Staff are back in the classroom for the first time in a year, and some students will soon join them.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Public students are officially on spring break, but when they return, some will head back to the building on April 6.

“They are like, ‘Mr. Allen, show us the room’ so I held my computer and I was panning around the room,” said Pittsburgh Lincoln teacher William Cary Allen.

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Pittsburgh Lincoln staff spent the last week back in the classroom for the first time in a year.

“In a lot of ways, a lot of things are familiar. I mean, this is our school home. I always tell the kids, it’s just a building without them, so it will be the school once the kids are here,” Allen said.

The first group of students will join them after Easter.

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“To take a run at this for the last couple months of school, I think is great. I think it’s a breath of fresh air for the kids as they approach something close to what they expect from us,” Allen said.

Pittsburgh Public Schools is returning students in phases, but by the time the last group returns, there will be less than a dozen school days left. So why bring them back at all?

“It’s to provide our NCL survey for our kids to gauge where they are social and emotional and mentally as well to provide supports,” said Dr. Anthony Hamlet who’s PPS Superintendent.

Dr. Hamlet said outside of assessment, being in a building will allow students to recognize the end of the year and transition to a new grade or even a new building come the fall.

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Hamlet said the district is working to develop a plan with support staff to address the learning loss from the pandemic. He knows this is an issue and a concern for parents and hopes to provide those options for years to come.