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AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – On March 16, 2020, students across Ohio went home from school without knowing when they would return as coronavirus began to spread across the state.

Bars and restaurants in the state had closed the day before in a statewide mandate.

It was an unsettling time for people in Ohio.

Then kids, teachers, and parents had to learn how to do it all from home.

Now nearly a year later, it’s like the first day of school again for some kids.

Akron Public School kids K-2 and special needs students are the first to return to in-person learning in that district.

3rd through 12th grade returns on March 15.

It will give students, teachers, and parents the opportunity for some new normalcy after a year of looking at screens, and parents trying to step in as teacher’s assistants and educators while working and running households.

For kids, not only will they be getting that imperative in-person learning, they’ll also be receiving the benefit of a life with peers.

The district has planned assigned seating on school buses and staggered lunch periods.

APS reports 84% of its faculty is vaccinated.

The district says it is hiring additional people to help with all the changes.

“For people to come and work in our buildings for the next couple of months to help monitor kids at lunchtime, breakfast, all of those things, keep an eye on COVID compliance, because we just need extra people,” said Akron Public Schools Director of Marketing and Communication Mark Williamson.

About 30% of the district’s students opted not to return to the classroom.