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Ceres schools may reopen next month

Ceres Unified School District has a plan in place to re-open its elementary campuses for in-person learning. Teachers, staff and families were notified last Friday by Superintendent Scott Siegel.

“As you may be aware, new cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County are continuing a downward trend, which is good news for reopening campuses for in-person instruction,” said CUSD Supt. Scott Siegel. “Current estimates are that the numbers will decrease sufficiently to allow reopening of elementary schools (PreK-6) in early November. Please note that this estimate is based on current data and could change if conditions change. Secondary schools (7-12) will take longer to reopen safely, as their potential for the spread of illness is higher due to much larger student populations and intermingling of students changing classes multiple times each day.”

To allow for social distancing, a hybrid schedule will be used to minimize the number of students on campus at a time, beginning when elementary schools reopen.

“Families will be notified the week of October 5 of their child(ren)’s group assignment,” said Siegel. “All students within a household will attend school on the same days. On the days they are not at school for in-person instruction, students will participate in distance learning.”  

Students will attend school in one of two groups. Group A will attend classes in person on Mondays and Thursdays. Group B will attend classes in person on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Regular bell schedule will be followed.

 “In reopening campuses, the safety of students, staff, and families will remain our top priority,” noted Siegel. “CUSD will adhere to protocols and procedures recommended by state and local health officials to prevent the spread of illness, including frequent cleaning and sanitizing of buildings and surfaces, routine hand-washing/hand-sanitizing, and social distancing.”

Summer vacation ended for CUSD students on Aug. 12 as the 2020-21 school year opened with remote learning due to state imposed coronavirus restrictions.

All public schools in Stanislaus County were closed from March 19 through the 2019-20 spring academic year to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“It clearly is not an optimal situation because students learn best in the classroom,” said Beth Jimenez, communications specialist for CUSD. “But it’s been functioning well. Our attendance is good. The technology is working.”