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Uncertainties Persist as Visalia Middle and High Schools Move to Reopen Next Week

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Visalia Unified School District scheduled a March 25 return — a date many teachers have prepared for despite uncertainties about teaching in-person during a coronavirus pandemic that has caused widespread disruption for all stakeholders involved.

Teachers are working to ensure secondary students are equitably and safely taught in-person and online, even though some have lingering concerns, they said.

“I think teachers are excited to have kids back in many ways,” said Greg Price, the president of the Visalia Unified Teachers Association. “Teachers in general want to see us return to some semblance of normalcy.”

School leaders will be organizing orientations for seventh and ninth graders in small groups of 15, according to Price, who has spoken with unionized teachers about the reopening.

“There is going to be concern about kids wearing masks, washing their hands, following protocols and being respectful,” Price said.

How will teachers enforce health and safety protocols, such as social distancing, when some students are 18-year-olds “who drive cars and have jobs?” wondered Redwood High School teacher Nick Miller.

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