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Students at Medora Elementary line up for lunch on the first day of in-person instruction at JCPS on March 17, 2021.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Academics will take somewhat of a back seat for Jefferson County Public Schools students during their first few days of in-person learning

Teachers and district leaders said students' mental health will take top priority as they transition away from full-time virtual learning.

"My first job right now, thinking about today, is social (and) emotional health," said Sara Hayden, a teacher at Bowen Elementary School. "It's going to be all about let's have fun, let's see each other, let's talk to children, let's play."

JCPS is encouraging teachers to reconnect with students and spend time checking in with them, aside from homework and testing. District officials said they don't know what students have been through, and supporting them will be key.

Students in the JCPS' early childhood program will return March 22 followed by those in middle and high school on April 5, immediately after spring break. 

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