PLEASANTON (KPIX) — Bay Area schools are eagerly pushing ahead with COVID reopening plans Thursday, with the Pleasanton Unified School District becoming the first in Alameda County to have all grade levels back in classrooms.
Just one day after Alameda County moved into the red tier, Pleasanton has brought back in-person classes for all grade levels in an attempt to try and salvage what they can of this school year.
It was not the most perfect first day of school, but for Pleasanton students, it was better than another day of Zoom classes.
“It’s good to be back!” said Foothill High student Ian Romo.
At Foothill High School, KPIX got a first look at what covid learning will be like for older students. To reduce the risk of spread, freshmen and sophomores have their own designated drop-off area in the front of campus.
Parents come into a large makeshift loop and kids exit cars on the outside of it.
Once inside, students are spaced out at least six feet apart. In this class the teacher has a partition, but the students do not.
Students who are at home appear on a big screen television. There are two cohorts, and each will attend school in-person two days a week.
“It’s definitely a weird feeling. I think just having a little bit of normalcy is nice,” said senior Kendall Witters. “And we’ll all hopefully be back in classrooms next year.”
Parents were also pleased for the kids to return to school.
“I’m very excited for him,” said Foothill High mother Samantha Thomas with a laugh.
Thomas was actually eager to make lunch for her son Aidan, a freshman.
“Gonna go wash my hands and just go for it,” said Aidan.
Only 35% of the students at Foothill opted for in-person learning. Overall, 55% of the students came back.
Pleasanton Unified School District Superintendent David Haglund said it wasn’t about being first; it was about being there for the kids.
“It’s about the village. If the village gets together and works together, we can make things happen. But it does take everybody,” said Haglund.