NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro fifth and ninth graders wrapped up their first day back in the classroom on Tuesday.

News 4 talked with students and teachers at Overton High School as they were headings home for the day. Tuesday was 11 months since students have been around each other. There was a mix of emotions, but students and teachers said they did feel safe.

“Honestly, I hope to make better grades and better friends,” Anthony Gregorio Hernandez, who is a freshman at Overton High School, said.

“I’m hoping we can stay safe. We can continue to keep getting back to normal people continue to learn and we yeah, I get some normalcy back,” Tey Campbell, who is an exceptional ed teacher at Overton High School, said.

Over the weekend, Metro Schools teachers and staff started receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations as they prepare to phase in more students in the coming days.

The district used a "COVID risk score" to determine when to send children back to school, which is based on a number of factors, including seven-day positive test rates, seven-day new case averages and the transmission rate.

That score can be anywhere between 0 and 10, with 10 representing the highest risk and 0 the lowest. Metro Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle said the district would not consider a return to the classroom until the score fell below a 7. As of Tuesday, the score is a 4.5.

The plan for now is to have sixth, seventh, and eighth graders return on Friday and then next Wednesday, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders make their return to the classroom.

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