Riverside County Schools Prep for Return to In-Person Learning

It comes as a relief to parents who've had to help with virtual learning for nearly a year.

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In-person classes can now resume for elementary schools in four school districts in Riverside County.

Students can expect smaller classroom sizes, social distancing and lots of sanitizing.

Patrick Kelley, the superintendent of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District gave NBCLA a first look at the COVID-19 safety changes inside classrooms.

"I believe this is a third grade classroom and you'll see approximately 15 desks," he said.

Students from transitional kindergarten, or TK, to fifth grade are getting ready to return on a hybrid schedule starting in mid March.

"Students are going to be coming in an a.m., and on p.m. session there won't be the traditional recesses or lunches on campus but it is that first step," Kelley said.

There are so many changes. The school district posted informational videos on its website so parents and students get a better idea of what safety protocols they can expect before coming back to campus.

I feel like I was getting frustrated a lot. Ease the tension that we were all building just being at home.

Parent Irlanda Aguilar

The Corona-Norco Unfied School District has also gotten the green light to reopen after countywide COVID-19 case rates recently met state requirements.

"There's four districts who have safety plans approved by the county. Therefore the county can approve them to open," said Michael Osur, the assistant director of the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

Public health officials also say the case rates have gone down so dramatically over the past month that classroom doors may not be the only ones opening back up.

"If this continues, who knows? We could be in the red tier which means businesses could open, restaurants could open indoors," Osur said.

But parents say they're just glad their kids are going back to class after nearly a year of virtual learning.

"I feel like I was getting frustrated a lot," said parent Irlanda Aguilar. "Ease the tension that we were all building just being at home."

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