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The McFarland Unified School District Board of Education approved a phased plan to physically reopen schools this fall during its Tuesday meeting.

The district will physically open Aug. 5 with alternating schedules for kindergarten and first grade students. The remaining students will continue with distance learning until the next phases open.

There are four total phases for physically reopening all of the schools in the district.

“I’m pleased that the Board of Trustees approved the framework to reopen school in phases, allowing us to achieve opening in a way that is both safe and effective,” said Superintendent Aaron Resendez in a news release. “The District is looking forward to having our students and staff safely return for in person instruction next school year.”

Sept. 14 is a possible target date to evaluate whether additional students can return to campuses. The district has the ability to shift any target dates depending on the level of COVID-19 cases, county health guidelines and other safety measures.

A parental option for full-time distance learning will be available to families if additional students return to school later in the fall.

“We felt the phased plan to reopen our schools made sense for our students and community. It focuses on getting our youngest kids back to class first and continues adding grades until everyone is receiving in person instruction,” said Board President Jim Beltran.

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.

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