MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- After intense planning, Madera Unified School District has announced a phased reopening of their elementary schools.
Students ranging from T-K to 6th grade are getting their backpacks ready for their return to campus next week. A moment Babatunde Illori says he never thought would take this long.
"There is no way I dreamed that it would take us a year to get to this point," said Babatunde Ilori, Executive Director for Accountability and Communications.
The district is preparing to welcome back about 8,000 students next week and that's just at the elementary level. Meanwhile, another 3,000 students will continue with virtual classes.
"Everyone has high anxiety but it's a good type of thing," said Ilori.
The district planned a phased reopening to make things a little smoother.
On Monday the 22nd, T-K to 1st graders will return, and on Wednesday, the 25th, 2nd and 3rd graders step back on campus.
"Then on April 6th, right after spring break, we are going to bring in the rest of the students from 4th to 6th grade," said Ilori.
Enforced guidelines will be in place to keep everyone safe with coronavirus continuing to linger.
Everyone must wear a mask, social distance and parents must complete an electronic health screening for their child every day.
"It will ask them basic questions, like have you been exposed to COVID all the way to do you have cough or sore throat and those types of things," said Ilori.
Common areas and surfaces all over campus will be sanitized constantly, helping keep COVID-19 as far away as possible. However, if a positive case results, they are ready to take action.
Ilori says, "The big thing we are hoping is that we do not have a positive case but if we do, we are ready to go with the contact tracing and notifications immediately."
Bringing back thousands of students hasn't been an easy task, but Illori says it's time for students to get back on track in the classroom.
" We're excited to bring back our kids!"
They are currently working on a plan to bring back their 7th through 12th grade students.
Madera Unified School District announces phased reopening
More TOP STORIES News