COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Class will officially be in session for Ohio’s biggest school district Thursday.
Columbus City Schools will be five days a week in person after a hectic school year last year, which consisted of both hybrid and virtual learning.
Parents and students expressed a mixed bag of emotions, with some saying they’re excited while others expressed some concerns and nervousness.
It’s been more than a year since students have been able to come to school in person five days a week.
For South High School senior Daizhon Cox, back to class will be a big change.
“Last year, I, maybe, had a total of 20 days in person for my whole junior year,” he said.
Cox said he’s ready for more structure, something he missed last year.
“You got to come to school five days a week,” he said. “You have football every day after, so definitely got to run a strict schedule, but I mean, I’m ready for it and that’s what I need.”
Parents also have first-day jitters.
“With the delta variant, we’re just feeling very nervous about this,” said parent Kate Curry-Da-Souza. “We have a high-risk kiddo.”
Curry-Da-Souza expressed concerns about safety protocols with COVID-19 and social distancing. She’s also concerned about bussing – the district streamlined routes because of a driver shortage.
“Now merging more than one school on a school bus, it just really raises the possibility of spread that you can’t do contract tracing as effectively,” she said.
“We’ll be waiting for it at 6:34 in the morning and see how that goes,” said parent Vanessa Savage. “We’re just going to keep our fingers crossed and hopefully all that works out.”
Savage said she’s looking forward to her eighth-grader going back into the classroom, saying he misses his teachers.
“To see them every day, I think, is going to be really awesome for him, to have some regular, every day ‘we have the same thing that we’re kind of doing,’” Savage said.
And for Cox, it’s also about his social and emotional health, being able to be back with his peers.
“We’re looking different, we’re thinking different, we have different perspectives on a lot of things, so I’m ready to reconnect,” he said.
The district is hosting a virtual engagement session following the first day of school, focusing on getting feedback from parents and students. For more on that session, click here.