HOLT, Mich. (WLNS) – Holt Public Schools welcomed students back to most of its buildings today. It’s among the first local districts to head back to class for the new year.

Today, 6 News asked school officials what COVID-19 protocols are still in place and spoke with local health officials on what we should know ahead of the new school year.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said infections are still a possibility in the community.

One Holt High School parent, Tina Fawkes, told 6 News she’s excited for her son to return back to in-person. But despite the CDC relaxing social distancing and exposure guidelines, she hopes everyone does their part, so they don’t move backwards.

“I prefer him to be in school, I don’t want him to do online anymore because it was antisocial. He didn’t have anyone to talk to besides his family,” Fawkes said.

When it comes to COVID-19, she said her family has taken all the proper steps.

“Well, my son’s been vaccinated, so he knows to wash his hands and try to stay his distance,” she said. “I know that’s going to be hard.”

And now that kids are headed back to class with fewer COVID protocols in place, she hopes that others will too.

“I think people should get vaccinated,” Fawkes said.

That’s something Vail said is crucial in preventing the spread.

“The most important thing that anybody can do is to be up to date with your COVID vaccinations,” Vail said.

When it comes to how schools handle the threat of the virus this Fall, she said safety precautions like wearing masks or social distancing are out of her hands.

“That at this point is going to be up to schools,” Vail said.

She also said there’s a way to help slow the spread without changing the behavior of the individual students.

“Ventilation is going to be really critical. So, schools got some funding, did some work on ventilation, and ventilation is very very critical,” she said.

And as for the way schools will look this upcoming year, she said she’s expecting to see schools vary on how they go about safety protocols.

“Will it be completely normal? It really is going to depend on the school,” Vail said. “I think there are going to be some schools that are going to take some precautions and other schools who are going to go a little bit more back to normal.”

But she’s reminding everyone that cases could rise at any time.

“But sometime this fall/winter, we should expect another surge,” Vail said.

The health department is also encouraging every parent to monitor your child when they attend school. This goes for COVID testing, making sure they’re washing their hands, and keeping them home when they’re sick.