MERCED, California (KGPE) – Students in various Central Valley schools returned to the classrooms Monday, including around 500 who arrived at Golden Valley High School in Merced for their first in-person instruction since March.
“My mom and I decided to come back and I was really happy that we got to,” said high school senior, Suchakris Tilakamonkul.
Students wore masks and sat six feet apart, and the teachers taught students both in-person and online simultaneously. The principal, Kevin Swartwood, says the Merced Union High School District is using a split schedule – meaning some students are on campus and others will be at home learning online.
The students will alternate their days being on campus to help maintain social distancing. When students are not on campus, they will have classes online.
“It’s really a fun, exciting time to see them come on back…there were some parents that didn’t want their kids to come back and we gave them that choice,” Swartwood said.
He says the school is taking all precautions to make sure the school is cleaned every day.
“Every classroom on this campus has plenty of hand sanitizers and masks and wipes, everything they need for students and staff to clean work areas, our custodial staff have foggers they use every night,” Swartwood said.
In Clovis, there was no school on Monday. Parents and students frustrated by the district’s similar plan held a ‘Return to Campus’ rally.
“Both my parents work for the school and they want to go back, like my entire family wants to go back and be on campus,” said high school senior Emily Adams.
Some families are asking the district for a full and safe return to all five high schools.
“We Love our teachers, support them, just not the teaching options that were provided,” said Kathy Hannen, a parent of three kids in the district.
In response, Clovis Unified says they are doing their best with what the state and county allow the district to do.