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Kindergarten students were welcomed back, with older grades to follow over the next three weeks

COURTESY PHOTO: WEST LINN-WILSONVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT - Students arrived at Stafford Primary Wednesday, nearly a year after the pandemic beganJust a few days shy of a year since the state experienced its first case of COVID-19, elementary schools across West Linn-Wilsonville School District welcomed kindergarten students back to the classroom for the first day of hybrid in-person learning Wednesday, Feb. 24.

"Kids were super excited. They've met their teachers and their classmates over Zoom ...To see everyone in person was exciting,"  Director of Communications Andrew Kilstrom said. He attended the reopening at Stafford Primary School.

He said the staff did an amazing job welcoming kids in.COURTESY PHOTO: WEST LINN-WILSONVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT - Stafford Primary welcomed kindergarten students back on Wednesday, Feb. 24

The district's kindergarten "A cohort" returned to in-person learning today and the "B cohort" will have their welcome tomorrow.

A plethora of added health and safety features went into making the reopening possible.

For one, all students and staff are required to wear a face covering while at school.

The district also has a strict policy that A/B cohorts don't mix.

Kilstrom also said buildings have a more rigorous cleaning schedule than typical. Bathrooms, for example, are cleaned every hour. High-touch surfaces are disinfected throughout the day and a more thorough cleaning is done at the end of each day.

District officials carefully mapped out each classroom to ensure a 6-foot radius of space was between all individuals, per state guidelines.

"A lot of hard work and preparation went into today," Kilstrom said.

The district's youngest learners were welcomed back first, per WLWV's phase-in plan. Older elementary grades are soon to follow.

First graders will return March 1. Second graders will follow on March 3 and third graders will return March 8. Fourth- and fifth-graders will return March 10 and grades 7-12 will return March 15.

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