FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — With the new school year comes new teachers, classmates or schedule. That can mean new stresses for young students.

Experts said that there are ways to cope and prepare for uneasy feelings. One therapist said that signs of anxiousness around the school year can show as mood changes and behavioral issues, or even physical symptoms like stomach or head aches.

However, those can be eased by setting routines and planning for comfortability.

“Create as big of a support system as you can, and that’ll help them be successful,” said Alex Gonzalez, a therapist at Relevé Counseling.

Studies show that one in six children struggle with going back to school. Gonzalez said that return to school jitters can stem from a number of things.

“Whether that’s being around new kids, going into a new school building, changing routine, or even if it’s past bullying issues that can negatively impact a child’s want to return to school and put in that anxiety,” Gonzalez said.

Shalonda Randle, assistant superintendent of equity and curriculum for Freeport School District 145, believes that COVID-19 played a part as well, and that self-isolation exacerbated the issue.

“All of those things that we’ve noticed from the pandemic has come now into the school setting, and some of the students have not received counseling and support,” Randle said.

The district has partnered with outside organizations to support their students’ mental health needs.

“We’re also trying to help with the myth and mindset of some of our parents in our community that receiving counseling services is someone getting in my business, and I don’t want that,” Randle said. “I don’t want to ask for help, I don’t want people to think I need help.”

While having resources at school is important, it starts at home. Gonzales added that people should never try to minimize their child’s feelings.

“The first thing to do is to validate their concerns, because these are very real feelings that they are having, and just pushing it aside actually could potentially push them further away and further down,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez assures parents and caregivers that it is normal to feel anxious.