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Novato Unified School District welcomes some students back for in-person learning

Bay Area

NOVATO, Calif. (KRON) – Letters spelling out “Welcome Back Scorpions” greeted the 7th and 8th graders San Jose Middle School returning to the classroom for the first time in nearly a year.

One parent of two students says his family has mixed emotions.

“We were all kind of thrilled and somewhat anxious. We’ve been looking forward to this, yet it’s kind of strange to getting some form of normalcy back into our lives,” parent Ari Tabrizi said.

The new normal will include hand sanitizer stations at multiple locations, and the desks will be partitioned off with plastic barriers.

“All of our air filtration systems have been upgraded. If they don’t have that capability in their classrooms they have air purifiers in that have been installed. And so there’s been a lot of safety precautions put in place to make sure that we can do this safely,” Jennifer Larson said.

The returning kids will see fewer of of their classmates as well since they are coming in shifts.

And some aren’t coming back at all.

20% of Novato Unified Students have opted to stay virtual all year.

The rest are split into two cohorts. Half come for two hours in the morning, and the other half come for two hours in the afternoon.

This gives time for the classrooms to be cleaned in between.

The Marin County Office of Education website shows only 11 suspected cases of in-school transmission in the entire County. 

So far there are no cases of adults catching COVID from the students.

Teacher’s aren’t getting vaccinated yet, but a date could be set in the next few weeks.

The Novato Unified School District says they are hoping that high school students will be able to return to in-person learning as soon as they county is in the red tier.

This could be as early as next week.

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