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CMS elementary school students return for in-person learning

Kindergarten through 5th graders have not been in the classroom since March.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the first time in 8 months, CMS elementary-aged students returned to the classroom Monday. The district continuing its transition to Plan B, starting with the youngest students first.

Kindergarten through fifth graders will now have 2 days of in-person learning a week.

A day 8 months in the making, CMS elementary school students back for in-person learning for the first time since March 13th.

“This has been a long time coming and I anticipate we're going to have a phenomenal first day,” said Superintendent Earnest Winston.

This first day comes with a brand-new morning routine. Families were greeted by a teacher in a mask and face shield, and students have their temperatures checked before they can hop out of the car and head inside.

“This is something that we have been preparing months for. Our teams have done an outstanding job making sure that we have all of the precautions in place, we have all of the PPE,” said Winston.

RELATED: CMS K-5 students return to in-person learning

Inside the classroom, students sit alone at tables with their masks on. Every student has their own basket of supplies to avoid cross-contamination. While Group A is in the classroom, Group B is tuning in from home. They’ll switch on Thursday. That means teachers will now juggle a group of in-person students and a group online.

“They did very well with it. They were very respectful of waiting and just kind of going with the flow. They were probably more chill than I was at times, but they handled it so, so well," said Lindy Andrews, a teacher at Highland Renaissance Academy.

A lot of parents prepared their kids to follow the new rules.

“Wear their masks, listen to their teachers and obey what they're told by the folks that are running the show here," said Jake Gehron, a parent who said his kids were excited to be back in person.

Many parents said they're ready for this move towards a sense of normalcy.

“I’m thrilled to be here. Very glad to have a chance to have some social interaction. Homeschool we've gotten by, but she needs to be in class for a lot of reasons,” said Craig Hunley.

Even as cases rise in the county, 3rd-grade teacher Lindy Andrews said she felt safe and the kids get an A+ for keeping their masks on.

“We need them to understand things are going to be different and that’s okay. It may not look the same but we're still here, we're still learning and we're going to do our best,” said Andrews.

Because of Election Day, Tuesday will be a teacher workday. The students who were in the classroom today will be back again next Monday and Tuesday. The second group of students will have their first in-person learning day on Thursday.

The next group of students that will return to in-person learning are middle schoolers. They go back November 23.

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