Kings Canyon Unified School District returns to in-person learning

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was a big day on the campus of Orange Cove High as the school welcomed back students for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Nearly 300 kids attended the first day of school as Kings Canyon Unified returns to in-person learning under a hybrid schedule.

"We're just excited to be here and to have half our kids with us today and the other half coming on tomorrow," said Assistant Principal Amanda Lopez Doerksen.

On the campus of Orange Cove High, first day jitters were met with new safety and cleaning protocols in place as students were welcomed back with hybrid schedules.

The new model allows kids to attend school on alternating days to reduce the number of students on campus while maintaining social distancing.

"Our kids attend either on a Track A and they come Mondays and Thursdays, or a Track B, and they come Tuesdays and Fridays. So kids can be on campus two to three times a week for in-person instruction," said Lopez Doerksen.

Masks must be worn at all times while students are spaced out in classrooms and capacity is reduced.

"They self-certify and complete a health screening before coming to school. We have hand sanitizing stations in every classroom so as kids enter and leave a classroom, they are sanitizing their hands. We're reminding kids to socially distance and wash their hands as frequently as possible," said Lopez Doerksen.

Students like Ivette Rocha are happy to finally get back on campus following a year of online learning.

While not everything is the same as before, she's thankful to get the chance to return to school for her senior year, even if its an abbreviated experience.

"At home, it doesn't really feel like I'm at school, so now that I'm at school, you want to get your grades up and you want to be ready. I want to graduate," said Ivette Rocha.
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