By Adrienne Moore

EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — El Dorado County, one of the few not on the state’s monitoring list, opened schools for the first Monday for in-person learning. The first day back under a new hybrid model seemed to pass with flying colors.

First day of school at Jackson Elementary School in El Dorado County. (CBS)

It was the first day back at Jackson Elementary School, one of the five elementary schools reopening for in-person instruction in the Rescue Union School District.

For moms Stefanie Hudson and Katie Chisholm, emotions were all over the place.

“Starting a little routine. They need this. Kids need this. We need this. The connections,” Hudson said. “The kids are ready for this and we’re ready for this.”

The school is operating under a combination of in-class and virtual instruction. Students are divided into morning and afternoon groups. Each class has between 10 to 15 students spread out across the classroom. 

“This is unlike any other year we will ever experience. We are literally making history,” principal Michelle Williamson said.

But some parents say making history brings a whole new level of first-day jitters.

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“We are a little bit concerned. We’re hoping that our kids stay safe and hope that our teachers are up for the challenge of protecting everybody as they would their own children,” mom Jansen Hanson said.

While the district maintains reopening plans are in line with CDC and county health orders, the focus for many students is regaining a sense of “ordinary” in these extraordinary times.

“I just got these new shoes, like yesterday, and I feel like, like um, like I’m really like going to fit in,” second-grader Vera Trimble said.

Principal Willaimson says 360 students are starting the school year under the hybrid model while 120 others opted for full distance learning.

Adrienne Moore

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