GREENFIELD, Calif. (KION) A small number of students within the Greenfield Union School District were welcomed back into the classroom for the first time in months Monday morning.
The school is giving parents the option to send their kids back to school for pre-school, transitional kindergarten, also known as TK, and Special Day Classes.
Under the purple tier, schools are only allowed to offer small-group, in-person classes for a limited number of students. Monterey County is currently in the purple tier. But schools will have to wait until their county is in the red tier to allow more students to return.
This comes as the coronavirus pandemic forced many schools on the Central Coast and across the nation to go online.
When students come to school, they’ll start off their morning with a temperature check and health screening. The school also has hand sanitizer and masks on hand.
Staff members are also donning masks, face shields and gloves.
But despite these changes, kids are excited to be back.
“She’s been wanting to come to school for a while, it just hasn’t been possible, so now that it’s possible, we’re trying to see how it goes,” said Cynthia Duarte, a parent of a TK student. “I feel like she’ll be really safe here.”
Inside the classroom, kids are separated by plexiglass shields and have their own supplies.
Some teachers are also continuing online instruction for students whose parents chose to keep them at home.
Greenfield Union School District Superintendent Zandra Galvan said not all parents wanted their kids back in the classroom just yet.
“We had 57% of our families that wanted to remain on distance learning and 43% of those families wanted their child back in school, so the students who are coming to school today in those three particular grades happen to be students of families that want their children back in school,” Galvan said.
Superintendent Galvan says it’s important to bring back the grade levels they did, especially for the younger kids who just started school.
“Their first experience with school was on a Zoom/distance learning computer so we thought of them first,” Galvan said. “And the other population is our Special Day Class students, special needs students that are not necessarily easy for them to stay connected virtually for long periods of time.”
Galvan said it took quite a few months of planning to make sure health and safety guidelines were in place before they brought kids back.
We’re told the classrooms are disinfected after students and teachers use the spaces.
The school hopes to bring back more students once Monterey County is out of the purple tier.