Trading whiteboards and notebooks for computer screens, students and teachers at most schools in Tracy and Mountain House started the school year with distance learning this week.

Tables in bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms turned into school desks as students started their online schooling after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that counties on a state watch list for heightened COVID-19 activity had to begin the school year with distance learning. Distance learning will continue until a county has been off the state watch list for 14 consecutive days.

Tracy Unified, Jefferson and Banta school districts began classes on Tuesday, with Lammersville Unified School District students beginning class on Thursday.

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