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Duluth middle, high schoolers return to in-person learning one year later

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DULUTH, MN -- It is not every year students head back to school for the first time in March, but the pandemic has made that the reality.

Some of Duluth's middle and high school students got to learn from inside the building Monday after a full year of distance learning.

Denfeld High School, along with Duluth's other middle and high schools, welcomed back 6th, 9th, and 12th graders for day one of hybrid learning.

"I'm also really excited to be back, but I'm also really nervous because I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, what is it going to be like to be back in this building?'" Denfeld High Senior Isabelle Beack said.

With student leaders like Simon Davidson to guide the way, 9th graders navigated new hallways to find their classrooms.

"It's definitely different," Davidson said. "You got to learn the school right away because you don't have leniency on the classes, but it's definitely an exciting place to have this many welcoming people here. It's got to feel good for them."

Davidson is a junior and a Denfeld Link Crew student leader.

"Right away they just got to jump in and get involved and not be shy about anybody," he said. "Everybody is just here to try to go to classes and just have a good time."

For the class of 2021, Monday was finally a bit of normalcy for the students that will soon graduate.

"There's not really much time left in the school year," Denfeld High Senior Felicia Gould said. "I don't really see the point of coming back now, maybe if it was earlier."

With only a few months left in the school year, Denfeld High's leaders are doing what they can to build Hunter Pride and make up for lost time.

"I also feel really excited just about being back because it's like, 'Oh, sweet. We at least get to come back for a little bit,'" Beack said.

Duluth schools will bring back more middle and high school students in the coming weeks.

Right now, secondary students get one day of in-person learning, but Duluth schools are working to increase that number to four days later this month.

Distance learning still remains an option for anyone who wants it.

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Kendall Jarboe

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