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Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

Santa Maria schools, classrooms ready for students return next week

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - After a year of remote learning the Santa Maria Bonita School District will welcome back students for in-person learning the week of April 19.

The first group of students will return to the classroom Tuesday April 20 with COVID-19 protocols in place. Everyone will have their temperature checked when walking on campus, arrows are painted on the floor directing traffic, students will have individual supply bins and desks are spread apart.

Class sizes will also be cut in half.

"Our plan is a hybrid design that basically takes every child who's been on a teachers class roster and divides them into A and B groups," said SMBSD Superintendent Luke Ontiveros. "Each of those groups will return two days per week and we are keeping Monday as an all distance learning day."

Kindergarten through 2nd grade will return first. Followed by grades 3-5. Older students will return after that. The last day of school will be June 8 so this return comes with just weeks left in the school year. But it's something that district leadership believes will help students transition heading into next school year.

"We know that this distance learning isn't the optical setting of most children," Ontiveros said. "When we [come back] in August, hoping and assuming that conditions get better were going to be able to bring children back at lesser restrictions and they will be hitting the ground running full speed."

The Santa Maria Bonita School District has about 16,700 students across 23 school sites and is the largest school district in Santa Barbara County.

Coronavirus / Education / Health
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Joe Buttitta

Joe Buttitta co-anchors The Morning News on KEYT NewsChannel 3 and NewsChannel 12 as well as NewsChannel 3 Midday. To learn more about Joe, click here

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