The transition between middle school and high school can be a difficult one, especially when distance learning is involved.

But at Strathmore and Granite Hills High Schools, principals and staff members worked hard to ease that transition at Monday’s distribution of materials.

At Strathmore, math teacher John Lujan spent time with nearly everyone who came to pick up a Chromebook. Lujan rarely took a break as he fluttered between students and their parents, making sure they could log into their Chromebooks, Aeries and other accounts so they could leave feeling prepared for the first day of school on Thursday.

If you have any questions, shoot me an email,” Lujan told one student before moving on to another.

Over at Granite Hills, assistant principal Kim Ramirez also spent time with each student, or parent, who stopped at her pick-up station and explained to them the difference between this semester and the spring, what would be required of them and she believed they could get it done. Afterwards she called out, “Welcome to Granite Hills!” and sent them on their way.

Granite Hills and Strathmore, along with all other schools in Porterville Unified School District begin class on Thursday, Aug. 13, with distance learning. All Tulare County high schools will remain online until they’re off the state’s monitoring list for high COVID-19 positive case numbers.

GHHS principal, Apolinar Marroquin, also explained the first week of school -- Aug. 13 to Aug. 21 -- are known as Induction Days where teachers and staff will assess the resources of students and staff to determine everyone’s needs. Formal instruction begins on Monday, Aug. 24.

We are giving them what are called induction days, where teachers are connecting with kids, building relationships virtually and doing a needs assessment of the resources our students have at home,” Marroquin said. “Do they have Wi-Fi? Do they have a device? Can they access ParentSquare, Google Classrooms, Zoom? Do they have the Granite Hills app?”

Marroquin added this will be the time where the schools also assess if Chromebooks are working, if the Wi-Fi towers are working, who needs a hotspot, which teachers need cameras purchased for their desktops, and more. They are also using the time to make sure parents are also understanding what's going on. 

Material distribution days continue for most schools today with Granite Hills having a pick-up time of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all sophomore, juniors and seniors who still need a Chromebook. Granite’s pick-up location is at the bus loading zone and freshmen are welcome to come if they missed Monday’s distribution.

Strathmore’s pick-up time is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 5 at the administration office for juniors and seniors. Porterville High School’s pickup is in the library, which is accessible from the science parking lot. Sophomores can pick up materials from 9 a.m. to noon while freshmen can come from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Material pickup for Porterville Military Academy is today and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Items will be distributed at the front office. Bartlett Middle School finishes material pickups today with seventh and eighth grade students, whose last names begin with S through Z, checking out devices from 8 to 10 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m.

Los Robles Elementary School is doing a drive thru pickup on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the front office, bus lane and in the pick up area. Visit the school’s Facebook page for a complete list of when to pick up.

For more information on when to pick up materials, please contact your school. 

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