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Abington Heights welcomes back students

After hybrid-learning since October, Abington Heights welcomed students back on Monday to full-time in-person learning.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — A “Welcome Back” sign greeted students and staff outside Abington Heights High School.

Inside, six-foot distance markers line the hallways. Masks are a must, and desks are spread apart.

Classes at Abington Heights are back in-person five days a week for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak last March.

Senior James Brown spoke to Newswatch 16 at wrestling practice.

“It felt good to see everybody, see all of my teachers, and I can already feel the productivity,” said Brown.

Lindsay Kulenich has two daughters in the district. She had her worries.

“As a parent, I was a little bit leery, you know, with the virus still kind of being out there pretty rampant, but my kids were really excited; they couldn't wait to come back,” said Kulenich.

The school district returned to in-person classes under a hybrid model in October.

Now, as vaccinations increase and cases trend down, the district felt it was the right time to get back to in-person classes full-time.

“It felt a little different being so far away from everybody and obviously having to wear a mask all day, but the school did a really good job of trying to keep it as normal as possible,” said Brown.

The school district has also bought outdoor furniture so that once the weather gets a little warmer, students can have some classes outside.

“We'll have classes outside, we'll have windows that are open, so we're looking forward to the spring-like everybody but especially to have more kids outside and engaged in outdoor activities,” said Superintendent Michael Mahon.

Some parents have elected to keep their children on all virtual learning for the time being.

The school district says if there is a spike in COVID-19 cases, they are prepared to go back to virtual-learning full-time for everyone.