JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — A few school districts in the Kansas City metro will allow elementary school students to learn in-person again.
Elementary students in Olathe whose families chose in-person learning will return to the classroom full-time later this month, according to the district. Beginning Sept. 28, all elementary and early childhood students will begin in-person learning five days a week.
In the Shawnee Mission School District, elementary students will start a hybrid schedule next month before transitioning to full in-person learning. Beginning Oct. 5, pre-K through second grade will start hybrid schedules, followed by students through sixth grade on Oct. 12.
Elizabeth Goebel, who has a fifth-grader in the Shawnee Mission School District, says trying to work at home and help her son with online learning has been tough.
"When he needs me, I can't just always stop and go and help him," Goebel said. "I can't devote all of my attention to his needs during this time when I am also working, so it is hard."
But there is some relief around the corner now that her son will return to in-person learning part of the week starting next month.
"We feel like it's better than no in-person at all," Goebel said.
But she does worry the transition still may not happen.
"I am just trying to be positive for him and optimistic," Goebel said.
Stephanie Avey's son Jack is doing the same hybrid schedule in Olathe. Avey said that at first, it was an adjustment
"The first week was a little nerve-racking with trying to figure out the different technology and the different links," Avey said. "But the teachers have done a really great job helping us out."
Next week, Jack is returning to school full-time. Avey said she is nervous if her son will like this new normal.
"I think it will be an adjustment just going from two days to five full days. I can't even remember the last time he was somewhere for five full days," Avey said.
Doctors at Emerson Hospital in Massachusetts suggest a few tips when preparing your student to go back to in-person learning.
When it comes to the virus, health experts suggest to tell your child that anyone can get the virus but that you are doing everything possible to make sure they are safe. If wearing a mask is an issue, start by having them wear the mask around the house for short periods of time, and then increase the time that they are able to tolerate.
At the end of the day, parents say they just want the best education for their children.
"I think it's just a different environment socially for him, interacting with those kids and hearing what they have to say," Avey said. "You learn a lot from your teacher, but you learn a lot from the kids that surround you."