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Chesapeake Public Schools' youngest students return to in-person instruction

Some Chesapeake students returned to classrooms for face-to-face instruction. It's a different experience, but with health-safety precautions.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Now some students in Chesapeake Public Schools are officially back school buildings.

Right now, it’s just for this first wave of students which means special education, pre-school and kindergarten students whose parents chose not to stick with remote learning for the semester.

At Deep Creek Central Elementary School, Principal Dr. Daniel White said they had 90 students back in the building and their return comes with a few changes.

Before students get on these buses, guardians at home fill out a daily health screening for the school.

Once they arrive, it’s a different kind of procedure and interaction inside.

“We have a lot of the cleaning supplies and everybody’s wearing their masks,” said White.

However, Principal White said he saw the same first-day excitement. 

“The smiles we got to see on the kids’ faces were priceless," White remarked.

During the day, those priceless faces all stayed in one classroom.

Everyone had masks on and desks were spread at least three feet apart.

Beyond that, Doctor White said they’ve put in extra health safety measures, like spreading students out in the lunchroom and adding extra sanitizing.

Whatever it takes to keep the students here safely.

School is not the same without the kids,” said White.

Guardians told us they felt mixed emotions about the big return to in-person learning.

“It’s a little scary. I cried. This is her first day actually going to the school, but it’s been great. The teachers assured me that everything will be OK so I’m excited,” said parent Lawanda Glenn.

“Well I was a little leery honestly at first,” said grandmother Donna Shannon.

Yet, they tell 13News Now that they trust the school to protect everyone especially their children.

“They did an awesome job this morning,” said Shannon.

By Sept. 28, first through third-grade students will return to face-to-face learning.

At Deep Creek Central Elementary, Principal White said that means about 350 students.