KEIZER, OR (KPTV) - This year, amid a pandemic, FOX 12 is regularly going 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 teachers at the school to find out how the transition to in-person learning is going.
One look inside Torrie Moore's second grade classroom, and it's easy to see the kids didn't miss a beat on their first day back.
“It was a little funny at first when they were all walking in and I was standing by the door, just because I think they weren’t sure if they were allowed to talk to one another or interact or anything like that, but as soon as I said you’re welcome to chat with your friends, they were happy and ready to go, which is pretty cool," said Moore.
At Keizer Elementary, kindergarteners through third graders are now back inside the building. Only this time with smaller class sizes, masks and plenty of social distancing.
“I don’t think I’ve given a single reminder today," said Moore. "They’re on top of it."
"We did a lot of practice at home with covering your nose to your chin, so they all know how to do that already and they’ve been staying in their spots, staying away from other kids, so it’s been really awesome to have them come in and be so responsible with all of that," Moore continued.
Kalin Smoot also teaches third grade at Keizer.
“This year for a teacher has been, kind of overwhelming, if I’m being honest," said Smoot. "Just because there’s so many things that are different and starting out in CDL as a teacher, you know, you just miss that in-person time with your students.”
But she's happy to finally welcome them back in-person, a year after they were first sent home.
“I think I was most nervous about just getting back into that routine, you know, kind of remembering - 'oh yeah, this is how I did things,'" said Smoot. "I have to do them slightly different this time, in figuring out ways to still make things really engaging for the kids and exciting and fun when they have to kind of stay more in their space."
"It’s a challenge, but something that has been really fun to work on as well," Smoot continued.
The final group of students, fourth and fifth graders, head back to Keizer Elementary March 16.
Middle school and high school students in the district will slowly follow after that.