TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Classrooms at Vail pre-k, elementary and middle schools were ready ahead of students' arrival on Monday.
"Last year was certainly a challenge, but we're excited to open up as normal as possible this year," said Principal at Mesquite Elementary School, Diane Vargo.
Vargo said this year is a fresh start and her teachers are looking forward to reconnecting with students like they did before the pandemic.
"I'm excited to see our teaching practices and instructional models return to normal. I'm excited to see students working together. It just looks so different than last year," said Vargo.
One big change from the last school year is the district's mask policy. After much debate among the board and parents, masks are no longer required of students and staff.
"We'll be able to see the kids and their faces. We'll see their smiles. We'll see their reactions. I know our students are going to be excited to see our faces and our smiles," said Vargo.
While the majority of of Vail's students will return to school in-person, there are some who are still opting for the same learning methods as last year.
"For families that aren't quite ready to return, the district has offered a remote learning option. They will still be connected to their schools," said Vargo.
Vail high schools will have their first day on Friday, July 23.