Health officials hope to resolve situation at Outside Creek School

While he was there, the sheriff said kids and teachers wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and temperatures were being taken.
VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's not every day that the sheriff himself visits an elementary school to start his day.

But these are extraordinary times, and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux felt he needed to see for himself what was happening at Outside Creek Elementary School near Farmersville.

The school has had students on campus since at least last week but claims to only be offering child care on-site.

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During a walk-through on Monday, the sheriff says he saw instruction happening and estimated 70 students were on campus.

Most classrooms had fewer than 10 students, but one had 20.

Temperatures were being taken, and he says everyone was practicing social distancing and wearing masks.

"So it's not as if they haven't taken some appropriate measures to reduce those levels of exposure while serving the very small community that's in need," Boudreaux said.

The sheriff understands that Outside Creek is a critical resource for families in the area, from an academic and child care perspective.

But under state rules, schools in Tulare County aren't allowed to be open for instruction, and the sheriff says the school hasn't received approval to operate as a day care.

RELATED: Tulare County officials monitoring situation at Outside Creek School

"It would be great if we could keep that open as day care, day camp-those children are in need, those parents are in need," Boudreaux said. "But I also understand the importance of reducing the levels of exposure. So that's the challenges that we face this morning. We're facing it head-on, getting those people in those decision-making positions to evaluate the importance of what we're looking at today."

"We hope to resolve this matter without having to issue an order to shut down the school," Tulare County Public Health said in a statement. "We are not aware of any kind of waiver allowing the school to operate as a child care or day camp facility."

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