SUMTER, S.C. — Marley Edmunds, a Sumter School District student, woke up Monday excited for the day ahead.
"She woke up on time and was actually ready before she needed to be," Dana Edmunds, her mom, said.
For the first time in weeks she would return to the classroom for some in-person learning, after the district loosened COVID-19 restrictions that kept students at home.
"So, I was kind of excited for her, you know? She was excited, so that made me excited for her," Dana said.
Dana said Marley has some learning difficulties that make virtual instruction a challenge.
"She does better face-to-face," Dana said.
Now, she and others have the option.
English language learners and those receiving some special education returned Monday for some in-person instruction. Later this week, prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade students who choose to will join.
Those returning will be split into two groups for social distancing. While Group A is learning in-person, Group B will be learning virtually and vice versa.
Increased sanitation and social distancing measures are in place, according to the district.
Dana is hoping the measures will be enough to keep students in the classroom long-term.
"The kids need to be around kids," Dana said. "They need to have that social interaction because that's a big part of their life."
The Sumter School District has also released updated bus route information for those returning. That information can be found on the district website.