DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, both on the calendar and for many North Texas students. For some of them it’s a summer that seems to have lasted for six months.

“It’s not usual,” said Erin Hodges, a mother of three. “It definitely feels like the last day of summer, and normally that’s in the middle of August, so it does feel a little strange.

Many North Texas students will be back in the classroom on Tuesday for the first time since the pandemic began.

Face coverings required sign outside school. (CBS 11)

“We went for a swim, and now we’re taking a nice walk to the park so she can get accustomed to the new playground,” said mother

Meghan McCord and daughter, Maggie. (CBS 11)

McCord’s daughter, Maggie, started kindergarten virtually on August 20.

But Tuesday, she said, will feel like the real first day.

“Oh, there will be plenty of tears,” she said. “When you’re all dressed up in your Sunday best and you’re ready to meet your teachers and actually sit in a classroom and see the Boone Bulldog mascot running around, I think it brings a lot of joy and happiness and excitement.”

Garland, Grapevine-Colleyville, Highland Park, Lewisville and Richardson ISDs are among the districts returning at least partially in-person on Tuesday.

All Lewisville ISD students will watch an instructional video about what to expect – all part of back-to-school preparations in the age of COVID-19.

“She’ll have her mask on,” said Hodges. “We’re packing a snack for her, so we had to speak about what its going to look like and how it’s going to feel different, but it’s to keep all of us safe and to keep us in school.

And that, some parents said, is a necessity.

“One of the biggest things about going back to school is making friends, and as long as they’re doing it in a safe way, they need that,” said McCord.

Districts with in-person learning are still offering virtual instruction as an option.

In Garland ISD, about 63% of families chose virtual.

At Highland Park ISD, about 18% are staying online.

CLICK HERE to see back-to-school plans for most North Texas school districts.