Education

A look at how Valley schools will operate in the Fall

With California continuing to reopen from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 restrictions, schools across the Central Valley have been offering a variety of learning options for students. 

Some school districts have students back in the classroom on a full-time basis, while others are offering hybrid schedules as well as a continuation of fully-online distance learning. 

While California is set to fully reopen its economy on June 15, per Newsom’s directive, the state has not yet issued any requirements for the next school year. 

Speaking Monday during a press conference, Newsom expressed hope for a full reopening of classrooms with the expiration of the waiver of the 180-day in-person instruction mandate.

“On June 30 at midnight, I anticipate that that [waiver] will lapse and  everybody should be back in the fall amd in-person instruction safely,” Newsom said. “In fact, our budget will reflect even more support than has been previously provided for health and safety.”

Schools were forcibly closed by the state last year, and while Newsom allowed them to reopen as counties progressed through the reopening tier blueprint, California has the second-lowest in-person instruction rate in the nation, according to the Burbio school reopening tracker

What will the school day look like when the new academic year starts in the fall? 

The Sun reached out to districts across the Central Valley to see what their plans are for the new school year: 

Fresno Unified School District

Currently, FUSD is providing a hybrid schedule for students who are returning to campus. 

A spokesperson for FUSD said the district expects to start the new school year with a fully reopened 5-days a week in-person schedule. 

No definitive decisions have been made yet. 

Clovis Unified School District

CUSD will be operating with a traditional pre-COVID instructional model at all schools, meaning students will be on campus five-days a week for a full schedule every day. 

Students who wish to remain home will be able to attend online through the Clovis Online School. 

Central Unified School District 

Central Unified expects to return students to a full-time, in-person schedule in the fall, a district spokesperson said. 

Students who wish to remain home will be offered an online homeschool option. 

Sanger Unified School District

Sanger Unified will be offering three learning options in the fall: 

  • A traditional in-person full-time schedule
  • An independent study virtual learning program
  • A homeschooling option through Hallmark Charter

Kern High School District

The Kern High School District plans to fully-reopen for in-person instruction in the fall. 

An independent study distance learning option will also be offered for students who choose to remain home. 

Hanford Joint Union High School District

Students will return full-time to Hanford’s high schools in the fall. 

The district will also offer independent study or Hanford Online Charter for students who do not wish to reenter the classroom. 

Tulare Joint Union High School District

The district is planning to have students back on a full-time basis in the fall. 

An independent study charter school will be offered for those who wish to remain with distance learning. 

Visalia Unified School District

VUSD will reopen with a full-time schedule in the fall. 

The district will also offer an online school for students who are not comfortable returning to campus. 

Madera Unified School District

Madera Unified has not made a decision yet regarding the new school year. 

Porterville Unified School District

Porterville Unified will be fully reopening for the new school year. 

The district also has Butterfield Charter School for grades K-12 as an independent study program for any students that wish to remain with distance learning. 

A district spokesperson said the district hired additional distance learning only teachers when students started to return to the classroom in March. 

Farmersville Unified School District

Farmersville Unified is planning to have all students on campus at the start of the school year, but the district said it’s decision could change pending further guidance from the state. 

Mendota Unified School District

Mendota Unified is planning on a full return to in-person instruction in the fall. 

Corcoran Unified School District

Corcoran Unified is planning to have students on campus for a full in-person learning schedule in the fall. 

Maricopa Unified School District

Superintendent Scott Meier said Maricopa Unified is planning for all options for the new school year, pending final approval from the state based on COVID-19 case numbers and restrictions. 

Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District

The district is planning for a regular, full-time schedule in the fall for all students. Designate Superintendent Roy Mendiola said the district is planning for flexibility in case the state releases further emergency orders regarding schools.

Parlier Unified School District

Parlier Unified is not solidifying any plans until further guidelines from the state and CDC are released after June 15.

Kings Canyon Unified School District

Kings Canyon Unified is planning to have all students back on campus full-time in the fall, but that plan is pending further guidance from the state.

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.