Youngest students return to in-person learning at Lucia Mar Unified schools

oceano elementary.png
Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 21:50:43-05

Another school district in San Luis Obispo County is back to in-person learning.

Transitional kindergarten and kindergarteners with Lucia Mar Unified are back in the classroom. This impacts 11 elementary schools within the district.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, was the first time since March 13, 2020, that nearly 30 students were able to sit behind a desk at Oceano Elementary School.

"I like school because I like to learn and have fun," said Valeria, a student.

A big sign and balloons welcomed the kids. Some have never been on campus before.

"It's pretty emotional, actually," said Michelle Johnson, Oceano Elementary School Principal. "You know, we've gone through ebbs and flows of we're getting to start and then we don't get to start and it's been hard on everybody but it was a total celebration today."

Nineteen transitional kindergarten and kindergarten kids walked on campus at 9 a.m. for the morning session. Ten more were in the afternoon session at 12:50.

They're in the classroom for 2.5 hours.

"I'm looking forward to just building stronger connections with the students and being able to help them in person and see exactly what they're doing and how I can help them," said teacher Courtney Calmenson.

During the break between the two sessions, the rooms are sanitized.

For parent Renee Reyes, the transition was easy for her kindergarten daughter at Harloe Elementary with no tears.

"It felt like we had a little bit of practice this time before the first day of school, so she saw familiar faces this time so it was a little bit different from your first day of school but she was still excited either way," Reyes said.

Roughly 260 Oceano Elementary students will be back to in-person learning by the second week of March. About 120 other students are continuing with virtual learning.

Some parents have previously told us that they're not ready to have their kids go back due to COVID-19 concerns, carpooling difficulties, or because it's not a full day of school.

Two Oceano Elementary School teachers are doing distance teaching, three are in-person teaching, and 15 teachers are doing a combo.

First through third grades will return on Monday, followed by fourth through sixth the Monday after that.

Before students and staff enter campus, they have to answer a list of COVID-19 related questions.