First day procedures looked different, but the energy remained the same.
On the first day of school, parents traditionally walk their elementary school students to their classroom, meet their teacher and get their child settled in at their desk .
However, this year as part of COVID-19 precautions, visitors to Sarasota County schools are not allowed on campus, which meant parents had to swiftly hug their mask-clad children before sending them through a one-way entrance into the school.
Although procedures were different, the students' attitudes stayed the same. Some children were bouncing up and down with excitement, ready to start their first day. Others clung to the parents' legs begging them not to leave.
About 25,000, or 70%, of the district's public school students chose to return to campus Monday, while another 28% chose the district's remote learning option.
Those returning to campus will wear masks except when eating and sit at desks with plastic barriers designed to help stop the spread of particles.
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.