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First Day Of School For San Jose Students A Very Different Distance Learning Experience

SAN JOSE (KPIX) - Students in San Jose attended their first day of school all online Wednesday after a last-minute deal this week allowing teachers who need to work from home to do so.

The San Jose Teachers Association union says the majority are working from their school classrooms and distance learning this Fall will be 'night and day' from Spring.

For teachers at Hoover Middle School, logging on at a virtually empty campus was the better option.

"Being able to come to the classroom gives them more space and privacy to do their job," said Hoover Middle School Principal Stephanie Palmeri-Farias.

"The majority of teachers were comfortable coming back into the classroom today but there was a considerable number of teachers who had some anxiety. Many of them have personal experiences with COVID-19," said SJTA President Patrick Bernhardt.

Vanessa Mincey and her three children came to the park after finishing their first day of distance learning.

"We did a scavenger hunt on Zoom even though we're not in the same classroom. That was very fun," said 4th grader Nathan Mincey.

"It was more of a let's get to know each other -- let's get accustomed to Zoom. It was short and sweet," said Mincey.

For Shelly Franco, taking care of her niece who started kindergarten Wednesday didn't feel very different from distance learning in the Spring.

"We're not in person and in front of a screen trying to keep the kid engaged and that's the hard part," said Franco.

"It feels different when you don't have children here at school, of course, but we are all learning ways to interact with our students virtually," said Palmeri-Farias.

"There are definitely technology issues to iron out and students trying to log on.That's to be expected," said Bernhardt.

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