HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – With school just around the corner, some students will head back to class in-person for the first time in a year.

Last school year, families had to adapt to an entirely new way of life, switching to virtual or hybrid learning, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, talk to your children about their emotions surrounding heading back to school. Experts with Tidelands Health said it’s best for kids to start getting into a school routine early before the new school year starts. Even though school and procedure changes can be difficult for some students, it’s always best to talk to your child if they are stressed, anxious or nervous about returning and maintain a positive attitude no matter what grade your child is in.

“So, really speaking to that child and trying to figure out where their anxieties lie, is really the key to fully transitioning into an easier year next year,” Dr. Lucretia Carter said.

Dr. Carter said even students who’ve gone to school before may have a hard time coping with the changes. It’s always best to have conversations with your child if they are feeling anxious or nervous.

“Going to school for the very first time, they really don’t know any different. So, this is a great opportunity for them to teach them the healthy practices whether that school has masking to teach them to do it the right way,” Dr. Carter said.

The first day of back to school for students in Horry County is Aug. 17. As of Wednesday, HCS is recommending students wear masks, but South Carolina law says districts can’t mandate masks.