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.
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.
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.