PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – In-person instruction started Wednesday for Plano ISD, but the district is still allowing students to remain at home for virtual learning if they wish.

For a month, different rooms in Hilary Valente’s West Plano house served as classrooms for her three kids.

Wednesday, for the first time since March, they headed back to school.

“It felt a little bit normal which was very nice, she said. “Everybody was very excited and relieved too.”

Valente’s oldest, a junior at Plano West Senior High School, says she gets more out of in-person learning.

“I like seeing the teacher and hearing them speak,” Rachel Valente said. “At home I was kind of just relying on the fact that I could use my notes for things and I wasn’t really retaining the information.”

At all of the schools, social distancing and other safety measures are in place.

“A lot of stuff changed due to COVID, like one way halls and there’s a lot less people,” Rachel said.

“I know our teachers and principals have been working so hard to prepare for today and we’re welcoming back about 47% of our student body,” Plano ISD Superintendent Sara Bonser said.

Bonser said elementary and middle schools are currently offering five day a week in-person instruction.

High schools are doing two days in-person and three days at-home.

“They’ve done the best I think they can possibly do,” Valente said. “I’ll be happy if we’re able to maintain that.”

Erin Jones