NORTH PHILADELPHIA - In Philadelphia, some parents are getting ready to send their pre-K through second graders back to school on Monday.
But, Wednesday belonged to the teachers and their moment to get a head start.
"Give yourself a crown and I’m already a king. You’re already a king, you got it," exclaimed teacher Christine Carlin.
Carlin’s first grade students got a new backdrop for virtual learning Wednesday and a first look at their classroom for the rest of the school year.
"I’ll have about one student at each of these tables, so that’s about as safe as it can be," Carlin explained.
Little feet will strut down Cayuga Elementary School hallways, equipped with social-distance stickers, hand sanitizing stations and one-way stairwells for the first time in almost a year, starting Monday, for hybrid learning.
A total of 53 schools will welcome Philadelphia school district students in grades pre-K through second. Their return comes after a third party mediator reviewed the district’s protocols, following numerous failed attempts to return to limited in-person learning.
"Just because we were concerned about our own safety didn’t mean that we didn’t also love the kids and understand what they need. But, it’s time for us to get back into this setting. So, I am really excited," Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Lowe remarked.
"We’re nervous, we’re anxious, but we, especially for our most vulnerable children, the smallest ones, we really need them back," Principal Jason Carrion commented.
Principal Carrion says their HV-Ac system is good to go. The union previously expressed concerns about the district’s plan to use window fans to address airflow concerns in some schools. Teachers are also getting vaccinated through a partnership with CHOP.
So, while a classroom of students, both in-person and virtual, will be a new challenge, teachers are ready.
"We’re going to make it work because that’s what we do," Lowe said.
"I’m excited to support the students in this new way," Carlin added.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP