While people are continuing to become vaccinated against COVID-19, including some students, the Delta variant is on the minds of many.By Lindsay Ward

NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) — For many parents, whether they should send their children back to class full-time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to carry on is a difficult decision they face.

Along with the changing mask guidelines and safety protocols, it hasn’t been easy. One local parent, who is also a teacher, spoke with KDKA about how she feels when it comes to sending her two children back inside their school building.

This situation is something that parents and children have never gone through before. While people are continuing to become vaccinated against COVID-19, including some students, the Delta variant is on the minds of many.

When KDKA’s Lindsay Ward spoke with Lorin Ervin, the K-12 Gifted Education Coordinator at the New Kensington-Arnold School District, she says shutting schools down completely is their greatest fear.

She tells KDKA that her two kids, who are 16 and 14, are both vaccinated, and will be learning in-person five days per week.

She says both are excited to see their friends and teachers again. Virtual learning for them last year was tough at times, and she does believe the lack of social interaction didn’t help.

At the New Kensington-Arnold School District right now, masks are mandatory for all students in grades K-12. Ervin tells KDKA that with her kids taking steps to protect themselves, she is confident that they will be safe.

“And my kids know, hand sanitizer, wash their hands. And when they come home, they clean up, wash their hands, change their clothes, so they’re not bringing anything home,” Ervin said.

“So I think, all those protection layers will help tremendously. I tell them to be patient with their teachers, with other students, and to be organized,” Ervin went on to say.

Ervin says that while the pandemic has been tough and has drastically changed their lives, it also has taught her kids a lot, including time management skills and how to occupy themselves.

Teachers and staff will return to school buildings in the district on Tuesday, while students will return next week. With changes more than likely to happen, Ervin says they’re taking everything day-by-day.

For KDKA’s comprehensive coverage of all things related to the return to classrooms, click here.

Click here for KDKA’s Back to School Mask Guide, that includes information on what Health & Safety measures every school district in the area is taking, along with mask guidelines required by each district.