Nearly 10,000 students start new school year at King Canyon Unified School District

Shayla Girardin Image
Friday, August 19, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

The Kings Canyon Unified School District is creating connections after the isolation of the pandemic.

Kings Canyon Unified students are back in the classroom, and with nearly 10,000 kids across the district, staff members say there's work to be done.

District leaders see this as a restart year.

For the first time since early 2020, schools can have big events, like rallies, in the gym again.

For students, this means a lot.

And it provides an opportunity to rebuild campus culture.

Orange Cove High School senior Yaslin Gomez says she'll be chanting loud and proud at her school's pep rallies this year.

"I feel like I'm a freshman again and the rallies - finally we get to be back in the gym," says Gomez.

After years of distance learning and COVID precautions, she says this school year still doesn't feel real.

"I get to walk around campus and say 'hi' to everyone. Just to walk around campus and see their face, it's just great," says Gomez.

District staff say there's still work ahead adjusting to the new norms.

At Orange Cove High School, that work started long ago.

The school welcomed a new principal this year, who's making sure the on-campus experience is a priority.

"We are just trying to rebuild our culture and who we are. We haven't had all of our students in the gym for such a long time, so it's really great to see everyone back together and out on campus," says principal Amanda Lopez Doerksen.

The district also has additional social and emotional support available for students.

This includes added staff - psychologists, social workers, and school connection counselors.

The district still has various covid precautions in place.

Masks are still optional for students, though not mandatory.

There are also added cleaning measures and sanitation stations across their campuses for student and staff use.