Peoria Public Schools welcomed back students to summer classes after canceling last year because of the pandemic.
More than 2,000 students from pre-k through 12th grade returned to 14 sites hosting summer classes Monday.
PPS Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat said while many students opted out of summer classes this year, enrollment is up, jumping from about 700 students in 2019.
She said families were excited to get their kids in school to learn and be with their peers.
"The children are so happy to be back at school and to continue the learning," Desmoulin-Kherat said. "Kuddos to Peoria Public Schools for continuing to keep the learning going."
Children are still required to wear a mask throughout the day except during bathroom breaks and social distance when possible. Sites are operating at about 40% capacity.
Students will learn material from math, english, and reading subjects along with activities such as yoga, dance, and soccer.
Students are in class from 8:30 am to 2:30pm. Breakfast and lunch is provided.
The two dual learning programs has held in person classes four days a week throughout the pandemic where they learn English and Spanish.
"I know the challenge for teachers was to get students to pay attention and giving them that personal feel and not being them to touch the kids and having that relationship was the hardest thing," said Anna Rose, director of the Bilingual and Multicultural Program at PPS.
Students will be in pods of four where they will receive individualized instruction.
Rose said enrollment for summer classes is still open and are not turning away any applicants.