Danielle Loucks was looking at the message from her son’s middle school about his two-day in-person class schedule starting in April when the phrase “*Covid – A” jumped out at her.
The message from Fresno Unified’s Computech Middle School talked about the groupings, also known as cohorts, that students would be assigned to as many return to campus after spring break.
Fresno Unified students in Cohort A will have in-person instruction on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and distance learning on other days, those in Cohort B will be in school on Thursdays and Fridays and distance learning the remainder of the week, and those in Cohort C will remain on distance learning.
“You have been assigned to *Covid – A (Tuesday-Wednesday),” the message said.
*Covid A also showed up in a Bullard High senior’s back-to-school message.
Loucks said that although her family is unafraid of the coronavirus — she says they’ve already been exposed and haven’t suffered lasting effects — other families that are more fearful might be taken back by calling the cohort “Covid.”
“My first thought was that this was either someones’s sick sense of humor or flat-out stupidity,” she said.
It was neither, said district spokeswoman Amy Idsvoog. District employees who created the new class schedules in Atlas, the student information system, needed to label the new cohort schedules to keep them distinct from prior schedules in the system, she said.
“We’re all living in COVID world,” Idsvoog said as to why the staffers labeled the new schedules *Covid.
When told that the labeling was not an accident, Loucks responded, “I am speechless.”