Merced County Times Newspaper
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Local high schools set to return to traditional school schedule

The Merced Union High School District (MUHSD) Board of Trustees, which consists of a president, vice president, clerk, and two other board members, held a special meeting on March 24, and voted unanimously to return students to a traditional school schedule where they are on campus five days a week, starting April 12, after spring break.

Currently, the students who chose to return to in-person instruction are participating in the A/B hybrid model, which means they are in the classroom on alternating days.

Samuel Yniguez, Jr., MUHSD director of communications, informed the Times, “The hybrid model started recently.  The students alternate days because of social distancing guidelines.  Group A comes to school Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Group B comes Tuesday and Thursday, and the next week, Group A comes to school Tuesday and Thursday, and Group B comes Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“The superintendent asked the board to approve the return of students to the traditional schedule, five days a week, starting April 12 which is when they return from spring break.

“It was approved by a vote of 5 to 0.

“The board knew the students needed to be back in school because they’re lacking socialization, and there’s a mental health toll the pandemic is taking.

“Starting April 12, students who chose to return to school will be in school five days a week.

“We will still give families the option to remain on distance learning for the remainder of the school year.

“We sent out a survey last week to ask what the parents wanted to do, and 62 percent said they would like their student to return to school, and 38 percent said they would choose to stay on distance learning.

“If there are high school seniors on the AB hybrid model who want to come every day starting March 29, they can, and the other students will join them on April 12.

“At that point in time, the A/B hybrid model will be phased out, so either students will be 100 percent in school or 100 percent online.”

MUHSD Superintendent Alan Peterson said, “I am ecstatic to provide students the choice to return to a more traditional school environment which, hopefully, relieves some of the anxiety that this past year has caused. I can’t thank the board enough for their decision.”

The vote on March 24 also eliminated distance learning as an option for the next school year unless required by the county or state.

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