It was the first day of school for about 30,000 students in the South Bay as the San Jose Unified School District reopened campuses for the 2021-22 school year.
The morning drop-off was a mix of excitement and some nerves. Most students were returning to school in-person for the first time in almost two years.
A parent outside Trace Elementary School echoed what many parents were saying or thinking.
"I am happy that they’re back because last year was a struggle," Alma Martinez said. "But I am concerned obviously. COVID is very much real, but this is what it is. We have to adapt to it."
San Jose Unified has adapted thus far, with more than 90% of staff fully vaccinated and those who are not testing twice a week. Everyone will wear masks except while eating and drinking, and hand sanitizing will be a regular part of the day.
Superintendent Nancy Albarran said those protocols make school safe.
"We know our students are excited, but some are also anxious," she said. "Some haven’t been in schools for a long time, so we have all of our counselors available. We have the largest staff of nurses in county for this school district and so we're really happy we have that support."
The superintedent said there’s also a plan for when a student or staff member is infected.
Grandmother Alma Martinez feels good about the plan.
"They’re excited to go back and see their friends and hang out and do schoolwork instead of computer work," she said. "I feel safe. We follow the guidelines and we’re going to be fine."