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.

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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.”

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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.

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“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