Students in some local classrooms are heading back to the classroom Thursday, including in the Orcutt Union School District.
Teachers and staff have been working hard preparing for the in-person return of students.
Alice Shaw Elementary teacher Monique Segura says while schools are taking safety precautions, this year will feel more normal than the last.
“We’ve gotten to a place of somewhat normalcy. We don't have to start the year with masks. As a kindergarten teacher, I was able to do kindergarten interviews face-to-face with my incoming students, but we still are putting precautionary things in place,” Segura said.
Some of the precautions include teachers taking rapid COVID-19 tests before meeting as a group.
The district is also excited to now offer free childcare for families who qualify. It’s a program to help children advance skills outside of school hours.
"The extended learning opportunities program is a new program to our school district. The program's going to have a curricular component so there will be support for students that may need help with reading and math as well as homework and then we are also going to plan to have physical activities and some other enrichment activities for kids as well,” said Dr. Holly Edds, Orcutt Union superintendent.
It’s an expansion of the district's previous fee-based program.
The program is income-based and the application is on the district's website.