CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – On Monday, the San Juan Unified School District is welcoming all students back for the first time since distance learning began more than a year ago.
It’s something that some students and parents like the Oldham family in Citrus Heights were happy to see come to fruition.READ MORE: 'Prime Suspect' Paul Flores Arrested In 1996 Disappearance Of Kristin Smart; Still No Remains Found
“I was really excited to take this chance and go back,” Audrey Oldham, a sophomore at Meraki High School, said.
“It just feels weird to have to reintroduce myself to some people and get to know people again,” Sabrina Oldham, a fifth-grader at Carriage Drive Elementary, said.
A spokesperson for the district said that there have been some students on campus that were there for special education and other types of programs prior to this move. The district is eager and excited to welcome back students again.
“Our facilities have been up and ready. They’ve been cleaned. Our HVAC systems have been sanitized. They’ve been set to run at full so we have that air coming through as much as absolutely possible,” Trent Allen, a spokesperson for San Juan Unified School District, said.
It’s mixed emotions for Traci Oldham seeing her daughters’ backpacks at the front door again.
“I’m going to be very excited that they’re going to get to go back and that they’ll start living somewhat of a normal life again. I’m going to miss them, you know?” Traci Oldham said.
Other parents hit local stores to get new backpacks and supplies for their children to go back to school.
“I think it’s really good for her to get back and get to see friends and socialize and stuff like that. She’s been cooped up for a long time,” Sally Katz, another San Juan Unified parent, said of her daughter.
As students are returning to classrooms, another reopening conversation was being had this weekend.READ MORE: Sacramento Hires Inspector General To Independently Review Police Use Of Force Cases
The CDC issued new guidance stating students should be a minimum of three feet apart in classrooms, rather than the previously recommended six feet. California on Friday also updated its guidance to be aligned with the new guidance.
Some districts, including San Juan Unified, said they’ll have to take a closer look and review the guidance as they follow state guidelines.
Vacaville and Washington Unified School Districts told CBS13 that they are currently having kids at six feet separation and would have to further review the updated guidance as it follows what state and county have instructed.
“Certainly, that’s one of the factors that was putting a limit on our capacities on campus and how much in-person learning we could afford those students who were making that choice,” Allen said. “So, we certainly have an interest in how that will impact that and offer more in-person learning.”
Oldham personally doesn’t have a problem with the updated guidance, but she said she feels that kind of learning may not be for all grades, especially younger students.
“Mine are old enough to understand, you can be three feet from somebody but you can’t hug them, touch them, you can’t share anything with them,” Oldham said.
As the sun sets on Sunday and the Oldhams get their backpacks ready, there’s an eagerness to get back into the classroom. But there’s also a fear of the unknown getting back into the classroom after being away for so long.
“Having the chance to go back to school will be different to go back because we’ve had a year off. But it will be exciting,” Audrey Oldham said.
Sacramento City Unified also recently announced that it will be welcoming students back to school starting in April.
Vacaville and Turlock Unified are welcoming back middle school and high schoolers starting Monday.MORE NEWS: Lack Of Healthy Players Cuts Davis High School Football Season Short
Washington Unified School District is bringing middle schoolers back on Tuesday and high schoolers on Thursday.