More school districts have announced they'll reopen in a virtual format this fall.

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced public schools can physically open when its county has been off the state's COVID-19 monitoring list for 14 days. Schools that don't meet the requirement must begin the year distance learning.

Kern County is currently on the list.

The Norris School District board of trustees approved a plan to begin the school year utilizing distance learning during its Tuesday meeting.

The first week of school will focus on how to tackle distance learning, such as routines and procedures. 

Students in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten will have a minimum of three hours of learning per day, while students in first through eighth grade will have four hours of learning per day. This will include asynchronous learning, synchronous learning and independent work.

Once Kern County is off the watchlist, the district will transition to a hybrid model. All grade levels and special day classes will divide classes into two cohorts to reduce class size.

One group will be in school in the morning, while another will be in the afternoon. Wednesdays will be reserved for deep cleaning and teacher planning.

Distance learning would continue for families uncomfortable with sending their children to school.

The Delano Joint Union High School District board of trustees also met Tuesday and voted to start the school year in a virtual format. The board also approved four instructional options for when students return to campus.

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

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