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Sacramento Unified School District begins phasing in in-person learning

K-3 students will come back to familiar classrooms on Thursday, but to some new protocols.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) will return to classroom instruction for kindergarten through third grade on Thursday for two days a week, three hours a day. Grades 4 through 6 are set to begin April 15 and 7 through 12 on April 22. 

"I am extremely happy that, after a year of loneliness, I get to see some of my staff and students back," said Pony Express Elementary School Gino Dobrescu.

Students will come back to familiar classrooms, but also some new protocols. Temperature checks, physical distancing, face coverings and handwashing stations are among some of the safety measures put in place. 

"To prepare our campuses and classrooms for the return of our students, this has been an all-hands-on-deck effort, especially over the last few weeks," said Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar in a statement. 

SCUSD also released a one-minute instructional video on their YouTube channel to prepare families for their return to in-person learning.

"We’ve never done this kind of concurrent teaching before where we’re teaching students on zoom and in person, but I think all of us are ready for the challenge," Pony Express Elementary second grade teacher Tiffany Lo explained. "We’re ready for some normalcy."

High-tech cameras have been set up throughout SCUSD classrooms which will track the teachers as they move. The setup helps accommodate students learning online and in-person more easily.

"At the beginning of our last school year, we could have never imagined that we would have had to adjust in this way, to redesign our schools and classrooms to address a global pandemic," said Aguilar. "I’ve heard that the term “unprecedented” has been overused, but there is really no other way to describe what we have done."

A little more than half of the districts’ students chose to come back to class. The others will continue solely distance learning but have the option to opt-in when they were ready.

There are 81 schools within Sacramento City Unified School District and more than 32,000 enrolled students.

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