When will Fresno Unified bring in-person instruction back?
Small cohorts, Monday in-person supports, and small pilot groups have already returned to campus. Beginning April 6, Fresno Unified plans to return additional students to in-person instruction using a hybrid model.
Due to current physical distancing guidelines of six feet, students will return to campus for in-person instruction two days a week using a phased-in hybrid model. Students will return based on this phased-in schedule:
Grades 9 and 12
Grades 10 and 11
Parents need to complete the Parent Selection Form by March 16 in order to notify their child’s school site if they plan to return to in-person instruction or remain in distance learning from home.
What does the hybrid model look like?
Students who choose to return to campus will be identified in either A group or B group. Following the district’s simultaneous teaching schedule, the A group students will attend class in person on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the B group will attend in person on Thursdays and Fridays. A/B groups will be identified by the district with a priority on class size leveling in order to maintain physical distancing. The District will do its best to coordinate families in keeping their students in the same hybrid group, but it can vary based on classrooms, school sites and the number of students returning.
Families that choose to keep their student home will continue distance learning daily as their teachers provide instruction to students physically in the classroom, while simultaneously teaching to those remaining at home.
Can high school athletic teams return to practice and competition?
Yes. High school athletic teams have been given the green light to return to practice and competition with modifications and a shortened schedule. High contact sports of football and water polo must test weekly prior to competition until the county case rate is at or below 14 new cases per 100,000. Indoor sports are required to test daily to practice and compete. Testing protocols are being finalized.
What safety procedures will be in place?
When students and staff return to campus, all state and county safety protocols are required, including wearing masks, self-health screening, and physical distancing of six feet. Given that there is no scenario under which we can provide six feet of physical distance for ALL our students, they will return using a phased-in hybrid model reducing the number of students in class at one time.
Will families be given a choice of sending their student to campus or staying with distance learning?
Parents will have a choice to keep their student home. Based on required safety practices (wearing a mask, physical distancing of six feet, etc.) families have the choice of in-person instruction with their teacher on campus or remaining in the eLearn at My School model through simultaneous teaching.
Will students and staff be required to wear masks when they return to campus?
Yes. Based on state and local health guidance, masks are required both inside and outside for students, staff and essential visitors for ages 2 years old and older. Fresno Unified is supplying masks to each student and district staff member. If there is a medical reason a student or staff cannot wear a mask, a doctor’s note must be provided.
What additional personal protective equipment (PPE) is being provided to employees?
All staff have or will receive five Fresno Unified cloth masks. Additional PPE is provided to health services staff, special education, early learning and athletic trainers. Classroom and office kits have been created to include hand sanitizer, wipes, first aid kit and gloves.
With physical distancing requirements of six feet, how many students can be in class?
Class sizes will be reduced when students return to campus for in-person instruction. Based on physical distancing requirements of six feet, an average of 10 students will be in a classroom.
How will teachers provide instruction with some students physically in class and others continuing with distance learning?
Technology provides Fresno Unified teachers the ability to simultaneously teach students both on campus and those who remain at home. This method provides more instructional time for students and ensures students receive the same high-quality instruction whether in person or remote. It also allows more students to stay with their teacher.
What type of health screening will be in place for students and staff?
Since last spring, Fresno Unified staff have been conducting a self-health screening at home prior to leaving for work or school. That same screening tool will be in place for students. If an employee, student or essential visitor answer “yes” to any of the self-health screening questions, they should stay home and notify their school site or department. You can find more detailed information on health and safety protocols by viewing this video, our self-health screening tool found on www.fresnounified.org.
What if a student or staff member shows COVID symptoms at school? What happens then?
COVID symptoms may include high fever and chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, congestion or runny nose, fatigue, repeated shaking/tremors, muscle pains or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. While some of these symptoms can also indicate the common cold or flu, students and or staff showing any of these symptoms will be sent home. Students will be sent to an isolation room until they have been picked up by parents. Staff/students will have to isolate for at least 10 days or until they have received a negative COVID test, symptoms are resolved and they have gone 24 hours without a fever and without fever reducing medication. Household family members will also need to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days.
Transportation and Meals
How will transportation be provided for students?
Transportation routes have been developed. Riders will be required to wear masks and physical distance on the bus and at the bus stop. To honor physical distancing, buses will operate at less than full capacity. For families who can, we encourage driving or walking your child to school.
How will meals be served?
Currently, breakfast and lunch meal distribution are available on a grab and go basis at designated sites. Students on campus for small cohorts or in-person Monday supports are receiving their meals on campus during scheduled meal periods.
When all grade levels return in April, breakfast and lunch will be available onsite at traditional mealtimes. For those who remain in distance learning, we anticipate opportunities for meal distribution on a grab and go basis at selected sites.
Parent and Staff Notifications
What if there is a positive case at school or work? How will parents and staff be notified?
As we have seen during our small student cohorts, if a student or staff member is having symptoms on campus, they will be immediately sent home. However, this is not an indication of a positive case. Should a student or staff confirm positive, the entire school/work community will be notified by email, letter or phone message. Close contacts (those who were within six feet for more than 15 minutes cumulatively) will be notified personally and instructed to self-quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. To ensure health privacy notifications will not include the individual’s name. Should three individuals at a school or department confirm positive within 14-days (considered an outbreak) Fresno Unified will work with the Fresno County Department of Public Health to message to the school community and determine if returning to 100% distance learning is necessary.
If a student/staff member has been around someone with COVID-19, would they be required to test before coming to school, even with no symptoms?
No. If they are determined a close contact, requirements dictate they quarantine for a minimum of 10 days regardless of a test result. This is because an exposed person can develop COVID-19 anytime during that 14-day incubation period. Should families want to have their child tested, they should contact their healthcare provider or contact one of the county’s many testing sites.
Student and Staff Testing
Fresno County recommends testing students and staff for in-person instruction every two weeks. Is there a plan in place for testing on a regular basis?
Fresno Unified begin piloting free random surveillance testing for employees March 5. The district is finalizing volunteer student testing and expects to have plans ready prior to students returning. Surveillance testing helps identify potential community spread and changes in the virus especially in situations where people can be asymptomatic. Based on state and local guidance, it’s expected that testing opportunities will occur twice a month. Testing is strongly encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID and potential campus/department outbreaks. If you have COVID symptoms, please seek testing immediately through one of the many Fresno County’s free testing locations open daily, do not wait for a district testing date.
When will Fresno Unified staff be vaccinated for COVID-19?
Educators and childcare workers became eligible for the COVID vaccine on March 1. Vaccination opportunities have been made available through the Fresno County Department of Public Health and several community partners. By late March, most educators will have received both vaccines. While not required, the district hopes that all employees will take advantage of the free vaccinations in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
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