Temperature checks, screenings, separate sessions: How this district is managing first week of some in-person learning

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MADERA, Calif. (KGPE) – Two elementary schools within Golden Valley Unified School District welcomed some students back to campus on Monday, but with strict rules in place.

Sierra View Elementary and Webster Elementary School received waivers from the state to reopen.

But they’re starting with TK, kindergarten and first grade students this week. Next week, second through fourth grade students will be allowed on campus and the following week, fifth and sixth graders.

“We wanted to see how that would go with a smaller group to kind of phase it in and make sure we fine tuned everything with TK, K and 1, so we can get ready for larger numbers on our campus,” said Rodney Wallace, the superintendent for Golden Valley Unified.

The school is divided into two sessions, an A.M. & P.M. session, to help with physical distancing, Wallace said. Each session is 2.5 hours long.

He said parents are to complete a health screening for their students via an app before school, and when they get to school, students’ temperatures are checked before they can walk into their classrooms.

“I think the challenge going forward is as we grow and we add more students coming back, how fast can we still get the kids in the gates and into their classrooms. You can only have so many people out there with the thermometers,” Wallace said.

Dr. Simon Paul, the public health officer for Madera County said, one of the most important things families can do is ensure their kids stay home if they show any symptoms.

“That’s a huge issue for schools because a lot of kids have symptoms, there’s colds, there’s allergies, and if you’re not sure, stay home and we will sort it out while you’re at home,” Paul said.

While Clovis Unified finalizes its decision as to when they could bring back students into the classrooms, continuing with virtual learning is still an option for families.

“As a parent, I definitely am anxious for them to get back into in-person learning, but also, since my mom lives with us, and she’s a two-time breast cancer survivor, it still makes us very nervous, so we’ve already decided that we’re going to continue do distance learning,” said Calvin Fleming, a Clovis Unified parent.

Clovis Unified’s board is set to present the parent and staff survey data and possible timelines for starting hybrid instruction during its meeting on Wednesday night.

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