(WXYZ) — Nearly 1.5 million K-12 students are headed back to school Tuesday in Michigan. It'll be the very first day of the 2021 school year for some.
In the wake of masking debates, rising infection rates, and overall uncertainty, parents are doing their best to prepare.
The Sosnowski family is sad to see the summer go.
Mom Lori is sending four kids off to school in the morning and she's happy to know everyone will be masked up.
"I have four kids that go to six classes, so that's 24 classes that those kids are going to every day," said Lori Sosnowski, who has four kids in Wayne County schools. "I'm a substitute, I'm going into different classes and my husband is in the restaurant business; that's just a lot of point of contact."
All of Sosnowski kids are vaccinated and thrilled to go back to school if only to see their friends.
Sosnowski says her goal is to keep them healthy and hopefully avoid virtual learning.
"Nobody thrived, they all did okay, they all did well, they did what they were told," said Sosnowski. "They moved on but they did not like virtual."
Back to school will look different for many parents and students with new pandemic protocols.
Normally, Marisha Harris would walk her second-grader into the building on her first day; a new school protocol says she can't.
"That's really saddening, but I understand trying to keep her safe and the other parents safe," said Harris, whose daughter attends Washington-Parks Academy.
"I am just going to keep my fingers crossed that this will go smooth and we will kind of just go day by day."
Rolling with the punches is Harris's guiding philosophy with pediatric COVID cases on the rise. She makes sure her daughter, no matter how young she is, has all the facts.
"I don't want to shut her out of the world, because this is the world that we live in, so I just try to be as safe as I can," said Harris.