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Students back in classroom after Amphi School District goes hybrid

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TUCSON (KVOA) - More students are heading back into the classroom after schooling online since school first began in August.

Monday was a big day for Amphitheater School District, as students "came back to class."

Students at L.M. Prince Elementary School had their first day of hybrid learning school.

"It feels like the first day of school but our children have been in school online since Aug. 10," said Dr. Roseanne Lopez, Amphitheater Public Schools Associate Superintendent of Elementary Schools.

The hybrid model is a way Amphi can decrease the population by half.

"So what we have done is divided the two cohorts. Cohort one and cohort two. Each class, we have divided into half," Lopez said. "Half of the children are coming on Mondays and Thursdays and the other half come on Tuesdays and Fridays."

On Wednesday's, everybody is online.

"But on the other two days that the children are not at school, they are still online," Lopez said.

Lopez said, social distance is key.

"Our schools are not built to have 10 or 15 students in a classroom. They are built for many more," the associate superintendent said. "But we have made it so that there are only at the most 15 students in a classroom, right now and many are less than that."

Isabel Aguilar's daughter attends Prince Elementary. She said she loves the hybrid model.

"It allows them to come into school and interact with others and be there with the teacher and learn just like if it was a normal day," she said. "And the kids love it. They enjoy it."

Including Aguilar's daughter, Yasmine.

"It was pretty cool going back to school and you get to see all your friends," Yasmine said.

As you can imagine, a lot went into making this first day happen.

"We had to communicate with all 13,000 people. Which cohorts will they be in? They have to wear a mask, social distance, washing hands," Lopez said. "Teachers have to redo their classrooms. Redo the schedules. Redo lunch schedules. Redo recess, sanitization - the logicists have been very throughout and very complex but we think we are off to a good start."

Lopez said the community plays a role like wearing a mask, washing hands and social distancing. She said that is the only way to combat the virus and keep kids in school.

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Allie Potter

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