WOODLAND (CBS13) — Hundreds of students at Woodland Christian saw staff face to face for the first time Tuesday since the coronavirus pandemic hit. This comes after the private school applied for a waiver to allow in-person instruction.

“I have missed you!” said teachers and staff to students as they arrived at the front door.

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The Oroczo family couldn’t wait to get back to class.

“Feels really good as far as us being eager to get back to school and for her to be around friends, doing stuff on the computer is real hard,” said Daniel Oroczo.

They were greeted by Nicole Stanton, who works there and also has five kids attending the school.

“So for them to be able to be in school, they are happier and when they’re happier, they come home happier. And I’m happier,” Stanton said.

READ MORE: Woodland Christian School Reopens To Elementary Students Under County Waiver Process

Many parents have been overwhelmed overseeing distance learning, which was put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I am so excited. This is the best day ever!” said Autumn Castro.

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As they hugged hello, they are grateful for the human connection and to have a place for kids to learn while they get back to work.

“It means having a break. Getting life a little back to normal again. It’s been so hard,” said Jennifer Crouch.

But back to school instruction looks a little different. In order to make the grade for a waiver, certain health and safety protocols had to be put in place. Many things like temperature checks, social distancing and mandated masks for those in third grade and up.

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“We have outdoor handwashing stations, even going to bathrooms in large groups,” said school administrator Matt Diehl.

Diehl says the school has worked with the county to come up with a way to keep everyone safe.

“The health department helped us line up our pods so we limit the exposure. We have staff assigned specifically to each pod,” he said.

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Families like the Oroczos say the new best practices are needed so kids can begin a school year sitting in front of their beloved teachers instead of in front of a computer.