LOS ANGELES - I caught a glimpse into the future Monday at the Resurrection Catholic School in Boyle Heights and it was a comforting sight. Children were back in the classroom and playing outdoors during recess.
Life felt somewhat normal again.
On March 8, all of the pre-K through 8th-grade students will have the opportunity to return to in-person learning at this inner-city Catholic school. It’s nothing short of extraordinary. It’s been almost a year since a soaring COVID-19 infection rate shut down schools, businesses and churches in a desperate move to save lives, especially with LA County being the epicenter of the virus.
On-screen learning replaced classrooms and classmates. Parents and kids alike were forced to learn Zoom school overnight.
Here at Resurrection, parents work hard to provide for their families. The average income is $32,000 a year for a family of four. So things like updated computers and powerful WiFi are hardly a given. In fact, nearly all of the kids attending this parochial school are on financial scholarships.
Slowly, incrementally children have been returning to this educational beacon on LA’s Eastside. The youngest students returned first.
On Monday, FOX 11 was given a tour of the school by Principal Catalina Saenz, on what happened to be "Wacky Day," which is why students and faculty wore funny clothes and hats.
Classrooms provided safe distance spacing for students and the rest of the class connected virtually on screen. In the hallways, our cameras found placards reminding kids to stand six feet apart, hand sanitizer not far from religious statues.
I spoke to several children of all ages. They were delighted to be returning to the normalcy of the classroom.
Little 5-year-old Abramm Ruiz told us "I missed my friends."
His big brother Aidann said sometimes he was late getting to his own virtual class in an effort to help his younger siblings in their online learning at home. But 12-year-old Aidann said, "I learned there all different kinds of ways to learn."
Their mom said simply "When they are happy; we are happy."
We can only hope as more and more schools open children will be happy again.