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CUSD increases in-person learning days for TK-3 students

Ceres Unified School District has increased in-person instruction days for students in transitional kindergarten through third grade from two days per week to four.

The change was implemented this week thanks to steadily declining positivity case rates of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County.

“We’re really excited to be able to resume some sense of normalcy as we look forward to having all students back on campus,” said Beth Jimenez, communications specialist for CUSD. “This is the first step to seeing that happen.”

With the continuing improvement in Stanislaus County’s COVID-19 case rates, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Public Health allows students in schools already open for in-person instruction to resume a daily schedule, beginning with the youngest.

Students in TK-3 will attend school in-person on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Regular bell schedule will be followed.

Those students previously attended class on campus in one of two groups to reduce the risk of COVID transmission.

“We’re able to bring all of our (TK-3) students back with Wednesday remaining distance learning for everyone,” Jimenez said. “Previously, we had group A and B cohorts.”

The smaller class sizes in grades PreK-3 allow for required social distancing of at least 4 feet between students.  To provide an added measure of prevention, CUSD will also install plastic desk shields in these classrooms.

“We look forward to students in grades 4-6 also returning to a daily schedule as soon as safely possible; however, larger class sizes will make this a slower process,” CUSD stated to families and staff on its Coronavirus Info webpage on March 5.

High school and junior high campuses remain on track to reopen on a hybrid schedule in the coming weeks, once the county reaches the red tier. 

The adjusted case rate dropped from 15.7 to 13.6 on March 9.

“Unfortunately, we’re still not in the red tier,” Jimenez said. “That’s all that’s holding us up at this point.”

Secondary (7-12) students will resume in-person instruction on a hybrid schedule as soon as safely possible, with Wednesdays as distance learning days for all.

Group A will attend class in person on Mondays and Thursdays. Group B will attend class on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The secondary hybrid schedule reduces student mixing by minimizing the number of students on campus at a time. Families of secondary students will receive additional information including start date, confirmation of group assignment, and bell schedule.

“As we look toward brighter days ahead, please help keep COVID-19 rates moving in the right direction by continuing to practice preventive measures such as wearing a mask, washing hands often, staying 6 feet apart from those not in your household, and avoiding gatherings,” CUSD Supt. Scott Siegel said.