By CBSLA Staff

SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — Thousands of students in the San Bernardino Unified School District returned to in-person learning Monday for the first time since March of 2020.

Across the district, about 47,000 students headed back to campuses for the first time in eighteen months.

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“We get to practice with our team and get to cheer our team on, it’s just a very special moment today,” said student and cheerleader Mariana Mendivil.

To try to keep students and staff safe, the district is mandating everyone mask up indoors.

Before stepping into schools, students will also be asked to do daily health checks and to remain home if sick.

On campuses, air scrubbers will be at work, with numerous sanitizing and safety protocols in place.

Unlike Los Angeles Unified, San Bernardino City Unified will not require regular negative COVID tests.

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District leaders say they will make rapid tests available through new COVID liaisons whose job will be to identify kids with symptoms or exposures.

“Medically supervised professionals who will be managing the entire COVID response at each school,” said Executive Director of Communications Ginger Ontiveros.

San Bernardino parents were given the option of continuing with online learning at home this year.

One mom who chose to keep her daughter home said, “She did really good so I’m going to keep her online just to see what happens with everything that’s going on.”

The district says over 95% of students indicated they’re heading back to in-person learning. Some students said they’ve missed things you can’t do over Zoom.

“I’m a football player so the football season,” said one student. another said, “You get to have events like dances, rallies, those are fun. I miss those”

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Though many students returned to campus, some parents are still worried about the highly contagious Delta variant and are hoping the precautions in place work.