Fresno Unified School District prepares for hybrid learning, students return to campus Tuesday

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Final preparations are underway as Fresno Unified School District prepares to bring students back for in-person learning. Students Pre-K through high school are getting the chance to get back to a physical classroom this week and next week.

"It's exciting because I get to see all my friends and I'm excited to be in the classroom," said Skylar Bawcum, a second grader at Gibson Elementary.

She is one of many Fresno Unified School District students who will return to the classroom starting this week.

"I think it'll be good. I think that social-emotional aspect for kids has been hard just missing out on being able to talk, and even on the laptops, they don't get a whole lot of time to do that," said Skylar's mom, Gabrielle Bawcum.

The school district is starting hybrid learning Tuesday for Pre-K to second grade, ninth grade and 12th grade.

Students are split into two groups, A & B.

Group A will be on campus Tuesday and Wednesday. Group B will be on campus Thursday and Friday.

On Monday, all students will learn virtually.

"We're excited, I mean we can't wait to have kids come back," said FUSD Deputy Superintendent Misty Her.

District officials say safety protocols will be in place including daily self-health screenings, physical distancing, mandatory masks and increased daily cleaning.

Teachers were on campus Monday preparing classrooms, making sure they're ready for students.

"Our kids haven't been in school for a year, so we want classrooms that will be welcoming and conducive and we don't want sterile environments, right," said Her.

Transportation is also adjusting. Students will be spaced out on buses as much as possible, but officials said no student will be left behind.

Masks are mandatory and bus drivers will have extra masks on hand. Officials said this is the first time all of the bus routes will run at the same time.

"When we run them this week, we're going to know what works well and what doesn't work well and then if there's any refinements or adjustments that need to be made," Her said.

The district hired more substitute teachers as support in case buses run late or students show up for school early.

Parents and guardians are allowed on campus, but must check in at the office.

Officials said it's best to call the school before you show up. District officials said they are excited to have kids back on campus and are aiming to make it an easy transition.

"We're going to adhere to all of our health and safety measures and at the same time, really making sure they know they're welcome and they know that someone loves and cares about them and can't wait to see them," said Her.

Students in third through sixth grade, eighth grade, Tenth and 11th will start their A/B format April 13th.

According to the district, if there are any potential outbreaks of three or more positive COVID-19 cases at a school site or district office, the district and health officials will discuss switching back to online learning if necessary.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.