SPRING VALLEY, Calif. (KGTV) — It’s been about a year and a half since Monte Vista High School has been busy with students getting dropped off, to seeing teachers, staff, and students on campus at one time.
Tuesday, the Grossmont Union High School District reopened their campuses to all of their students for in-person learning, after having had blended online learning or a hybrid model last year because of the pandemic.
Students like sophomore Ezekiel Castrejon said they're excited to finally be on campus full time.
"It feels good, it feels better to be back instead of online," said Castrejon.
His mom, Wendy Leibold, said it wasn’t a tough decision to make after seeing the challenges her children faced last year with online learning.
"I kind of let him decide more or less what he thought was good, what he wanted to do. He definitely wanted to return to campus doing work online was a struggle. Being able to communicate with teachers, doing the work, and getting the help he needs will be great," Leibold said.
Superintendent Theresa Kemper said the district is ready to return to a sense of normalcy, having had the opportunity to make sure the COVID-19 protocols that were in place were tested and ready to go last year with their hybrid model. Now she says the focus is on getting the kids back on track.
"Seeing those students face to face, eyes looking at each other. Building the trust and comfort and support with that as a basis we can provide the educational, emotional needs to help make sure that student is successful," Kemper added.
District officials say about 60 families out of 20,000 students have opted not to return to school. They have signed up for independent learning where the student does the work at home and checks in with a teacher once a week.