By Matt Petrillo

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – It’s back-to-school Monday for Camden City School students – for the first time in over a year. Schools have been closed for over a year because of the pandemic.

A parade of teachers, police officers and elected officials welcomed pre-k to second-grade students back to in-person learning Monday at the Henry Braid Wilson Family School in Camden.

READ MORE: Seven Years After Her Disappearance, Still No Traces Of What Happened To Amanda DeGuio

“The teachers have been doing a great job teaching online and the students were engaged but it’s nothing like having our students coming back,” H.B. Wilson Family School Principal Nicole Harrigan said.

The return to school comes after many teachers received COVID-19 vaccines.

READ MORE: Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley Resigns Over Mishandling Of Remains Belonging To Victims Of 1985 MOVE Bombing

“We don’t require teachers tell us that they’ve been vaccinated but they can volunteer that information. But we know that many of our staff members have been vaccinated,” Camden City Schools Superintendent Katrina McCombs said.

Officials say before students and staff arrived, safety upgrades were made to classrooms.

“In all of our buildings, we upgraded our filtration system to the highest level of filtration. And we also made sure that we deeply sanitized and scrubbed,” McCombs said. “We have everything socially distanced with regards to desks in each of our buildings throughout the district.”

School officials say they are working to phase in other grades in the coming weeks.

Camden students are on a hybrid schedule as schools re-open. The phase-in approach to reopening begins with pre-k to 2nd graders Monday. The next phase includes 3rd to 5th graders, and later middle and high school students will follow.

MORE NEWS: 2 Young Unresponsive Children Rushed To Hospital After Mother Jumps Out Window, Philadelphia Police Say

This comes as New Jersey opens COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 or older on Monday.