Sanger Unified starts school year with virtual instruction

Teachers welcomed back students from empty classrooms in Sanger Unified on Thursday.
SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Teachers welcomed back students from empty classrooms in Sanger Unified on Thursday. It wasn't the start of the school year second-grade teacher Amanda Cardoza was expecting.

"Every year, I get nerves before the first day, and I just say, 'I just want my kids' as soon as those kids show up the nerves go away," said Cardoza. "I get hugs and smiles, and everything melts away."

She's now teaching her 21 students from an empty classroom.

"I saw them at Back to School Night virtually," added Cardoza. "It's a little sad, I don't get those hugs at the end of the day, but we're doing the best we can."

She's doing her best to make them feel at home in their classroom, even though they can't be there in person.

"I'm taking pictures and want them to start feeling as connected as possible," said Cardoza. "That's my goal. I want them to still feel connected here."

The district is doing their part to help families with their distance learning journey. They're providing technology, meals and even offering virtual counseling. They also unveiled the new education complex and Sanger High West Campus.

"We're definitely missing the energy of kids and families and first day of school," said Sanger Unified Superintendent Adela Jones. "Coming onto campus, excited to see their classroom, taking their first day of school pictures, that energy is definitely missing."

As for Mrs. Cardoza, she's taking it one day at a time, in hopes that it won't be long before she is able to welcome her students back to campus again.

"That's why I'm set up to look like I'm ready for kids because I'm ready for them to come back at any time," said Cardoza.

Sanger Unified is home to roughly 13,000 students.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.