INDIANAPOLIS — Over the last few days, the first set of students in central Indiana have returned to the classroom both in person and online.
A student also tested positive for COVID-19 in Greenfield, along with teachers across several districts.
Starting Monday, more students will head back to school, whether it's walking into a classroom or learning from the comfort of their home.
"It's scary to send your babies out there," said parent Lisa Poulakis. "It just is."
Poulakis and her husband opted for virtual learning. Her twin boys start seventh grade on Wednesday in Perry Township.
"Right now, we feel like we've made the best, safest decision for them," said Poulakis.
Poulakis said she's concerned about the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases and what is still unknown about the virus.
"I just feel like at some point if the numbers keep going up, we're going to end up at home anyway, so get ahead of the curve and get them used to it, and it won't be a shock," said Poulakis.
Poulakis is a stay-at-home mom and said her boys can transition to hybrid learning later on.
For some parents, preparing for the transition won't be easy. The Centers for Disease Control recommends parents do the following:
- Develop and practice daily routines at home before and after school. For example, packing extra hand sanitizer, masks and washing hands before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
- Check with your child each morning for signs of illness.
- Prepare for virtual learning if school closes or if your child becomes exposed to COVID-19.
- Communicate with your child, anticipate behavior changes and watch for signs of stress and anxiety.
"I can pretty much field most of their anxieties. I tell them we can control what we can control. We can't control the world, but we can do what we can do to stay safe," said Poulakis.
A handful of other schools are starting their semesters next week.
In Marion County, Franklin Township starts virtually Monday, then transitions to in-person learning on Aug. 5. Decatur Township starts on the Aug. 6 with a hybrid schedule, and Warren Township starts the same day, offering virtual classes and alternating schedules.
Other districts, including Zionsvillle, Speedway, Noblesville, Plainfield and Hamilton Southeastern, also start next week.