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Ferguson-Florissant School District returns to in-person learning

District Spokesperson Kevin Hampton said 42% of students are returning to the classroom. 58% continuing to learn virtually

ST. LOUIS — The Ferguson-Florissant School District welcomed back high school students on Wednesday after a year of virtual learning. 

Pre-K-8 will return for a transition week starting on Monday, March 29. All students will have the option to return full-time on April 12. 

But most students are choosing to stay home for the rest of the semester district Spokesperson Kevin Hampton said.

He said 42% of students are returning to class, 58% are remaining virtual. 

"Some feel like their students have been doing well and want to remain in that setting," Hampton said. "Some feel they are close enough to the end of this year and want to continue with this model through the end of the year.     Others have concerns about transmission of the virus."

La'Matra Johnson is sending her 11th-grade son back into the classroom. 

"It works with my son Jeremiah that he's in person," Johnson said. "He did well virtual but he loves to be face-to-face in the classroom."

She credits the district's smooth transition for her son continuing to perform well while learning at home.

"It didn't stop the flow of his learning," Johnson said. "That's the main key of what parents are trying to do. the flow of his education is the main key at hand."

The pandemic forced the district to make adjustments, one of which is bus drivers using tablets to check-in students boarding the bus for contact tracing. 

"It will also help us have improved safety for students boarding the bus," Hampton said. "At the end of the day making sure they are getting off at the right stop and getting to where they need to be."

As difficult as this past year has been, district leaders said they are proud of the way the community came together to make this reopening possible. Last week more than 800 faculty and staff were vaccinated giving educators and families the protection and peace of mind needed to get back to in-person learning. 

The district said they are in the final stages of making virtual learning a full-time option.