LEXINGTON, Ky. — Across the state, families are getting ready to send their kids back to school, closing the summer months with one last hurrah.

What You Need To Know

  • Students are getting ready for back to school

  • The Glass daughters spent this summer at a summer program at FCPS

  • They're looking forward to resuming school activities like cheer tryouts, dance and more

  • FCPS' first day of school is Aug. 11

The Glass daughters are one family making preparations to return to Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS).

One summer afternoon, they are swinging away in their backyard while their mother, Alena, is making dinner.

“To see my friends, new teachers,” said Lily, age 8, an elementary student in the third grade.

 She and her sisters, Savanna, 13, and Addison, 12, recall the differences between last year’s back to school to this year.

Last school year, students didn't return to in-person until Feb. 2021. (Spectrum News 1/Khyati Patel)

“To be able to meet my new teachers and meet my new friends,” Savanna said, echoing a similar sentiment. She'll enter the eighth grade this year.

Unlike last summer, the COVID-19 pandemic robbed them of their extracurricular activities.

“Last year there was like COVID[-19] and stuff, like there was like the major start, COVID[-19] during the summer so like, I don't think it was, I don't think you could last year, but it was an option this year,” Addison, who'll start seventh grade, said.

She spent the majority of her summer dancing at school and private lessons.

“It was pretty fun. We just danced all day pretty much,” Addison said.

Her elder sister Savanna also spent time practicing cartwheels for cheer tryouts.

“Last year, we weren’t able to tryout but this year, I think they’re going to do it virtually still just to keep everyone safe,” Savanna said. 

Their mother, Alena, is hoping this year will bring more consistency.

“We've sent two of our children to summer ignite this summer, just to get them around their friends and to reintroduce them into getting back into school full time,” Alena said. 

It’s a welcome change to see her children sparkle with back-to-school joy.

“There’s more excitement instead of disappointment like last year,” Alena said.

For the mother of three, Alena said there was one constant concern and worry that occupied the back of her mind.

“You know, being at home, not seeing their friends and you worry about, you know, their mental health, you know, are they depressed, and how are they feeling today. So that's, you know, mental health is just so important. And for healthy, you know, mental capacity, we need to be with people, we need to be in the classroom with our friends, with our teachers,” Alena said. 

As part of the Glass family's back-to-school readiness, their eldest daughter received the COVID-19 vaccine for protection.