FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. — Some Orange County schools already have students back in the classroom. Other students will be returning soon as part of a hybrid model where learning will take place in-person and remotely. 

What You Need To Know

  • Elementary students in the Fountain Valley School District returned to the classroom this week

  • Students go to school only for a fraction of a regular school day

  • Remote learning will supplement the limited in-person learning

  • Some residents are happy, but others are worried

Arek Djermakian drops off and picks up his 7-year-old daughter Sophia at James Cox Elementary. Even though it is just for a couple hours, Sophia was raving after her first day back in the classroom on Tuesday.

“It was like cool because it was my first day. We had so much fun,” said Sophia.

Djermakian’s daughter is in elementary school, and his son is in middle school. Both are part of the Fountain Valley School District.

Since he is the work-from-home parent, he is also largely in charge of making sure the kids are learning. Both kids are returning to the classroom, but not at the same time.

They are on different schedules, and it is up to dad to make it work.

“It’s an absolute mess, but again, it’s challenging for everybody,” said Djermakian.

However, not everyone is sharing the excitement of returning to school.

Alex Goodman teaches in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Their students are also returning to the classroom soon and Goodman worries it is too soon and that the administration’s plan has not been fully fleshed out with input from the community. 

“We have a very long list of problems that we see here, but they haven’t been addressing those concerns,” said Goodman.

Djermakian, however, believes this is the right direction.

“I think taking it slowly but surely is better. Although, for a parent it is definitely going to be a lifesaver for them to go a full day at school. It’s very hard for us as parents to keep up with this whole thing,” said Djermakian.

It may be the middle of the semester for some school districts, but families are still adjusting to a new rhythm.