San Rafael elementary school students return to in-person learning

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- There was a flurry of excitement at Coleman Elementary Monday morning as students lined up for their first full week of in-person learning since the pandemic began.

"Welcome to our "third" first-day of school at Coleman Elementary," joked 4th grade teacher Kelly Whelan about the constant changes over the past 12 months.

In-person learning isn't new to the San Rafael Elementary School district. They began a hybrid learning model in November with cohorts of students coming to campus four days a week for half the day, with additional "asynchronous" learning assignments for the second half.

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Starting Monday, TK through 5th grade classes will be reunited for four and a half hours a day with no distance learning.

The only virtual classes will be enrichment courses, such as art and music later in the day.

"I think we are really ready," said interim Principal Ruth Reynolds.

She said, since the district began the hybrid model in the fall there have been no cases of coronavirus transmission on campus.

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With the full classrooms, desks have been spaced at least four feet apart, windows and doors remain open and classes also have air filters.

Whelan said most students she spoke to were excited, but also had some apprehension.

"I was talking to kids on Friday and they said it's going to be strange to be around so many people," she said.

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