By Caroline Vandergriff

(CBSDFW.COM) – It may seem hard to believe, but thousands of North Texas students will be going back to school Monday morning.

The 2021-2022 school year begins Monday, Aug. 2, for Garland and Duncanville ISD, along with several Dallas ISD campuses.

“Very odd to be going back so early and ending at the same time of year as they did last year,” said Holly Thomas, whose daughter is a Garland ISD student.

They were one of dozens of families out shopping for school supplies on Sunday.

“We did wait too late so it was harder to find markers, stuff like that,” said Kenedi Reyna, whose 4-year-old son is starting pre-K on Monday.

Parents and students have mixed feelings about tomorrow – excitement, but nervousness too.

“We know you have anxiety,” said Shanieka Christmas-McDonald, principal of H.I. Holland Elementary at Lisbon. “You’re anxious, you’re scared. It’s COVID. I still have learn… So we have to nurture that.”

H.I. Holland Elementary at Lisbon is one of five Dallas ISD schools cutting summer break short to help students get back on track, after the pandemic caused many to fall behind because of the sudden change to remote learning.

“This year with our redesign, it afforded us the opportunity to really rethink our calendar, our day,” Christmas-McDonald said.

Gov. Greg Abbott has prohibited schools from requiring masks and online classes will not be offered.

Still, some parents say other precautions being put in place make them feel more comfortable about in-person learning.

“It’s a relief off my shoulders because I work also,” Thomas said. “Trying to make sure she’s logged in and doing what she needs to do was really hard on me last year.”

Now, these students will get a jump start on a new school year with new goals.

Caroline Vandergriff