ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Some students across the stateline are still anticipating their first day back to school.

Rockford Public Schools will be back in session this upcoming week, so Auburn High School hosted its second block party to prepare students and their families. One teacher said that a lot of students were shy coming back from COVID, so Sunday was a good way to break the ice.

The community event made many parents feel more at ease sending their children back to school.

“It’s really nice to be able to meet the students, meet their parents, to already form those relationships before the school year even begins,” said Madison Evans, a teacher at Kennedy Middle School.

Evans is happy to be back in the classroom for her second year. She teaches eighth grade language arts, and she welcomed her students into the new year at Auburn High School’s block party on Sunday. Jenney Keffer, principal of Auburn, said that the first day is always exciting.

“It’s always great to start the year with a positive connection with families, so they see who we are and what we want to bring to the table, so we can meet them halfway,” Keffer said.

Students in the Auburn corridor, like Kennedy, Lewis Lemon Elementary, McIntosh Elementary and Ellis Elementary were all invited. Keffer said that it was the support some families need.

“Right now, we see more of a need in the community in terms of needing school supplies, or things to help families make sure that they’re ready,” Keffer said. “So, we want them to know that we’re here for them.”

One parent and RPS paraprofessional, Eboni McIntosh, is appreciative of the school’s efforts.

“They’ve given away so much stuff, that the kids shouldn’t need school supplies for the next 2-3 years of their life, but this is beyond amazing to me,” McIntosh said.

Most of the kids at the block party said that they are most looking forward to making new friends.