GILBERT, AZ — Tuesday is not the first day of school but it feels like it for many students as it marks the first day of in-person learning. Over a dozen districts including Gilbert Public Schools are moving kids into the classroom.
"I want to see my teacher," says second-grader Liam Stringer of Chandler, who attends a private school.
His brother, Adam Shirley-Lucero, a senior at Seton Catholic Prep, says he is ready to connect.
"Definitely a connection with the teacher like face-to-face rather than online because I’m meeting a couple of these teachers for the first time over the computer and you don’t really feel connected with them," says Shirley-Lucero
The Shaffer family attends Gilbert Public Schools. Amanda Shaffer says the district is doing a hybrid model, allowing her kids two days of in-person instruction and three days online. Shaffer listened to the governing board’s meeting a few weeks ago and feels confident in the safety measures that have been put into place.
"The numbers are trending down, I’m still not completely comfortable but the alternative isn’t good in my opinion," says Shaffer.
In nearby Chandler, Emma and Jacob Ramnarine say they are ready to go back to school, as their district is doing a staggered approach to in-person instruction that begins in one week.
“Ups and downs! At first, we started doing nothing, being bored on iPads and then we started school and we thought that would be fun but then we went straight to online and so it’s been kinda crazy," says Emma.
Parents do know and understand that if COVID-19 numbers start climbing in Arizona, the chances of their children remaining in-person will diminish.