Looming start of Wake County school year leaves many parents skeptical

Saturday, August 21, 2021
Looming start of Wake County school year leaves many parents skeptical
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While students may be excited for the new school year, many parents are stressing the return of in-person classes as COVID-19 delta variant cases continue to soar.

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The excitement of new school supplies, a fresh haircut and a new school year is palpable when you look at 11-year-old Erzsebet Klieman, of Apex.

"I'm kind of nervous but also really excited because I'm going to be going to a new school, new experience," Klieman said, showing ABC11 her new binder.

Erzsebet and her four siblings are getting ready to go to four different Wake County schools starting Monday.

Needless to say, mom, Hajnalka Klieman has been very busy.

"We have been doing a lot of laundry, just making sure that everyone has everything clean so they can choose what they want on the first day of school," Hajnalka said. "Also, I have been trying to wake everyone up earlier each day, started off the week like 8:30 then tried to move it to 8 o'clock, 7:30, 7 o'clock. Today was our 6:30 day. It did not work out well so Monday morning is going to be really hard," she said laughing.

The Klieman children learned virtually temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic and went back to school when Wake County resumed in-person instruction.

While COVID-19 delta variant cases are rising, Hajnalka feels Wake County Schools' COVID-19 protocols have been successful.

"I found that last year the masks and the sanitizing and the distance that they were able to do when my children did go back in person was extremely successful," Hajnalka said. "We did see some numbers of clusters at various schools but it wasn't nearly the level that I had feared it would be once everyone got back in so I do feel like our measures are working and I do believe that school is probably the safest place for them right now."

Hajnalka added, "I do have two children who are too young to be vaccinated so it's a concern for me but everyone else in my house has received the vaccine. We're all eligible. So we're doing our best to mask up everywhere."

Meanwhile, other parents are also cautious for the start of the school year after Wake County Public Schools made it known that there is a staffing shortage for online learning.

"I'm definitely nervous. It's a super tough decision. There are so many things, so many variables you are weighing," said Bridget Kozlow, a mother of a nine-year-old."We're pretty stuck since Wake County hasn't changed. They're not opening another registration for virtual academy right now."

In the meantime, Wake County Public Schools has 10,700 students who will start in the Virtual Academy.