It's been 179 days – or nearly half a year – since any students were present in the majority of Verona Area School District buildings.

But as the first day of school started for the district on Tuesday, Sept. 8, a percentage of grades K-2 students and staff were reunited in-person at the district's four elementary schools and three charter schools for half-day in-person instruction. Some K-2 students opted to learn virtually for the entire semester, and students in grades 3-12 will start the year virtually, but be phased in when the county meets certain benchmarks of lowering the average of daily new cases of COVID-19.

Earlier this summer, in-person summer school was held for two weeks at Country View Elementary School. To the district's knowledge, no COVID-19 cases were attributed to being contracted during those in-person sessions.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at kimberly.wethal@wcinet.com and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.​