Pair of Hanford private schools get waivers from county, state to reopen


FILE- A classroom sits empty at Kent Middle School on April 01, 2020 in Kentfield, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images – FILE)

HANFORD, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A pair of Hanford private schools have received waivers from Kings County and state health officials to reopen for in-person classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Rose-McCarthy Catholic School announced on Aug. 29 that its waiver request was approved and it planned to resume in-person classes on Sept. 14.

Jamie Perkins, principal at St. Rose-McCarthy, worked with county health officials on the waiver every step of the way. It only took a few days for the school to receive word its waiver was approved.

“I couldn’t believe it happened so quickly,” Perkins said. “Our families are so happy for this opportunity to come back to school together.”

The school plans to follow all of the safety precautions outlined in the waiver document and back-up materials that can be found on its website.

While most students will return to St. Rose-McCarthy’s campus, Perkins said six families will continue distance learning and plan to return to in-person learning at a later date.

The principal added that it plans to work the Diocese of Fresno to bring its seventh and eighth grade students back to campus through the use of a cohort model.

Hanford Christian School announced it received its waiver on Aug. 29 through its Facebook page and resumed classes on Wednesday.

The school said on its website that temperatures are taken and a mask or face shield must be worn by students when they enter the campus.

All students in third through eighth grade are required to wear a face mask or shield in class. They will not have to wear them during recess.

During the school day, classes are kept as a cohort, meaning that the class will not mingle or play with other class members.

Hanford Christian said its junior high classes will not rotate, but teachers will move from classroom to classroom.

The school said its “first priority is for the health and safety of the students and the staff.”

“This has been a long summer but the work is not done,” Hanford Christian said. “Your part is to be aware of how you are keeping yourself and your families safe. Remember your decisions on social interactions could have an effect on our school family. Let’s all do our part to stay safe and keep our school open.”

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