DURHAM, Calif. - Some parents shared why they decided to send their kids back with or without a mask.
Parents Val Figone and Heidi Ferguson have been anxiously waiting to send their daughters back to school.
"I am personally elated,” said Figone. I know she has been stuck at home."
"I think it is just really great that they get to be in the classrooms this year and get back to some normalcy and having those friendships and building those social skills that they need," said Ferguson.
Val believes having her daughter wear a mask will help slow the spread of COVID -19.
"I think it is just lack of knowledge and understanding that there are multiple variants happening,” said Figone. “If I can avoid the spread then I will because I would rather stay in school than everything gets shut down again."
As for Heidi, she's glad her daughter's able to return to school and not have to wear a mask but knows things could change.
"It's an ever-changing thing so whatever it takes for them to stay in the classroom, that's fine," said Ferguson.
The superintendent for Durham Unified said the district is strongly encouraging students to still wear a mask but is not asking students to leave the classroom if they aren't wearing one.
"Our teachers are going to model the policies in wearing all their face coverings inside like they are supposed to,” said superintendent for Durham Unified, John Bohannon. “We will continue to encourage students; we have masks in the classrooms."
Bohannon said he has some fear that with some students not wearing masks, there could be an increase in COVID-19 cases within the school district.
"I see two things,” said Bohannon. “I see we are likely to have kids quarantine. We certainly hope not. We are likely to see larger numbers quarantine because there are going to be positive cases but we are going to do everything we can to quarantine quickly so we don't have students and parents missing class time."
Class began at 8:05 for intermediate and high school students and 8:15 for elementary students.v