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Students begin new school year through distance learning in Orcutt and Santa Maria

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SANTA MARIA, Calif. - It's first day of the new school year for the Santa Maria-Bonita School District and the Orcutt Union School District.

"I’m in eighth grade and I got a Chromebook and I’m excited to use technology," said Samantha McDonald who's in eight grade.

McDonald is one of many Santa Maria Valley students picking up supplies at school Thursday for the new year.

Both the Santa Maria-Bonita and Orcutt Union school districts are thrilled about class starting even though much of the education will be done through distance learning to start.

"We know it’s going to be a very different year. But we're hoping to connect with our kids," said Superintendent Holly Edds of Orcutt Union School District.

"It is exciting that it’s the first day of school. It’s not the same that we’ve had in the past but we are making the best of it," said Spokesperson Maggie White with Santa Maria-Bonita School District.

"I’m excited for them. It’ll be a little different. It’ll be something to remember," said parent Vivian Medina.

Both school districts say they are emphasizing the importance of maintaining a connection with each student.

"We want to ensure that we’re connecting and engaging with them. This is a challenging time for everyone right now," said Edds.

"We have made choices that protect everyone’s health and safety. And the schools are partners right along with our community in that," said White.

All SMBSD students have been using Chromebooks since the school campus closures last school year in March.

They are continuing to use Chromebooks and other technology for the new school year’s Distance Learning.

As for McDonald, she’s thrilled to finally start school in the eight grade.

"I hope that everybody else is going to be able to use technology and it’s going to be easy for them and they’re going to be able to learn," said McDonald.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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