coronavirus pandemic

One of the Few Schools in SoCal With Hybrid Lessons Welcomes Students Back

The school got a waiver from the state and some 80% of families chose to bring their kids to school.

NBC Universal, Inc.

One of the few schools in Southern California welcoming students back for hybrid classes, a mix of in-person classes and online lessons, opened its doors Thursday morning, with many new safety protocols in place.

Lucerne Valley Elementary school is now operating with thermal detectors, barriers, and more.

The school got a waiver from the state and some 80% of families choose to bring their kids to school.

Principal Ricky Anderson says the school qualifies for the waiver because the number of COVID-19 cases are well below the state requirement: 27 per 100,000 in the district.

After months away because of the pandemic, 6-year-old August Herriman is finally heading back to class, and his mother Lori couldn't be happier because she says social skills are crucial for kids.

"He wants to have socialization but he's kind of unsure how to do it, and Zoom meetings just don't cut it for a 6-year-old," she said.

Things look dramatically different at Lucerne Valley Elementary, which is the first public school in San Bernardino County to offer hybrid classes. Students now have to walk passed thermal detectors to make sure they don't have fevers.

Inside the classrooms, desks are covered with sneeze guards. There are sanitizing stations and signs that remind students to social distance. Parents say feel confident in the precautions the school is taking.

Teacher Leigh Hannon gave NBCLA a tour of her kindergarten classroom which has limited seating for eight to 12 students.

"I really feel like this is safe. We practice walking through the room where we are not hovering and touching and but we are still able to over see what the kids are doing and keep them safe," Hannon said.

School officials say more than 230 of the roughly 470 students are coming back for the hybrid schedule, and they are being split into alternate schedules either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. Some parents are still a little worried.

"I'm a little leery because of coronavirus. I don't want him to bring it home," said Diane Bowman.

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