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Mary Immaculate Queen, St. Rose-McCarthy welcome students back
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Mary Immaculate Queen, St. Rose-McCarthy welcome students back

Mary Immaculate Queen School and St. Rose-McCarthy Catholic School both began their first days back in the classroom since COVID-19 moved school to distance learning.

"It was just pure joy," Mary Immaculate Queen School Principal Rachael Manzo said. "All of us were so happy and so excited. The kids were jumping up and down and the teachers were thrilled, energized to be here."

Manzo, who's in her third year as principal, said their excitement led to the staff getting to school an hour early, but it was well worth it with everything that needed to be readied for the students.

There were temperature checks and hands were washed, while students were socially distant. Still, the interaction was something both teachers and students had missed.

"I feel like our students were just missing [interaction]," Manzo said. "Even if it is social distanced, they still see their friends. They see their eyes light up. Yes, their faces are behind a mask, but they’re still in the same room together which I think has been great."

Mary Immaculate Queen and St. Rose-McCarthy's waivers are good for Tk-sixth grade schooling. They are only one of a handful of schools who were approved for a waiver and one of three locally.

"It’s a huge sense of pride," Manzo said. "We were praying so hard and when we got word that we got our waiver, I could not stop crying."

Manzo said she worked on the waiver application with the Diocese of Fresno for weeks. She called it an accomplishment to get the waiver granted and prove that they could keep children safe in their classrooms.

"To open today was just a validation of that," Manzo said.

Noe Garcia can be reached at (559) 583-2431 or Follow Noe on Twitter at @noecarlosgarcia.

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