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Less than two weeks ago, SCICON began offering virtual tours for students in schools who were scheduled to visit the campus

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Several important dates coming up in Sept.

Today and Wednesday are the last days Porterville College students can have their questions answered in person by staff at the PC Student Services Drive Thru.

The drive thru, located at the front of the Academic Building, can be accessed today from 9-11 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. On Thursday, the drive thru is available from 3-5 p.m.

Although it’s a drive thru, masks are required to be worn by students. If a student doesn’t have a mask, staff will provide them with one when they check in at the first booth of the drive-thru.

Pleasant View School has been awarded a $15,000 grant for science, technology, engineering and math — STEM — education.

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Monday was the beginning of a new semester for Porterville College (PC), and while students aren't allowed on campus for now, PC President Dr. Claudia Habib is optimistic about the fall semester.

Tulare County Public Health issued a statement on Friday its aware of local schools operating as day camps to provide instruction to children on-site under California Department of Public Health guidelines.

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Rather than make introductions from behind a computer screen, Lindsay High School freshmen spent Thursday meeting their teachers in person and getting a feel for the campus for their first day of school. 

“Even with masks, it’s so nice to see them in person,” LHS principal George Tapanes said. “And this is our freshmen for our first day, so they have the typical nerves of being a freshman. So just to be able to smile and welcome them is just a great feeling.”

Over the next few days, Lindsay students will continue to come to campus to meet their teachers and pick up materials necessary for distance learning. The school, like all in Tulare County, are required to begin classes virtually while the county remains on the state’s monitoring list for high COVID-19 positive case numbers.

Lindsay students arrived on campus at appointed times and were temperature checked before they could enter. They were directed through the Multipurpose Room where they turned in their paperwork, got a laptop and picked up information packets. From there they got their schedules, then went outside to have their pictures taken and met their teachers.

The University of California, Merced recently completed a website for the promotion of the SCICON Field Station.

A couple drops of rain began to fall during the final hours of Thursday morning, but rather than seeing students race for cover to keep their first day of school outfits clean and dry, campuses remained quiet and almost still.

Thursday was the first day of school for those in Porterville Unified School District but because Tulare County remains on the state’s monitoring list for high COVID-19 case numbers, students began class virtually.

At Vandalia Elementary School, students began the school year with a drive-thru pickup of materials and Chromebook.

Teachers met students and their parents and passed out school devices, workbooks and learning supplies at the drive-thru event.

“We were all so excited to see our students today,” Vandalia principal Laura Vera said. “We wish we could begin our year in a traditional way, but will be happy to see them on Zoom lessons daily. It may seem like schools are closed, but we are open and ready to teach students grade level standards and support our families.”

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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.

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A line of cars snaked through Monache High School’s parking lot with a dozen more waiting patiently to enter on Newcomb Street and another line coming from Henderson Avenue on Thursday. 

Starting at 2 p.m., students, parents and guardians arrived at the high school to check out 720 Chromebooks in Thursday’s drive-thru distribution. Monache, and all other Porterville Unified School District schools, begin the 2020-21 academic year on Aug. 13 with distance learning.

It's simple,” MHS principal, Eric Barba said. “We have them and the students need them. My team stepped up and worked hard to make sure we met the needs of our students. We are still 100 percent vested in supporting our students even if it's through distance learning.”

The Burton School District will be much more prepared to provide virtual learning when the 2020-2021 school year begins.

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Mike Henson definitely has a great deal of perspective when it comes to schools grappling with the issue of whether or not to re-open for in-person learning.

The Center for American Liberty filed a lawsuit on behalf of several individuals from Southern California on Tuesday to allow schools to reopen for in-person learning.

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to announce a little later today school districts in counties currently on the state watch list shouldn't reopen their campuses.

The Burton School District took its first step to officially re-opening its campuses for the 2020-2021 school year at a special board meeting on Monday.

Porterville College president Dr. Claudia Habib announced at the beginning of this week, the school would implement a “hybrid” approach when its fall semester begins.

Pursuing Victory With Honor Scholarship awarded to seniors

Tulare County Office of Education's CHARACTER COUNTS! program announced Wednesday that four Pursuing Victory With Honor scholarships were awarded to Tulare County scholar-athlete seniors.

Recipients of the scholarship were Jacob Buckley (Monache High School), Clarence Harmon (Porterville), Alicia Fregoso (Golden West) and Sadee Perez (Mt. Whitney).

The scholarship program, now in its eighth year, awards four Tulare County seniors $500 each for their academic achievements and for their exemplary character on and off the field.

Friday night was host to the final drive-thru graduation ceremony for the City of Porterville, and Citrus High School (CHS) ended the graduation season with a bang. After putting together a video showcasing each one of their graduates, including a short biography and what each graduate plans…

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Porterville College wrapped up the final day of its drive-thru graduation ceremonies on Thursday morning. Wednesday and Thursday’s ceremonies were for the more than 650 graduates collected 876 degrees.

Jonathan Schultz, a Terra Bella resident and son of Steven and Deina Schultz, recently earned his Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. 

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Accomplishments were recognized on Wednesday morning as Porterville College (PC) hosted the first day of their drive-thru graduation ceremony in the Jamison Stadium parking lot. Hundreds of students came out to collect their degrees, with some students collecting more than one degree.

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At least one beloved summer tradition in Porterville can't be stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Porterville Unified School District's Pathways summer camps and Future Ready Lab are underway and the camps are completely full with the number of students who have signed up to participate in them throughout the summer.

Local high school graduation ceremonies were far from traditional this year, however Lindsay High School (LHS) tried to keep their ceremony as close to traditional as possible. On Wednesday morning, LHS kicked off the first of three days in which learners can arrive at the school’s gym and c…

More than 100 graduates made their way back to the Porterville Adult School campus on Monday morning after completing the remainder of their school year online to take part in the PAS drive-thru graduation ceremony. 

It was a beautiful overcast and breezy Friday evening as Butterfield Charter School staff put the finishing touches on the decorations for their drive-thru graduation ceremony.  Black and gold balloons sayed in the wind, goodie bags were positioned at the end of the graduation walking path, …

 At the Monache High School drive-through graduation ceremony, graduating seniors were cheered on by staff and teachers,Thursday as they were driven to the ceremony in brightly decorated cars, and even a limousine or two.  They walked down a tree lined courtyard in cap and gowns, and receive…

The heat did not keep the remaining Porterville High School (PHS) graduates from taking a walk down the red carpet on Thursday afternoon during the second and final day of PHS’ drive-thru graduation ceremony. With Pomp and Circumstance playing in the background, the remainder of PHS’ Class o…

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Spartan Stadium hosts drive-thru ceremony

No question about it, this commencement ceremony was special.

One graduate came in a white limo, another a black party bus and another sat atop a silver convertible. Making their way across the Spartan Stadium track, the Strathmore High School Class of 2020 made the most of their drive-thru graduation Thursday evening.

Strathmore’s worked really hard to give us as much of an experience of a graduation as we can get,” SHS top student, Jacob Martinez, said. “There’s a lot of people that just get off and get their diploma and just go back in the car and the fact that they were able to pull this off for us is just really cool and means a lot. It just shows how much they really care about their students.”

Unlike most drive-thru graduations, vehicles were able to pull right up to the red carpet and family and friends could get out and watch from just a few feet away as their graduate had their name called and went to accept their diploma cover while staff members social-distanced and cheered them on.

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Breakfast also provided after graduation

The Knights of Harmony Magnet Academy wrapped their senior year and high school careers with one last trip through the campus parking lot for Friday’s Class of 2020 drive-thru graduation.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to have a ceremony of some sort for them to remember their high school years by,” HMA principal Jeff Brown said. “As they transition, that’s really the key for me, they’re going to have greater and greater challenges in their life; so hopefully we’ve prepared them for that and they’ll take advantage of every opportunity.”

Graduates hopped out of their decorated vehicles and walked down a red carpet as their names were called while their families filmed safely from their vehicles.

After their pictures were taken, graduates were treated to a to-go breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon, courtesy of their parents and Cafe 12:2.

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Instead of cowbells, it was the honking of decorated vehicles that announced the graduating class of Granite Hills High School.

Whiteboards lined Putnam Avenue and Grizzly Drive signifying that the Class of 2020 was in for a unique ceremony at Wednesday’s drive-thru graduation. 

“Stop,” read one sign. “Graduates, get out of the car here. Keep your distance. Parents follow your graduate in your car.”

In an attempt to keep many of the traditional aspects of graduation ceremonies alive, students did their ceremonial walk up a slight hill towards the front office where GHHS teacher, Richard Flores, announced their names before they picked up their diploma covers from GHHS principal Apolinar Marroquin, then had their pictures taken by Generations Photography.

Several local students from Summit Charter Collegiate Academy and Lindsay High School were named as winners in Central California's premier film competition for middle and high school students.