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Parents: What’s it like sending your kids to school this year?

Schools reopened in-person for the first time in more than a year.

Ethan Reyes, a 4th Grade student at the Henderson School, boards his bus on Bowdoin Street. David L Ryan/Globe Staff

For parents in Massachusetts, early September means back to school and this past week would’ve been like any other back-to-school season in the state — if not for the ongoing pandemic.

After two years of remote and hybrid learning, schools in Massachusetts are finally fully reopened to students and educators. State education officials mandated students across the state return to full-time, in-person learning, and for students in Boston, that return came last week. 

Since schools closed in the early days of the pandemic, the state’s schools have gone through different cycles of opening, closing, and hybrid learning. In March 2021, Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration ordered all schools to start a hybrid model for grades K-8. Then, in May, classes resumed in person with just a month left in the school year. 

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A return to the classroom feels like a step toward normalcy, but for many families and educators, there are still concerns about how the ongoing pandemic will impact student’s health and learning. Gov. Charlie Baker and student education leaders have emphasized a localized approach to COVID-19 precautions. There is a statewide mask mandate for schools but other measures will be determined by districts. 

Many school-aged children are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Masks will be required at all times, and for families in Boston Public Schools that have agreed to comply, regular virus testing will be the norm.

In Boston, students in first through 12th grades went back to class last week and pre-K and kindergarten students officially began the 2021-2022 school year Monday, Sept. 13. The start of the school year was not without hiccups. Some parents reported that school buses were missing in action for the first day of classes, and questions still remain about what will happen if cases start to surge. 

Throughout the pandemic, the question of if and when students should return to the classroom has been a contentious one. Remote learning has been hard on students and parents who’ve had to readjust their lives to help their children get through it without a clear sign of when regular school would return. Now that it’s finally here, we want to hear from parents: How does it feel having your kids return to school for the first time in close to two years? 

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Let us know by filling out the survey below or e-mailing us at [email protected] and we’ll feature your response in a future article. 

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