DALLAS — Set those alarm clocks! Many kids in Dallas, Duncanville and Garland will be heading back to school Monday. Many parents and students are also feeling nervous about sending their children back as COVID-19 and the Delta variant is at risk.
We spoke to Diego Baylon who will be in 4th grade at a Dallas-area school. He’s looking forward to seeing his friends and teachers but said he's a little nervous.
"Things might be harder, but more challenging,” Diego said.
Students at Edna Rowe Elementary and four other Dallas ISD schools will be starting on Monday morning, as part of the “school day redesign calendar.” While he hopes to be a doctor one day, the 9-year-old Diego is educating himself about COVID-19 and the Delta variant.
“It’s starting to spread more around,” Diego said.
Local health officials have said schools are not super-spreaders of COVID-19. Students will be sitting three feet apart, they will be asked to wash their hands regularly and they will have the option to wear a mask.
Diego will be motivating his friends to wear a mask in school and take precautions.
“[The mask] is a little bit uncomfortable, can’t breathe too much. It protects your people,” Diego said.
Diego's father Jose says that while they choose not to get vaccinated, they’re making sure Diego knows what to do.
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“We wash our hands everywhere we go. The wife is constantly harping on us with hand sanitizers,” Jose Baylon said.
Duncanville ISD is also starting school early on Monday.
“We want to make sure our parents and teachers feel comfortable coming back into the school year, as it relates to their safety,” Duncanville ISD superintendent Marc Smith said.
The school district is not only focused on safety. It's also focusing on the adjustment process, as many students are headed back to in-person learning for the first time.
“All of our students will be 100% face to face, so as we begin the school year, there won’t be a virtual option,” Smith said.
As thousands of kids are getting ready for their first day of school, Diego wants everyone to be kind to one another.
“I hope they do good and wear a mask,” Diego said.