‘There’s a ton of hope’: As more Central Valley school waivers are granted, educators more optimistic on getting students back on campus

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) — More Central Valley schools are preparing to welcome back students after the state continues to approve more waivers.

Both a school district awarded a waiver, and another ready to start the process, say it’s a sign things are finally looking up in this pandemic.

Whether they have a waiver or not, all Central Valley school district have been planning for months on how to get their students safely back on campus.

Superintendent and principal Judith Szpor of Clay Joint Elementary School District, which got its waiver awarded on Tuesday, said they’ve been fortunate to practice some of their planning after getting cleared to bring special needs students back about four weeks ago.

“We were able to practice our arrival plan, screening every family, checking temperatures,” said Szpor. “We were able to practice our cleaning in-between groups.”

Clovis Unified School District has been working on their waiver application for a week, planning to vote on submitting it or not at their board meeting Wednesday.

Deputy superintendent Norm Anderson said there’s some optimism about the situation with more Fresno County schools getting the waiver, however, he adds there’s some anxiety as well.

“There’s a positive moment [about the waivers], but those schools getting it are a little bit smaller than most of the larger school districts,” Anderson said. “Nonetheless, they have their own challenges for sure.”

Anderson said it’s encouraging to see the county so close to the red tier, which would allow more industries — like restaurants — to open up more. It’s a welcome sign for Szpor as well, who’s seen the difference being back on campus makes.

She’s ready to see that in all of her students.

“There’s a ton of hope,” Szpor said. “Hearing kids’ voices and laughter [with] learning going on at a campus is a huge sign of hope.”

So far in the Central Valley, 32 school waivers have been approved by the state. Below you can see who got them:

CountyApplicantDate Waiver Approved
FresnoClay Joint Elementary School District9/22/2020
FresnoFresno Christian School9/22/2020
FresnoOur Lady of Perpetual Help9/22/2020
FresnoSt. Anthony’s Catholic School9/22/2020
FresnoSt. LaSalle Catholic School9/22/2020
FresnoKerman Christian9/22/2020
KingsKings Christian School (K-6)9/22/2020
TulareSaucelito Elementary9/22/2020
TulareHope Elementary9/22/2020
MercedOur Lady of Miracles9/18/2020
TulareCentral Valley Christian Academy (K-6)9/18/2020
TulareSierra View Jr. Academy (TK-6)9/18/2020
TulareGeorge McCann (TK-6)9/16/2020
TulareDinuba Jr. Academy (K-6)9/16/2020
TulareSt. Aloysius9/16/2020
TulareSt. Paul’s School (TK-6)9/16/2020
TulareSt. Anne’s Catholic School (TK-6)9/16/2020
TulareZion Lutheran School (TK-6)9/16/2020
TulareSt. Aloysius (TK-6)9/16/2020
MercedDos Palos Elementary (TK-2)9/15/2020
MercedBernhard Marks Elementary (3-5)9/15/2020
FresnoHume Lake Charter School9/15/2020
TulareZion Lutheran School (K-2)9/11/2020
KingsMary-Immaculate Queen School – Lemoore9/6/2020
KingsArmona Union Elementary9/6/2020
TulareGeorge McCann (TK-2)9/6/2020
TulareDinuba Jr. Academy (K-2)9/6/2020
TulareSt. Paul’s School (TK-2)9/6/2020
TulareSt. Anne’s Catholic School (TK-2)9/6/2020
TulareSt. Aloysius (TK-2)9/6/2020
KingsSt. Rose-McCarthy Catholic School8/28/2020
KingsHanford Christian School8/28/2020

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