With balloons, signs and cheers, ninth graders returned Tuesday to Santa Maria, Pioneer Valley, Righetti and Delta high schools.
Tenth and 11th graders will return next Tuesday to the four Santa Maria high schools. Seniors have been on their campuses since April 20. Students still have the option to remain in distance learning until the end of the year.
Last week, the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Board of Education voted to bring all students back on campus for in-person learning on a 50-percent hybrid model.
The decision was based on favorable COVID-19 data (county, city and district), the successful transitioning of seniors, as well as input from multiple teachers, staff, parents and students.
“We will assess the effectiveness of the hybrid model by the end of the year, after we have actually had students on campus for several weeks,’’ Superintendent Antonio Garcia said in a news release.
“We will continue to monitor the health and safety of students and staff, as well as our students’ learning and achievement in the hybrid model. Much gratitude to our students, families, and staff for their adaptability during these challenging times as we balance safety and learning for our students.’’
The last day of high school is June 10.