SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- The San Bernardino City Unified School District welcomed back students on Monday, making it one of the first districts to reopen in Southern California.
At Cesar Chavez Middle School, some students will return to the classroom after more than a year of distance learning. All schools within the district will be open for in-person instruction five days a week at full capacity.
There is an option for virtual learning if parents choose that for their kids.
Of the nearly 1,200 students enrolled at the school, the largest in the district, about 30 have opted to continue distance learning.
For those that do return, several health safety measures will still be in place, including a mask requirement.
Robert Varela III, a seventh-grader, went through all of sixth grade learning from home.
"I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm a lot more excited," he said, adding that for now wearing a mask feels safe.
His father agrees.
"I don't really like it but I think it's safe for everybody, and this is the only way we're going to get through this pandemic," said Santos Varela.
Teachers like Connie Jones are tasked with enforcing the mask mandate.
"I'm okay with saying I don't like wearing them either, but I want to be here...and we need to be here, so this is what we do," she said.
On top of masking up, there's a high-tech temperature screen as the kids enter the campus.
Principal Dr. Robert Morales says immense planning went into making sure the students would be safe.
"How are we going to line kids up, how many can we fit through a specific doorway and how long will it take?"