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Working parents who can’t be home during the day while their kids are attending their Clovis Unified school online have the option of a “flexible” schedule.

Social media platforms in the Fresno area and across the nation are rife with posts from parents concerned about holding down their jobs while making sure their children stay on track with online classwork.

Students will still have access to teachers during the daytime, but parents will be in charge of when their kids do schoolwork at their computers.

Clovis Unified is in the process now of surveying parents who had indicated they preferred the longer-term online option — instead of in-person instruction when it resumes — to see whether they prefer the traditional or flexible online options, spokeswoman Kelly Avants said.

“We’ve heard from working parents who can’t be at home during the school day, but who want to be able to oversee their child’s time in school,” Avants said.

The first day of classes for Clovis Unified students is Aug. 17.

Parents Struggle with Role as Teacher While Working

Social media platforms in the Fresno area and across the nation are rife with posts from parents concerned about holding down their jobs — whether they telecommute or have to leave the house — while making sure their children stay on track with online classwork.

Fresno County is one of more than three dozen counties in California being monitored by the state for high coronavirus infection and hospitalization rates. Schools in counties that are on the state watchlist must remain closed until the county is off the list for 14 consecutive days.

Clovis parents have four online choices: Clovis Unified Connect, which is for students who will go back to traditional on-site classes once schools can reopen; Scheduled Virtual, for students whose parents selected online instruction for the new school year but who want a more structured school day; Flexible Online; and Clovis Online School, an accredited charter school for students in grades 7 through 12 that opened in 2009. According to the school’s website, it serves students in Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, and Tulare counties.

Flexible Online students will use Edgenuity, a provider of K-12 online curriculum used by Clovis Online School students.

Students Have Option Later of Going Back to School

Flexible Online students will have access to a Clovis Unified teacher from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays, and the Edgenuity curriculum will be paced weekly by the assigned teacher.

Fresno Unified parent Emma Amann said she would have liked a flexible option that would allow her to keep her normal hours and still oversee instruction for her two kids, who are enrolled at Yokomi Elementary School.

Students enrolled in Flexible Online can return to their traditional classrooms only at the start of a new grading period for elementary grades and the new semester in January for students in grades 7-12. The district’s website says if that happens, the student would wind up with a new teacher.

But Avants said the district will try to keep students and teachers together.

Fresno Unified parent Emma Amann said she would have liked a flexible option that would allow her to keep her normal hours and still oversee instruction for her two kids, who are enrolled at Yokomi Elementary School.

Amann told GV Wire℠ she would be hesitant to select any option that might have cost her son, entering the third grade, and daughter, entering the first grade, their slots at the magnet school.

Work Schedule Adjusted

Fresno Unified’s online curriculum is from 9 a.m. to a little past noon. So Amann, who works part-time in the mornings for her uncle, will start her work earlier in the morning before her kids’ school day starts and then resume it in the afternoon when they’re done with online instruction.

“I’m lucky that I can do it,” she said.

She said she hopes someone will talk about why a flexible option wasn’t offered during the district’s town hall meeting Thursday night.

“Other districts are providing the option,” Amann said.

Central Offers Scheduling Flexibility, Too

Central Unified School District’s brand-new Central Online Home School provides scheduling flexibility for parents who want to keep their children in online instruction, spokeswoman Sonja Dosti said.

Fresno Unified spokeswoman Amy Idsdvoog said the district has received some inquiries from parents about options other than the structured instruction time outlined in the strategic plan issued last week.

Officials “are discussing possible options for families, including independent study,” Idsvoog said.

One Response

  1. Jennifer Romanacce

    Hello.
    I am a single parent of a 10 y.o. boy who will be in 5th grade at Fort Washington in Clovis Unified school district. My son has an IEP due to social/emotional disturbances since Kindergarten. He was finally diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Level 1, aka Asperger’s syndrome last October. He is now 80% mainstreamed, so making good progress in school. On July 31st, I went onto the Parent Portal to sign up for flexible schedule, described as Option 2 as I have to work. I am an essential healthcare worker, and cannot be at home during regular school hours for his online learning. There was no Option 3, which is now called flexible online learning model. I was given a choice between Option 1 ( the traditional virtual online learning) and Option 2 that was described as the flexible program. This last week I find out that they have enrolled my son in the virtual online scheduled classes. I contacted the school Vice Principle and the Principle expressing my concerns; that I have to work and virtual scheduled learning would not work for my family. I spoke to Mrs Hashimoto, the school Principle who said they had sent out an email on July 30th, the day before, to the parents who signed up for Option 2, to then pick Option 3 for flexible learning. I never received that email. She told me she would reach out to the IEP program director, Danielle Hester, about my concerns as Option 3 had to be approved by the IEP team first. Danielle Hester emailed me stating there was nothing she could do, suggesting I talk to my employer to work out time off and childcare. She also informed me that if I had chosen Option 3, the IEP team would have to review the request via IEP meeting, to discuss if my son would qualify for Option 3. I immediately requested a meeting. I then found out that the team had up to 30 days to schedule a meeting.
    The way that this was handled, and that no one reached out to me from the IEP team to explain any of this in a timely manner is so upsetting to me. I found this out the week before school starts. Please contact me if you have any information to help me in this situation.

    Thank you
    Jennifer Romanacce

    Reply

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