It is a big day for families across Eastern Iowa. Many local school districts are set to begin classes today, including the Cedar Rapids school district. Kids are picking out what to wear, getting their new backpacks filled with their school supplies. But for the third straight year, the new school year will once again be started in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. And that's a lot for kids and parents to deal with.

My kids are set to start school in the Marion school district on Wednesday. Lets just say that two out of our three kids are excited about going. Chase is in high school and is wearing a brace on his left arm. I get that his excitement level is somewhat dampened. And while as a parent, I'm excited for my kids to learn in person this school year (and get them out of the house), I'm nervous about what that could possibly mean when dealing for the Delta variant of COVID. School districts around the country have seen a surge in cases once the school year began. Will that happen here in Iowa too?

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Schools are doing their best to keep our kids safe, I truly believe that. While the governor continues to stand firm on no mask mandates for Iowa schools, our kids will be wearing them to start the year. We sat down and talked about why they should wear them, and then left it up to them. Only Cayleigh, who is 11, is unvaccinated. The girls both decided that they would wear them, and Chase isn't right now.

I hope that schools can remain safe places of learning. I don't know about your kids, but mine don't do so well with the virtual learning. They need that in class supervision. The guidance and leadership that great teachers provide. As if teachers don't deal with enough during a normal school year, they too have to deal with COVID again in this new school year. Here's to a great, and hopefully healthy, school year for all students and educators!


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