Fresno Unified reaches deal to allow students back for in-person learning starting April 6

Fresno Unified plans to start bringing back more students for in-person learning by Tuesday, April 6, Superintendent Bob Nelson announced on Tuesday.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Unified plans to start bringing back more students for in-person learning by Monday, April 6, Superintendent Bob Nelson announced on Tuesday.

The district's plan is in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state legislature's deal where public schools could tap into $6.6 billion if they return to in-person instruction by the end of March. Fresno Unified will be on spring break on April 1, with April 6 being the first day in the month students will return for instruction.

To be eligible for this new money, school districts in regions that fall under the purple tier must return to in-person instruction at least through second grade.

Nelson says there are some differences between their plan and the legislature's plan for returning to class. The district may have to change plans to bring some grades back quicker. Secondary students may need to come back at different percentages than Fresno Unified planned.

Action News has learned that all elementary students will be allowed to return on a hybrid schedule. TK-2nd graders will be allowed to return to classes on April 6.

Those in third and fourth grade will not be able to return to campuses until April 20. Fifth and sixth graders will not report to the classroom until May 4.

While middle and high school students can also return to campus on April 6, only 25% will be allowed back on a hybrid schedule.

"The situation is still fluid. We're going to bring kids back, but what that may look like maybe still up for discussion," Nelson said.

This reopening is contingent on Fresno County being in the red tier and all staff having access to the vaccine. Some Fresno Unified staff members were among thousands of Fresno County educators who received their first dose of the vaccine on Monday.

Fresno Unified plans for teachers and staff to all have access to the vaccine by the end of March.
In the agreement with the FTA, the district will give teachers a paid day to inspect their classrooms to ensure safety protocols are in place. The district will also pay $8 million to the healthcare plan for teachers.

Nelson said families would still get to pick whether their students get to go back to class or continue learning at home.

FTA President Manuel Bonilla says the district and teachers are already discussing expanding summer school and other options to help students with learning gaps. Bonilla and Nelson said more details would be released once the plans were finalized.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.