Elementary students get back into the swing of in-person learning

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Photo courtesy Meiners Oaks Elementary
Meiners Oaks Elementary School teacher Aimee Mendoza talks to her class earlier this week.


Austin Widger, Ojai Valley News reporter
With Ventura County moving to California’s COVID-19 red tier of reopening about a month ago, Ojai Unified School District’s elementary schools welcomed students back to campus on Monday.
The students had been away from school since mid-March doing distance learning, which is still an option for families who do not feel safe returning yet. According to OUSD Superintendent Tiffany Morse, about 80 percent of families were returning in person as of Thursday afternoon.
Morse told the Ojai Valley News: “Students and teachers have been very happy to return to campus. Although we were able to hold in-person summer school with kids back on campus for a short period of time, for most students, it has been more than seven months since they have been on campus and the excitement was infectious.”
The district’s team has spent hundreds of hours of staff time planning for the return to campus, Morse said. She added that the various safety protocols in place have worked great thus far.
“Our planning paid off in that everything is generally working very smoothly,” Morse said. “Like all school districts launching reopening efforts, this is an iterative process, and we will continue to monitor how things are going and make adjustments to improve.”
Matilija Middle School and Nordhoff High School will remain on distance learning at least through the end of the fall semester.