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CUSD is opening junior, senior high on hybrid model
CVHS inset
Students returned to Central Valley High (above), Ceres High and the junior high schools in Ceres on Thursday.

Ceres Unified School District found out this past week that in response to a lawsuit, a San Diego judge issued a temporary restraining order against the California Department of Public Health with regard to school reopening guidelines.

As a result, CUSD moved forward with plans to reopen its secondary (7-12) campuses on a half-day hybrid schedule on Thursday.

The district shared the news with its stakeholders on March 18.

 “The safety of students and staff is our highest priority, and CUSD will continue to observe safety measures including social distancing, wearing of masks, and plexiglass between desks,” the district stated to families and staff on its Hybrid Learning webpage last week. “If you have concerns about your student returning to a full-time schedule, please contact your child’s school.”

“It’s a pretty intricate plan,” Ceres School Board member Mike Welsh stated. “The good thing is it’s moving forward. I’m ecstatic our kids are going back to school for all the right reasons—to get an education and for their mental health. They need that interaction with the teachers.”

Secondary students who have already returned to in-person instruction or who are participating in an independent learning program are not affected.

Students in grades 7-12 (and Whitmore Charter 6th Grade) will initially attend school on a half-day hybrid schedule through the week of April 12, which encompasses spring break. 

Group A will attend in-person classes on Mondays and Thursdays. Group B will attend class on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be learning days for all.

Once health and safety protocols are well-established and observed, a full-day hybrid schedule will be implemented, tentatively the week of April 19.

Elementary students in grades TK-6 will return to a full-time schedule (five days a week), beginning on April 12. They’ll transition to that schedule with a three-day week beginning on March 29.

“I’m happy things are slowly going to get back to normal,” Central Valley High School junior Matteo Bonales said. “I’m looking forward to being in a social environment with kids my age. It’s going to be good for everyone, mentally and educationally.”

The California Department of Public Health updated its guidance for K-12 schools on Tuesday. 

The state strongly recommends distancing of at least three feet for students in classrooms.

The updated guidance also renders all schools eligible to open if case rates are below 25 per 100,000 population.

Stanislaus County’s adjusted case rate dropped from 13.6 to 11.8 on March 16.

In all tiers, schools that have not yet opened must post their COVID Safety Plan online five days before reopening. 

In the purple tier, all schools must also submit their COVID Safety Plan to their local health officer and the State Safe Schools team concurrent with the online posting. 

California has 3,541,928 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.

There were 3,107 newly recorded confirmed cases as of March 19.