Education · Fresno

Immanuel Schools remains open, violating court order to close

Despite a preliminary injunction ordering Immanuel Schools to close its doors and cease in-person instruction, the Reedley-based private school is remaining open in violation of the court order. 

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Tyler Tharpe issued the preliminary injunction on Tuesday and signed it Thursday, putting the shutdown order in effect Friday. 

Immanuel Schools sent an email to families in the district Thursday evening saying the district will remain open. 

The email reads as follows: 

“Today Judge Tharpe signed the Preliminary Injunction, which goes into effect tomorrow. After some very thoughtful discussion and time in prayer the School Board and Administrative Team has decided that we should stay the course. We will therefore be open for on-campus instruction tomorrow, in violation of the Preliminary Injunction. We still believe, after all things are considered, that on-campus instruction remains what is best for students and parents should have that choice. 

“As we shared yesterday, the Admin Team and Legal Counsel are working on the Return to School Plan and waiver to be submitted to Fresno County. These documents will be submitted tomorrow (Friday) and Fresno County has committed to prioritize their review. It is our hope, but not an assurance, that we will have an answer as early as Monday. 

“School will continue on Monday, but under our updated Return to School Plan. An updated version of the Return to School Plan, along with new requirements will be shared to families tomorrow. 

“Please continue to keep our students, families, staff, and Board in prayer. God is Greater!” 

The waiver Immanuel Schools is submitting to Fresno County will allow elementary schools to reopen, per guidance from the state. 

Last week, Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said the county is now accepting these waivers for submission because the county is averaging less than 14 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.