Education Matters: How to balance distance and in-person learning


FRESNO, California (KSEE) – When should schools fully re-open? Despite the debate, the decision to bring students back is an individual one made by each district.

At Fresno Unified’s Ericson Elementary, students have been attending class since August, but this day was like the first day of school for them.

“Seeing them come in smiling you could see some kids were just nervous but it was exciting to see so many kids on campus again,” said fourth-grade teacher Archie Serrato.

“There were students that never turned on their computer camera for whatever reason but they were never on. I’m like you’re probably going to meet a brand new fact-to-face person.”

With almost half of his class choosing to remain at home learning online, Serrato negotiates the delicate dance of teaching both sets of students at the same time.

“It’s hard that’s probably one of the hardest thing to do is you’re trying to give everybody your attention.”

Teaching tools now include a camera, tripod, and earphones. Teachers like Serrato have tried to ignore the outside noise, the debate over when to open schools full time.

“I think teachers want to be back in person, teachers prefer in person. A lot of talk is like ‘Oh teachers want to stay home, they want to teach from home.’ I don’t think that’s the case.”

Students at Ericson Elementary are currently attending class in person two days a week.

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