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Middle and High Schoolers are Back on Campus, but Visalia Parents Demand Changes



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About 53% of Visalia Unified School District’s nearly 30,000 students are back in-person now that Tulare County has transitioned to the state’s less restrictive red COVID reopening tier.

But the hybrid learning schedule adopted by the district is causing frustration among some parents.

They say the school schedules conflict with their jobs and don’t provide enough in-class time for students, especially those who struggled with distance learning. They called for a full-day schedule rather than the A/B track schedule that sends students to school on half days in the morning or afternoons.

Visalia parent Megan Cook said the district was “failing in its efforts to provide an adequate education” for students due to less time on campus. Three of her four children attend VUSD secondary schools, she said.

“It is not only possible to provide a full day of school, but it is our responsibility,” Cook said at a Tuesday night VUSD board meeting. “When we can have change, we must make that change.”

School Board Trustee Jacquie Gaebe agreed that a return to full day scheduling is needed.

“I’m concerned we don’t feel more urgency to switch off a hybrid schedule,” Gaebe said. “Dropping your child off at 8:20 a.m. and having to pick them up at 11 a.m. is pretty near impossible for a working parent.”

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