LUCERNE VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Students at Lucerne Valley Elementary in San Bernardino County are returning to campus - part-time.
It's the first school in the Inland Empire to be granted a waiver to resume in-person learning.
"We're excited for them to socialize with the other kids," said parent Marlena Chavez.
The school is offering a hybrid model, limiting class sizes with only 8 to 12 students per room.
The school district was granted the rare waiver by the state because of its low number of COVID-19 cases.
"Our superintendent, our school board was pushing hard because they wanted what was best for students in our area," said school principal Ricky Anderson.
Anderson explains attending in-person is optional.
Of the more than 470 enrolled, about half are returning to campus.
Under the hybrid model, students who choose to return to campus will either be in class on Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays.
On the days students are not on campus, they will do remote learning from home.
"Having them come in even though it's only two days a week is huge, and our teachers saw that too," said Peter Livingston, superintendent of the Lucerne Valley Unified School District.
Precautions are still in place: Students will have their temperatures checked before entering. Inside the classrooms, kids will be divided by sneeze guards at each desk.
While it's all drastically different school leaders feel it offers some semblance of normalcy.
"We have made plans, but we may notice we need to adjust them," Livingston said.
Lucerne Valley school is first in IE to return students to campus
Lucerne Valley Elementary is the first school in the Inland Empire where students are returning to campus.
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