RICHARDSON, Texas - About two dozen North Texas school districts returned to in-person learning Tuesday.
For those kids things were definitely different, with face masks required and temperatures being taken. But most people FOX4 spoke with said things went smoothly, even with all the new protocols in place.
“We’ve been waiting to make this walk. We live two blocks away. She’s been counting down,” said mom Sara Beukema.
Beukema originally planned to do virtual school with her first grader for the first nine weeks, but they changed their minds after experiencing the long hours of online work.
“She has been home so long, she’s so social. Really missing friends. I can tell there is a lightness about her. Since she found out coming to school. So much happier. Second we told her going back she was beyond thrilled,” Beukema said.
It was a similar scene at other districts as well.
SKY4 was up early with parents dropping off students at Farmers Branch Elementary School and as students returned to Lewisville High School and Central Junior High in Euless.
Later, the kids were wearing masks for recess midday, but you didn't need to see their mouths to know they were smiling.
Richardson ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone visited Math Science Technology Magnet Elementary School as students filled classrooms for the first time since March. Clear dividers were in place for added protection.
“It was a little emotional to have the kids in person with us,” she said.
Stone said when virtual learning began, attendance dropped by 2,000 students.
“A lot of them are planning to come back for in person. End of this week we’ll have a good idea of where we stand,” Stone said.
Despite the changes, many parents said they felt it was the best thing for their children.
“The socialization aspect of it, being around people, being around friends... they actually learn better in-person being taught by a person,” said Jennifer Bargy, a Grapevine-Colleyville ISD parent. “I think they are willing to do whatever is required of them so they can have in-person learning. They can have the athletics because they really need it.”
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Mansfield ISD were among the districts in Tarrant County welcoming back students Tuesday.
At the end of their first day at Parkcrest Elementary School in Garland ISD, students said it felt good to be back.
“We had to wear masks the whole day. Other than that it was nice, I had fun all day,” said student Isaiah Alberty.