FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Amid tier changes, school districts are still working to bring students safely back to campuses.
For the first time in months, 4th- 6th grade students in Sanger Unified set foot inside their school classrooms.
"This is their first time back in the classroom since March, so you can only imagine the excitement of each student," said 5th-grade Teacher Michael Muniz. "They're excited to see one another."
It's been a gradual process for the district, slowly welcoming back more students each week.
"It definitely looks a little different; we have all of our gates locked around the school so no adults are allowed on campus once kids do come on campus," explained Jackson Elementary Principal, Michelle Carr.
Students are spaced out, masks are required and handwashing stations are placed throughout the schools.
"I think after we get into the groove of things, after a few days, we're going to get really comfortable with this," said Muniz.
Fresno County's purple tier status means schools can't fully reopen until the county's back in the red tier, but since Sanger Unified was approved for a waiver, they're free to move forward with plans for reopening.
"They missed their teachers, they missed socializing with other kids, so we've had a lot of happy families to have a little piece of normal back in their life," said Carr.
For now, school staff says kids are adjusting to the am/pm schedules and of course, getting over those back to school jitters.
"Definitely some anxiousness and it's really quiet because it's their first day back," said Muniz. "They want to be on their best behavior."
Over 5,000 Sanger Unified students are back for in-person learning with 17% still sticking to distance learning.
Sanger Unified welcomes 4th-6th grade students back to campus