SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - At All Children Academics in San Rafael, school staff took each student's temperature on arrival. Then it was off to a hand washing station. After that, it was time for class for the elementary school children.
All Children is one of 14 schools in Marin County that held its first day of in-person class. Most of the schools that opened were private or parochial.
"Nothing beats the laughter and excitement on the first day," said Shana Kenney, director of All Children Academics.
A 15th school, Bayside Martin Luther King Jr Academy in Sausalito, had also received approval to open. But the school decided against re-opening Monday night after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. It was back to distance learning for now.
"This was not an in-school transmission type case. We are working with that individual to do contact tracing to make sure the case is handled and resolved," said Marin County spokeswoman Laine Hendricks.
But that setback aside Marin health and education officials say it's a positive sign to have students starting to come back to school.
The schools that opened all received waivers after having had their extensive safety plans approved by Marin county health officers and the state.
"In that plan, it highlights exactly what you will be doing. What protocols are in place. What precautions," said Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools.
About a dozen others are still seeking waivers and are hoping to open in two weeks.
For parents whose kids did return to school Tuesday, they appeared to be among the happiest mothers and fathers on earth.
"It takes off a lot of pressure for parents as well. Because we don't have to teach at home," said Ruby Pratt, the mother of a first-grader.
"Time for him to get back to normalcy. Time for him to be with friends," said parent Sally Houston.