LINCOLN (CBS13) – It was the first day of class for thousands of students in the Western Placer Unified School District in Lincoln on Tuesday, with some making a return to campus.

Students filled the halls at Scott M. Leaman Elementary, which opened its doors for the first time ever. The new state-of-the-art school is built for the COVID-19 crisis.

“So there’s filters throughout the campus,” contractor Bill Arcara said. “There’s acrylic shielding throughout classrooms to separate kids from the teachers and students from students.”

Families like the Grosses said they are looking toward the future.

“This is a big step for our community and we love it. This is awesome,” said mother of three, Paula Gross.

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Anxious parents arrived with a safety message at sendoff.

“We’ve been in masks for so long, but the kids have never been in masks for as long as they are going to be here for today,” Dana Lockwood said.

Becky Guzman has two kids in the school. Her youngest is in kindergarten.

“A little bit of butterflies. We just want to keep him safe and keep the teachers safe too,” she said.

“I run my own business out of my house, so it’s been tricky bouncing back and forth between kids and having a one-year-old,” Gross said.

Many students were ready to be back in front of teachers at Lincoln High School, although it will take some adjusting.

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“It is kind of weird because we are so used to seeing everyone online and now our teacher is wearing a mask and she is trying to teach us and other teachers online at the same time,” said Abby Smebley, a junior.

Emma Oran, also a junior, said social distancing has resulted in social awkwardness.

“Normally on the first day of school I’m OK with talking to a bunch of people versus today – it was weird,” Oran said.

School staff gave students a warm welcome in a new normal. Parents hope the kids appreciate the efforts made by all.

“I think we all took for granted our teachers and the community here and our friends and seeing everyone and being able to touch and high five and now, I think this is going to be awesome,” Gross said.