KEIZER, OR (KPTV) - This school year, amid a pandemic, FOX 12 has regularly gone inside Keizer Elementary to share the stories of teachers, staff and students firsthand, in a series called "Keizer Strong."

FOX 12 most recently spoke with students for the first time since they've returned to the classroom.

Kids going back to school has been a year in the making.

“It’s been good," said Ryker, a fifth grader at Keizer Elementary. "I’m able to interact with my friends, talk to them and it feels good to be back.”

Feeling good to be back is a sentiment all three of the fifth graders FOX 12 spoke with at Keizer share.

Fifth graders at Keizer Elementary share how return to in-person learning is going

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“It’s been a really good experience, actually," said Aurora.

“It’s definitely difficult to switch from online to in-person, but it’s been really good," said Macy.

They said their favorite part about coming back to the classroom is being able to socialize.

“I really like my teachers and my classmates," Aurora said.

Their least favorite part is adjusting to some of the new health guidelines.

“It's really difficult to hear the teacher when they have a mask on," said Ryker.

“Social distancing, it’s a little bit hard," said Aurora.

But the students said masks and social distancing still beat learning online for them.

“It definitely gave me the chance to be more involved with the learning," Macy said.

“I’m a very social person, so I kind of felt like it was a must for me to come back," said Aurora.

“I was happy," Ryker said. "I was really, a little obnoxious, because I was ready to finally be back.”

MORE: FOX 12’s full School Authority coverage

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