SALINAS VALLEY — High schools in King City and Greenfield will reopen this week with a phased return of teachers and students to classrooms beginning April 15.

South Monterey County Joint Union High School District Superintendent Brian Walker issued a video update on April 2 to provide details on how the process would work.

Walker said the district aimed for a balance between safety, academics and the overall wellbeing throughout the pandemic, and that he was proud of the students, staff and community for their resilience during the unprecedented global pandemic.

“While we made substantial investments to implement a virtual learning experience for all of our students, we know that nothing can truly replace the experience of interacting with their educators and classmates in the classroom,” Walker said.

Now that the conditions and state reopening tiers have allowed for the possibility of reopening, Walker said the district would do so.

Students and their families had been previously questioned as to whether they would want to return to in-person learning four days per week or remain in distance learning for the remainder of the school year.

Phase one of the in-person instruction will begin on April 15, when teachers and staff will return to their assigned work locations. A document posted by King City High School showed seniors would also return April 15, followed by juniors on April 16, then the following week sophomores would return April 19 and freshmen on April 20.

Walker advised students and their families to review the return-to-school materials they received for specific dates, times and needed information about the process.

“The hybrid learning model will continue with the teen’s block bell schedule and students will be in one stable group with reduced movement around the campus while following all the safety guidelines, including wearing masks,” Walker said. “In-person instruction will occur on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with appropriate social distancing in classrooms and throughout the school building.”

Wednesdays will be fully distance learning for all students.

Walker clarified students in athletics will follow adjusted schedules from the California Interscholastic Foundation and Central Coast Section. Season one, which includes football, will end April 17. Season two, which includes baseball, softball, track, swim and cheer, has just begun.

“We have focused on meaningful learning opportunities while keeping the students on track for graduation,” Walker said about the distance learning and hybrid models used during the pandemic. “Everyone has had to step up in unbelievable ways to keep learning and moving forward when our schools closed their doors last spring.”

Students in both King City and Greenfield are asked to bring their computer to class fully charged daily. Students will go through a daily morning health screening using the Frontline app on their phone or on their school-issued computer. If a student feels unwell or doesn’t pass the Frontline screening, they must stay home.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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