Students start returning to classrooms Monday in Woodland Hills School District

NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. — Most students in the Woodland Hills School District will return to the classrooms this week for the first time this year.

Starting Monday, elementary and high school students switched to a hybrid return to in-person instruction. Half of the students will attend classes in person on Mondays and Tuesdays, while the other half will go on Thursdays and Fridays. Everyone will learn online at least three days a week.

On Wednesdays, the district’s schools will be deep-cleaned while students learn from home.

The hybrid learning model will remain in place for the remainder of the school year.

Dickson Preparatory STEAM Academy will continue virtual learning until April 6.

The district’s faculty and staff have been preparing for months for the return of students. Classrooms are set up in a socially distanced fashion, everyone will wear masks and teachers will have a plastic shield in front of their desks.

District officials say it’s a big adjustment, but they’re thrilled to return.

“We miss them and this is what we all do, so everyone is just excited and I think there will be a lot of tears today. I know there are a lot of parents crying -- some not wanting them to leave because they’ve been with them the whole year, but it’s their day,” James Harris, Woodland Hills Superintendent, said.

The average class size will be between eight and 12 students, district officials told Channel 11′s news exchange partners at TribLIVE. About 20% of students are choosing to stay home and finish out the year entirely online.