Ninth graders in the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District returned to the classroom Tuesday for the first time in more than a year.
The students at Delta, Righetti, Pioneer Valley and Santa Maria high schools were greeted with balloons, signs and cheers.
Their return comes about three weeks after seniors in the district returned on a hybrid schedule.
Tenth and 11th graders will begin in-person learning on May 18.
Students are being given the option to continue with distance learning if they choose.