Return Dates for Cohorts and In-Person Instruction
When will Fresno Unified bring small cohorts back?
February 22, 2021, the small student cohorts that were on campus prior to winter break will have the opportunity to return to their school site to access internet and continue their distance learning. School sites will reach out directly to families to confirm their return and potential transportation needs.
Can high school athletic teams return to practice and competition?
Yes. As of February 1, 2021 CIF
, gave the green light for high school athletic teams identified as low risk in the purple tier to return to practice and competition. Those sports include cross country, track, tennis, golf and swimming and diving.
Effective February 26, high school outdoor high-contact and moderate-contact sport competitions may resume with modifications, including weekly testing requirements for football and water polo. High-contact sports (football, soccer, and water polo) can’t begin competition until the county case rate is at or below 14 per 100,000. As of February 23, Fresno County was at 16.2 cases per 100,000.
When will Fresno Unified bring students and staff back to campus for in-person instruction?
Campuses are not slated to reopen for in-person instruction until Fresno County reaches the moderate tier and when that occurs, students will return in a phased-in approach. Families will have a choice of returning to campus for in-person instruction or remaining in distance learning.
Beginning March 8, for up to three hours, volunteer teachers will provide in-person supports for up to 10 students on Mondays.
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, even in the moderate tier our return to school will be in phases, starting with our youngest students.
How will students be phased in?
Using our phased in approach, after two weeks of moderate numbers, the following Monday 50% of students in TK-1 could return and secondary sites could begin phasing in 25% of their enrollment. Two weeks after that, 50% of students in grades 2-3 could return with secondary continuing to phase in up to 25% of their enrollment. Two weeks after that, 50% of students in grades 4-6 could return with a max of no more than 25% of students returning at the secondary level.
How will middle school and high school students be phased in?
Our intention is to keep students with their teacher. Based on physical distancing requirements of six feet, secondary sites can only accommodate up to 25% of their student enrollment. Secondary students that return to in-person instruction will be identified based on a careful review of student performance and attendance data from the period of distance learning. Students in special education programs, homeless and foster youth, English language learners, and students who have struggled with internet connectivity at home will remain high priority groups for in-person return.
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.) elementary parents will have the choice of in-person instruction with their teacher on campus or remaining in the eLearn at My School model.
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 five 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 we are able to safely return some students 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?
Breakfast and lunch meal distribution will continue on a grab and go basis at designated sites. Students returning to campus for small cohorts or in-person Monday supports will receive their meals on campus during scheduled meal periods.
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.
Employee Testing and Vaccinations
Fresno County recommends testing staff for in-person instruction every two weeks. Is there a plan in place for testing staff on a regular basis?
Fresno Unified will begin piloting free random surveillance testing for employees beginning March 5. 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 random employee testing opportunities will occur twice a month. Employees will be randomly selected to test and will be notified by the district in advance. For employee convenience, we anticipate testing will be available from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. on designated testing dates. Testing is strongly encouraged for employees working on campus or in district departments. 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?
The District is in constant contact with the Fresno County Department of Public Health and is following their plan for vaccinating educators. Once dates and times are available, Fresno Unified will communicate to staff. 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.