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Hundreds of South Bay students return to Camarena Elementary

State Schools Superintendent welcomes them back to campus
Posted at 1:59 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 17:18:25-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — With their masks on and backpacks strapped over their shoulders, hundreds of students made their way back into the classrooms Wednesday at Chula Vista's Camarena Elementary.

"I think I'm going to have a great time and meet some new friends, and play with my other friends," said Cesar, 8, starting the 3rd grade.

The school fully reopened with a minimum day schedule, beginning with a welcome ceremony with the state's highest ranking education official, Superintendent Tony Thurmond.

Classrooms are now outfitted with new air filters, and students will be able to get rapid COVID tests every two weeks. Camarena also added staff to help with mental health.

Students are required to wear masks in the classroom, but not outside.

"I'm all for it, for masks, as long as they're nice and good and healthy," said Roxana Preciado, who was taking her two daughters to school.

In a press conference outside the school, Thurmond was asked about the spread of the Delta Variant and any potential it had to shut schools back down or reverse course.

"The state's pediatrician association has said that every student and staff member in our school should be wearing masks, and those are precautions that will keep us safe and keep our schools open, that's our first focus," said Thurmond, the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The welcome assembly with students and parents included a reminder of the importance of hygiene and hand-washing.