DANVILLE (KPIX) — Students and teachers in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District on Monday returned to the classroom for the first time in a year.
Campus was a bit more crowded at Monte Vista High School as students said goodbye to hybrid learning and hello to full-time, in-classroom sessions four days a week.READ MORE: San Leandro Community Rallies for Reform on Anniversary of Steven Taylor's Police Shooting Death
For the students and staff in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Monday was be one step closer to pre-pandemic life. 30% of the student body — about 10,000 students total — were expected to return to classrooms after opting in for full-time, in-person learning.
“We planned for this day back in October and we made all of our schedule changes in January. All we had to do was move more desks back in over the weekend,” said district superintendent John Malloy. “So we’re ready. We are as close to normal as we can be.”
“I’m just excited to be in the classroom and get to be on campus, because I’m a senior and I won’t be able to do that again,” said Monte Vista senior Grace Donnelly.
Middle and high school students returned to class Monday, with elementary students in the district set to go back Tuesday. After a year of the unexpected, four days of knowing what’s in store will be a welcome relief.
“I think they’ll be some continuity,” said Monte Vista principal Kevin Ahern. “The idea of being in class every day they’ll be able to have a daily routine.”
“I think it’s important to get back in the environment of the classroom, especially since I’m going to college and I don’t remember what it’s like to be in a classroom,” laughed Donnelly.READ MORE: Lodi Parachute Center Skydiver Dies After Chute Gets Tangled on Descent
The district said any staff member who wanted a vaccine has gotten at least one dose, and all mandated safety precautions have been put into place on campus. For the first time in over a year, cohorts will be combined and class will start to look a lot more familiar.
The superintendent says that school will go back to five days a week full-time starting in the fall, but they will have a remote option for people who still don’t feel comfortable.
Similar scenes were playing out across the Bay Area as students returned to schools across the region.
In the Castro Valley Unified School District, many third through fifth grade students are now back in the classroom. That district’s hybrid model had kindergarten through second grade resuming in-person instruction the past two weeks.
In the East Bays Mount Diablo Unified School District, many third through twelfth graders were also back on campus Monday.
Some Berkeley students were also back in class as that school district welcomed back its youngest students up to second grade.MORE NEWS: Saratoga Resident Displaced in 2-Alarm House Fire Sunday Morning
Upper elementary grades and middle school students are set to return April 12th, followed by high school students on April 19th.