AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in-person learning puts students at high risk for COVID-19.

Western mass news spoke went Agawam officials, who said although they will take what the CDC said into consideration, they are mainly listening to state and local health experts for guidance.

The CDC updated their guidance, now stating students who learn in-person are at high risk for the coronavirus, reversing their push for in-person learning this fall.

Western Mass News spoke with the interim superintendent at

Agawam Public Schools, Sheila Hoffman, said students in their community are sticking with the hybrid model.

"We are going to keep the course, as long as the data said we should," Hoffman said. So we monitor cases in the town and associated within our school district, school, and building, to see if there is a reason that we would consider going remote."

This development comes as the school district went remote for two weeks after the number of cases in the community put them in a high-risk category.

Some students returned to the classroom on Monday.

"With the kindergartners and first graders, because those are our youngest learners and those are the ones with the most difficulty learning remotely," she explained. "You could see the smile behind the mask. Their eyes were lighting up. They were so happy to be back."

Agawam Mayor Bill Sapelli said he is looking forward to the day when school halls fill up again.

"One of the difficulties that we have is that every school district throughout the state is keeping the six feet distance, but your classrooms only have so many square feet. You can only fit as many desks that are six feet apart," he noted.

Agawam parent Stephanie Petrazoni said the town's school district does a great job with her three kids. Two are learning hybrid. The other is in first grade and is back in school.

"I thought it was going to be a little more difficult than proved to be," she explained. "I think teachers are doing a tremendous job."

The school department said they are keeping a close eye on coronavirus cases, and as of now, they have eight in the school district.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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