KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – Even though some schools aren't returning to the classroom for a few more weeks, pre-K students are now back in class at United Inner City Services.

A lot of masked-up, happy faces could be seen at the St. Mark Center Wednesday morning, where early childhood education is back in session but with new safety protocols.

Anybody who comes into the building gets their temperature taken, and all staff and visitors wear masks. The number of people in the building is limited, and parents have to drop their kids off at the door.

Staff with the UICS say they have always focused on social and emotional growth for the 6-week to 5-year-old students. Now that includes explaining to students why people are wearing masks and school is different.

Staff members believe kids will benefit from the in-person interaction.

“Our expectations are, in all honesty, and first and foremost, is to provide some joy for our students,” Chief Engagement Officer Gene Willis told KCTV5 News. “Provide a joy of learning and way they can really connect with their teachers and that they can get back into this routine.”

UICS also has virtual options. Kids can take home an iPad to access online resources and join Zoom calls for “circle time.”

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