PHILADELPHIA - For so many districts, Monday was the first day of school. Philadelphia students are back in the classroom Tuesday, beginning a school year full of excitement and anxiety.
"I’m excited to see friends again, because it’s been a long time," sixth grader Hawa Bangra stated.
Fifth grader Zaliyah Simpson exclaimed, "I’m excited to have a teacher in person."
Students beyond happy to be heading back to school in the Philadelphia school district. For some, it will be the first time in a classroom in a year and a half, courtesy of COVID-19.
- SLA Beeber students revert to virtual learning as building improvements continue
- North Philadelphia high school requiring students to be vaccinated by Monday
- Philadelphia School Board votes to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for teachers, staff
- Archdiocese of Philadelphia students, staff required to wear masks
- School District of Philadelphia will require teachers, students to wear masks in the fall
"She’s been in house, doing home schooling," aunt Kimberly Luces commented.
Monday’s back-to-school shopping trip at a South Philadelphia Target was quite a family affair for Zaliyah Simpson.
"Really, the list was just a lunch bag, but, as you can see, we did lunch, we did snacks and, for some reason, we did a rice cooker. I don’t know why," Luces laughed.
The district is requiring Philly teachers and staff to be vaccinated and masks are mandatory for everyone. But, grandmother Irma Luces still has mixed emotions when it comes to COVID and her granddaughter’s safety.
"She’s only 10, so I’m a little concerned because they didn’t get the shot, yet," Irma explained.
Paris Jones, father of a second grader, feels the same way. "It’s just with the COVID and everything that’s going on. It’s kind of difficult, but we are gonna try it," Jones said.
Amy Garcia is getting her little ones ready for pre-K and kindergarten.
"We’re just doing what everybody’s doing," Garcia said. She’s also a French teacher at Franklin Learning Center and is psyched for the big day.
"I miss the students. We were still teaching, but it wasn’t the same, so I’m excited to have them back in the classroom and get to be with them in person and everything," Garcia added.