2 NYC teens – one anxious and one excited – prepare for senior year amid COVID pandemic

Local News

NEW YORK — With just weeks left before New York City schools reopen, seniors say they’re ready to make the most of it.

After a year of remote learning, Tamara Roberts was inspired by her environment class to makea difference headed into her senior year. She spent the summer cleaning up beaches and parks alongside her best friend, Amani Parbolis.

They were joined by dozens of their peers.

Roberts said she’s vaccinated and ready to mask up.

“I’m actually looking forward to it because, like senior year is really important, and I need that face to face,” she said.

Parbolis is not excited. She said she’s dealing with some anxiety after being isolated for so long during the pandemic.

“It’s just the idea of having every everyone back in the building that scares me because I’m not used to being [around] so many people at once,” she said.

Parbolis is fully vaccinated and convinced her parents to get their COVID shots.

“My parents are were very skeptical about it, they were a little, like, cautious about getting it themselves, and I really wanted it like just to make sure that I’m like protected,” she said.

Class sizes have decreased across all grades, according to the Department of Education. But the union representing teachers says more than 200 schools are over capacity and will struggle to keep kids distanced.

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