Central Valley students prepare to head back to school with updated COVID-19 guidelines

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – In less than 12 hours, more students in the Central Valley will be returning to school.

On Monday, students in Clovis and Kingsburg will return to the classroom, with added safety precautions.

“We get to eat in the cafeteria this year, but we do have to keep kids three feet apart while they’re eating,” explained Washington Elementary School Principal Laura North.

The schools are following the state’s requirements to wear masks indoors, except for students who complete a mask exemption request form and have it certified by a medical professional.

Clovis Unified School District officials say more than 2,000 students initially made the mask exemption request before they added the doctor’s note requirement.

Superintendent Eimear O’Farrell says students who haven’t gotten their requests certified yet will likely be put in short-term independent study.

“We owe it to all of the families that we have given an assurance that we are going to implement the mask exemption policy as we have it approved by our governing board,” said O’Farrell.

So far, Farrell says roughly 100 students and less than two dozen staff members have a complete exemption on file.

In Kingsburg, north says only three students have an exemption so far.

Both say their districts’ enrollment is either the same or higher than in past years.

Kingsburg schools do not have an at-home learning option, while O’Farrell says 750 Clovis students have opted for remote learning.

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