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Schools: The New Normal | CBS2 Gets Look At Safety Measures At Elementary School In Wayne, N.J.

WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- It's a new school year and a new normal for students in New Jersey.

On Tuesday, many went back to school for the first time since March.

CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis spoke to some students and parents.

"I'm, like, so excited," said second grader Gabriella Aliano.

On their first day back to Packanack Elementary in Wayne, Gabriella and her twin, Tino, are all smiles behind their masks, which is just part of the new normal.

"Wash your hands, bring tissues, bring hand sanitizer," Tino said.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Schools: The New Normal

"Because there's a virus spreading and we don't want anybody to get sick," student Kaylee Maravi said.

Kaylee and her brother are also students there, tackling the blended model. Their parents are educators in other New Jersey school districts taking a different approach.

"I have to actually go back into work, so for working parents it's very difficult," Wendy Maravi said.

"It's chess moves. You have to make better movements. This could be the new norm. We don't know, so we have to adapt," Mario Maravi said.


The Maravis said they feel comfortable sending their kids back in.

"I think with the procedures and everything the district is doing and because it's a smaller school ... I think it's the best thing for them to go back to school," Wendy Maravi said.

"I think they need that influence with their teachers face to face. It's a lot better than virtual. Virtual is harder with the younger kids," added parent CJ Densmore.

"It was fun because it's a different grade and, like, everything changes," fifth grader Shamaa Ismaeil said.

MORESchools: The New Normal | N.J. Sounds Call For More Substitute Teachers, With Some Districts Paying A Lot More

The school's principal says about 25% of the student population chose all virtual, but those coming in will see safety measures, including social distance markers on the floors.

"Cohort A comes in Monday and Tuesday. Cohort B Thursday and Friday. Wednesday, everybody is virtual and the building gets a deep cleaning and sanitizing," Principal Roger Rogalin said.

Rogalin said the kids won't be served lunch. They'll be released at 1:45 p.m

Watch Jenna DeAngelis' report --

Wayne public schools are among the 400 districts Gov. Phil Murphy said are hybrid.

"Schools are reopening with hybrid in-person and remote learning. Sixty nine with all in-person learning, 238 are all-remote until a certain date and 28 or some combination of all of the of the above," Murphy said.

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Ninth grader Brielle Sirot is one of the students starting this week virtual and going in-person on Thursday.

"What are you excited for?" CBS2's Ali Bauman asked.

"Just the socialization. I miss seeing people," Brielle said.

"Well, it won't be a lot of socialization," said Brielle's mom, Dana Sirot. "You have very few [students] in the class at a time, which is great for social distancing."

Clifton public schools are starting the school year with all remote learning. Students stopped by School 11 to meet their teachers and pick up supplies, DeAngelis reported.

"We got two laptops, Chromebooks from the kids, and I'm thrilled," said parent Eddie Eddahbi. "I was a little concerned about adding that to the budget."

"I really, really, really like school," said student Salma Eddahbi.

And whether it's virtual or in person, the kids DeAngelis spoke to said they are just happy to be back.

The governor says the state has approved most districts' reopening plans, but 86 districts still have to make revisions on theirs and resubmit due to technical and staffing issues.

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