FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — Fresno Unified School District unveiled its plan Thursday to bring students back into classrooms for the 2020 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent Bob Nelson said the school year will begin on Aug. 17 for both in-person classes and digitally if parents choose to keep their children at home, as part of a plan presented to the school board on Wednesday.
The plan was created using responses from parents, with which three out of four said they would send their children back to school with safety practices, in place. District officials worked with state and local health officials, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department of Education.
Students that take classes online will have their parents engaged with district staff to ensure student success.
The change in how students will learn this coming school year is part of a plan that includes numerous changes on how school sites will operate.
Nelson said students and staff will be spaced at least 6 feet apart to ensure adequate social distancing, face masks must be worn on campus and class sizes will be shrunk.
Lunchtime for students will be staggered and outdoor space will be utilized for meals and other activities.
Students and staff venturing through campus will have to follow one way controlled hallway traffic.
Visitor access to campuses will also be limited.
To assure any potential virus cases among students or staff are caught, the district plans for the ability to perform contact tracing for any suspect or confirmed cases.
Daily self-administered health screenings will be performed for students and staff, Nelson said. Isolation rooms would also be provided for students that have virus-like symptoms.
School staff will hold staff meetings online if proper social distancing can’t be assured.
The district also plans to bring back co-curricular activities on Monday, June 22 in what Nelson calls a phased-in approach.
Each school site will leverage their own expertise to properly ensure social distancing.