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St. Maria Goretti becomes first Catholic school in LA County to reopen classrooms

teacher Heather Hernandez watches over students on the first day of in-person instruction

Blustery gusts of chilly air and swirling autumn leaves provided a fitting backdrop for the winds of change moving through St. Maria Goretti School Monday morning.

From a line of cars stretching across the campus, parents dropped off young students sporting new uniforms, backpacks, and face masks as the Long Beach school on Oct. 26 became the first Catholic school in Los Angeles County to reopen for in-person instruction since the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown last March.

After scanning their students’ foreheads with digital thermometers, face-masked teachers welcomed them into sanitized classrooms, where desks were spaced 6 feet apart and, per some parents’ request, were outfitted with plexiglass partitions.

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