GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- Public schools in Gary, Indiana are back in session and the school year is extended by an hour.
Last year, Tierra Taylor had to learn remotely as a high school freshman. But Tuesday, she marked her first day of in-person learning at high school, .this time as a sophomore at West Side Leadership Academy.
"I was kind of nervous when I first came in but then when I found other people here and some of my friends was here then yeah I got happy," Taylor said.
Alessia Mims still harbors some fears about the pandemic.
"No, I'm not gonna let that stop me from getting my education," she said.
Gary Community School Corporation has several pandemic protocols in place, including a mask mandate for all students and teachers.
"I know if we have the mandates in place, we'll be fine and so if we continue to do what we did when we had our first re-entry, then I know that everything will go," said Tyneasha Banks, principal of Beveridge Elementary School.
"In addition, we put in all sorts of social emotional supports in place for our students and our staff i mean it's been traumatic," Paige McNulty emergency manager for Gary Community School Corporation.
Beveridge Elementary welcomed the littlest students, some who missed kindergarten in person.
Parent Briana Kind said she's confident her son will be safe and she's looking forward to one thing.
"Him making friends and having the in-class interaction with other students his age versus just being able to see them on a computer screen," she said.