unified says roughly 100 students who were in small groups will return, however a return date for hybrid learning isn't set.

Kings Canyon Unified remains unfazed by the announcement as students returned on a hybrid model October 15th.

Sanger Unified welcomed back pre-school and elementary students. As did Clovis Unified, which had to delay the return to school for 2,300 additional students because of stay-at-home orders.

Clovis Unified Communications director Kelly Avants says, "All of our elementary schools are getting in contact with families of those 2,300 students to make sure they're prepared."

7th -12th graders county wide will have to wait. Fresno County health officials said they'll soon provide the health criteria for middle and high schoolers to return to in-person instruction.
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