Some Wake County parents OK with masks as long as kids can be in class

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's almost time for Noora Hyder's daughter, Lena, to head back to class.

She starts third grade at Olive Chapel Elementary School in Apex on Monday.

It's the first time she will be inside a classroom since last March.

And Lena will be wearing a mask.

"Honestly I'm very nervous," Hyder said. "She has to go back though, because I have to get to work. It's hard juggling."

Lena is too young to get a vaccine as is her younger brother, who is heading to daycare.

Her upcoming first day comes after the CDC on Tuesday encouraged masks for all teachers, staff and students regardless of vaccination status.

RELATED: As COVID-19 cases surge, nervous Wake County parents prepare for school year

Just last week, the state said children and staff in grades K-8 should wear a face covering indoors regardless of vaccination status but high school students who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear a mask.

Keith Sutton, chair of the Wake County School Board, said they're examining the changing landscape in the next few days and they'll "take into account all the information that is available to us and make a decision at that time."

Next Tuesday is the next meeting of the board.

"If wearing a mask is what it takes to keep my daughter in school, so be it," said Stefanie Waller, who has a 9-year-old daughter with autism.

She sent her daughter back to Oak Grove Elementary School in Holly Springs as soon as she could.

"We've had a great few months," she's come a long way with her reading and math," Stefanie said.

She wishes masks weren't required, especially for children like hers with sensory issues, but she'll take it.

"It's the risks and benefits," she said. "The benefit of her being in school and being with her peers and having hands-on instruction with qualified special-education teachers is far greater than any distractions of having to wear a mask."
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