Some Piedra Vista High School students return to the classroom

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FARMINGTON N.M.— There was a little more chatter and footsteps in the hallways of Piedra Vista High School Tuesday after some ninth grade students returned for hybrid learning.

“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to, and hopefully I’ll be losing sleep, but for a different reason now,” said Kelly Thur, principal of Piedra Vista High School.

For now, only sixth and ninth graders are back, so they can get used to their new school. Other students who choose the hybrid model will be allowed to return next week.

“We had pretty good plans for procedures in place, and you know, we’re still learning," Thur said. "We’re gonna try to make it more efficient and there’s a few things going well, and a few things we can make a little bit better, and will adapt if we need to,” said Principal Thur.

With COVID restrictions in place, school will look a little different. Masks will be required, desks will be distanced, and other protocols will be in place. Still, some teachers said they are ready to be back.

“And I just feel like, you know, it’s been a long time coming. It’s been emotionally exhausting for teachers, it’s been emotionally exhausting for kids, and I think more emotion is about just the relief and the Joy of, ‘OK, now it’s gradually coming to an end,’” said Rebecca Monaghan, and eighth grade algebra teacher at Heights Middle Schools.

Some parents well they said the return was long overdue.

“Honestly I think they should’ve gone back a little while ago. They should’ve gone with elementary. My son has been doing great and my daughter has been wishing she could go, so it’s a good day today,” said Cortney Cowley, a parent.

Some pre-k through fifth grade students, and jumpstart students have been back at school since January. Now, some parents, students and staff of secondary schools hope to keep this going.