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Natomas Unified School District sets re-opening plan

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Natomas Unified School District is paving the way to re-opening in-person school instruction, its board of trustees announced Thursday.

The district plans to use a phased approach to returning to the classroom with students possibly resuming on-campus learning as soon as Nov. 16, the district said.

Six benchmarks would need to be met before students could come back to school.

"To be clear, this would NOT be a full re-opening, but a transitional re-opening that would have significantly less students in classes and on campus each day," NUSD Superintendent Chris Evans said in a press release.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Stanislaus State announces names of students on Spring Dean’s List

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California State University, Stanislaus has announced the names of more than 3,000 students who were bestowed with a spot on the Spring 2020 Dean’s List.

California State University, Stanislaus serves a diverse student body of more than 10,000 at two locations in the Valley - a beautiful 228-acre campus in Turlock and the Stockton Campus, located in the city’s historic Magnolia District. Widely recognized for its dedicated faculty and high-quality academic programs, the University offers 43 majors, 41 minors and more than 100 areas of concentration, along with 16 master’s degree programs, seven credential programs and a doctorate in educational leadership.

Continue Reading on Ceres Courier

TUSD clarifies community questions on school reopening

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After the first draft of Turlock Unified School District’s reopening plan was presented to the Board of Trustees last week, a virtual community forum held Monday night saw administrators answer a variety of questions from those both for and against returning to in-person instruction. 

TUSD students have been participating in distance learning since March, when school campuses throughout the state were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite being on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list since June 16, school districts, private schools and charter schools within Stanislaus County were able to begin applying for waivers to reopen elementary campuses after Sept. 1, when the county’s 14-day case rate dropped below 200 per every 100,000 residents.

Superintendent Dana Salles Trevethan stated during Monday’s forum that while the TUSD waiver application and reopening plan is not yet finalized, should the local infection rate continue to drop and stakeholder input is gathered in a timely enough manner, a waiver could be submitted soon after the final reopening plan is presented to the Board on Oct. 6. From there, students could return — at the earliest — by Oct. 26, depending on Board action.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

TUSD drafts reopening plan

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As one private school in town reopened its campus to elementary students this week, Turlock Unified School District formally presented a draft of its plan to do the same to the Board of Trustees.

Sacred Heart School saw students in kindergarten through sixth grade return on Monday, following state approval of the private catholic campus’ reopening plan earlier this month. Children had previously been participating in distance learning, which has been the case since March when campuses were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite being on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list since June 16, school districts, private schools and charter schools within Stanislaus County were able to begin applying for waivers to reopen elementary campuses after Sept. 1, when the county’s 14-day case rate dropped below 200 per every 100,000 residents.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

More private schools in Stanislaus County welcome children back to in-person learning

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Several private schools in Stanislaus County, including Modesto Christian, Big Valley Christian and Sacred Heart in Turlock, resumed in-person instruction Monday for transitional-kindergarten through sixth-grade students. A few others brought students back last week, immediately after having their reopening plans approved by the state.

“It is a blessing to have our students back on campus. They are the reason we’re here,” Modesto Christian K-8 Principal Victoria Ollson said in an email.

Unhealthy air quality has thrown a wrench into some reopening plans. For example, Modesto Christian’s blueprint includes prioritizing outdoor activities, restricting singing to outdoor chapel only, and keeping classroom doors open as much as possible.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Private schools offering different learning models

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Turlock’s private schools are adjusting to the start of a new school year during the pandemic.

Sacred Heart School began its first day of school with distance learning on Monday, while Turlock Christian has pushed their opening date to Sept. 8 with plans to welcome students back onto campus in small learning “pods.”

Turlock’s private catholic school’s first day of distance learning was a “success,” Sacred Heart shared on social media, with parents sharing photos in the comment section of their children attending class virtually — in uniform, of course.

Sacred Heart has submitted its waiver application and reopening plan to public health for approval, but waivers to reopen elementary schools will not be accepted until the COVID-19 transmission rate in Stanislaus County falls to an acceptable level.

“We pray we will be with our students in person soon,” Sacred Heart shared with parents and students on Facebook. “Until then, we will remain strong from a distance!”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Here’s what will be required of Stanislaus County schools in order to re-open campuses

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School districts in Stanislaus County have a lot of work to do before any reopen elementary schools for classroom instruction during the coronavirus pandemic.

First, an adjusted rate of infection in the county has to fall to a level where districts are eligible for waivers to reopen elementary schools for kindergarten to sixth grade students while the county remains on the state’s COVID-19 watch list.

And the numbers have not reached that level yet. Though they are falling.

The county’s rate dropped from 272 per 100,000 population to 244.5 per 100,000, as of Monday. The California Department of Public Health says the waivers to reopen elementary schools can be considered when the infection rate is 200 per 100,000 or lower.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

City to provide weekday distance learning camp

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The City of Turlock is presenting an option for parents who may have trouble juggling distance learning and their jobs this fall with a weekday camp that will mimic a school day.

Enrollment begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday for the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department’s Distance Learning Camp, which will provide both educational support as well as games and activities for elementary school students. According to the department’s Director Allison Van Guilder, the City is offering the camp in accordance with all state, county and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in order to provide a safe place for children to be while their parents or guardians are at work.

Turlock students will not return to school campuses immediately for the 2020-2021 academic year on Aug. 12, but will be learning from home until it is safe to return amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

‘A little piece of normal.’ What you can still do through the Stanislaus County library

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This time last year, librarian Amber O’Brien-Verhulst was popping Mentos into diet cola to demonstrate the kid-favorite, explosive scientific reaction to a captivated audience on the lawn of the Stanislaus County Library Modesto Branch.

This year, the pandemic halted in-person activities, but it hasn’t stopped the library from providing access to their services, books or other materials, though they’re mostly virtual.

“Our buildings are closed, but we are here,” said Sarah Dentan, County Librarian.

She said when the coronavirus hit, the library staff quickly pivoted their activities and services to online.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Turlock private schools hoping to reopen in person

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Despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement last week that shut down any plans to reopen campuses in Stanislaus County, two private schools in Turlock are hoping they’ll be exempt from the edict when it’s time for students to return to class next month.

Newsom on Friday forbade schools — both private and public — located in counties on the state’s coronavirus watchlist from holding in-person classes until it’s deemed safe to do so. Stanislaus County has been on the list as a COVID-19 hotspot since mid-June, with cases on the rise in the region and ICU beds in local hospitals full.

Prior to Newsom’s announcement, Turlock Christian Schools (TK-12) and Sacred Heart Catholic School (TK-8) had intended on moving forward with their individual plans to reopen with stringent health guidelines in place. Now, both private schools are exploring options and looking at data in order to still do so.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

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