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Fairfax School District opts to allow parents to decide how children will be taught

Sunshine Year Media Literacy
Posted at 1:32 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 17:29:45-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Fairfax School District is allowing parents to choose one of three options for how their children will be taught this coming fall. Those options include four days per week on-campus learning, a hybrid schedule where students attend 2 days per week, or full-time distance learning.

Fairfax School District Superintendent Michael Coleman said the board opted to offer these options after polling parents. He said they have received around 600 responses and out of those responses, about 44% said they wanted full-time distance learning, around 40% said they wanted four days on-campus learning, and around 20% voted for a hybrid.

Coleman said when they polled their teachers, they received similar responses.

The district is giving parents until July 23 to make their decision. If a parent does not make a choice, students will be enrolled in the option for four days per week attendance.

Coleman said they hope to be able to match teachers and students up based on similar styles. For example, if a teacher opted for teaching full-time on-campus, the district would try to match that teacher with students whose parents opted for on-campus learning. The same goes for the other options.

This could also mean an increase in combination classes in order to match students with the teaching style.

Coleman notes this will be something the district will have to work on and while they attempt to offer the parent's first choice, that selection choice is not guaranteed.

"This is something new to all of us," Colemen said. "So the board thought this would allow us to be flexible to the parents' choice."

According to Colemen, this plan is only for the first quarter back at school, then the board will reevaluate again. He also said this plan is subject to change.

The board approved this plan during its July 9 meeting. However, Coleman said this week had them questioning whether they would stick to it as the county awaited to determine whether or not Kern would once again be on the state's monitoring list.

Coleman said if the county had gone back on the list, or if the county should be placed back on the list anytime between now and August, the board could vote to change the plan and enact full distance learning.

Fairfax School District includes three elementary schools and one junior high school. Parents can choose which option they would prefer by clicking here.