SAISD students return for in-person learning on the first day of school

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SAN ANTONIO – There’s a new school and a new level of excitement as teachers and students at the San Antonio Independent School District return to class in person.

Teachers and professors at the newly renovated Hot Wells Middle School, formerly Ball Academy, told KSAT12 how they felt about the first day.

Joanna Martinez, professor of mathematics, said she was “ecstatic” and Rogelio Escobar, director of the group, said he was “quite happy actually”.

WATCH: SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez talks about what students can expect when they return to class

David Alonzo, the boys’ athletic coordinator, said he was “excited”.

Amber Gates, the language arts teacher, said she was ready to start at a new school and have students back in her classroom.

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Valerie Urrabas, mother of a seventh-grade student at Hot Wells, said her daughter was doing much better in class, but was still hesitant to see COVID-19 cases increase.

“Just that the rise of COVID-19 doesn’t make them sick, but they have their masks on and I hope they’re okay,” Urrabas said, sharing his concerns about going back to class.

SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez said that despite Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s law against mask warrants, he felt quite confident in the safe return of students.

“Over 99% of our families have chosen to have their children wear masks,” Martinez said. “I asked my teachers to wear a mask because we are all still learning about these variations. And the vast majority of my staff have been vaccinated. “

RELATED: SAISD Transportation Director Talks With GMSA How They Plan To Keep Students Safe

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Eighth grade student Mady Jacobo said she felt behind her studies and was ready to be back in person and eager to work.

“I didn’t learn anything last year,” Mady said. “I was still at home asleep. I would never go online.

College math teacher Joanna Martinez said she feels safe with the security measures the district has put in place and believes this year will be more fruitful when it comes to learning.

“I feel like we can get closer to normal, especially when it comes to collaboration in classrooms and getting students to work with each other again instead of looking behind a screen,” Martinez said.

The superintendent said they would undergo COVID-19 testing at every school in the district, as well as vaccination centers at some of the district’s high schools.

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