VAIL, Ariz. (KGUN) — "I'm really excited about this year," Matthew Hough, a 5th grade teacher at Mesquite Elementary, said.
Mr. Hough, as students have called him for more than 22 years, is finishing up classroom preparations this week.
"One thing I'm excited for this year is going to be our small groups," Hough said. "We haven't had the opportunity to do small groups."
Hough has the desks in his classroom setup in groups, something he wasn't able to do during the pandemic.
"We were very creative last year when it came to creating lessons and activities," Hough said.
However, he enjoys the expanded learning options he has with students back in the classroom. He added that when classes do start, he will make sure to give them some extra time to see their classmates that they may not have seen for a long time.
"You want to let them be kids and let them have some enjoyment being back in the classroom."
For those not comfortable to or able to return to school in-person, the district will also offer online classes.