Education Lab

Fresno Unified schools have a few first-day hitches

Summer ended Monday for about 73,000 Fresno school kids as they pulled on first-day-of-school clothes or grabbed a new backpack and headed to class.

Everything was new at Dailey Charter Elementary School in central Fresno, an innovative kindergarten-through-5th-grade school that opened Monday.

But the first day of school was marred by events on two campuses as police searched for a suspect near a southwest Fresno elementary school and officials at a middle school across town dealt with computer glitches.

Fresno police placed King Elementary School on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on lockdown about 9:50 a.m. as a precaution, according to Fresno Unified School District spokeswoman Susan Bedi. Officers were searching for a wanted parolee who had crashed his vehicle into a mailbox and then had run into an apartment complex north of the school after officers had tried to pull him over in a traffic stop. Police soon found the man and arrested him. Bedi said police ended the lockdown about 10:30 a.m.

At Ahwahnee Middle School on Escalon Avenue in northeast Fresno, about 15 students went home early when computer and phone problems prevented school officials from preparing class schedules.

Internet connection to the school and campus phones malfunctioned sporadically for about two hours, Bedi said.

Students either went home with their parents and returned later Monday to get their schedules or waited at the school for their schedules to be prepared by hand. Bedi said several other Fresno Unified schools had Internet issues that were corrected without needing to send students home.

Monday also was the first day of a Fresno police enforcement of speed limits in school zones. Traffic officers issued 61 tickets for speeding within school zones, police said. Another 41 drivers were ticketed for other violations.

Police will continue the "No Recess for Safety" school zone traffic enforcement through Aug. 27. The speed limit in school zones is 25 mph.

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