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'I feel like things are looking up for this year' | Fulton 4th grader feeling positive after return to classroom

After a positive Covid test interrupted her return to the classroom, Alaya Horne is finally getting to settle into the school year.

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — It's been a year of back and forth's for 4th grader Alaya Horne. But with the changing season, comes a change in outlook. 

"I feel like things are getting back to normal, and I also feel like things are looking up for this year," Alaya said. 

The feeling is a relief for the now 10-year-old after a rocky start to the 2021-2022 school year. Only a week into the start of school, Alaya tested positive for Covid-19 and had to quarantine. Now, she's finally getting a chance to settle into her school year. 

But returning to school isn't without some hurdles. Alaya said a lot of kids continue to be absent, and she has found herself playing catch up from some lessons missed during 2nd grade when schools suddenly shut down.

"We never learned our times' tables so we're just clueless basically," Alaya said, adding that it's also difficult taking the mental leap from 2nd grade to 4th grade after learning virtually for a year.

RELATED: Fulton County student back home with COVID after only one week in the classroom

"It's hard going from a 2nd grader to a 4th grader," she shared. "Cause I didn't get to be a 3rd grader."

Nevertheless, Alaya tells 11Alive she's happy with how the fall is playing out, and she's looking forward to a further return to normal interactions. 

"I want to have a sleepover with my best friend Stacey, " Alaya explained. "We've never had a sleepover."

But before that fun rite of passage, Alaya has to wait a little longer for official word that her age group has been approved for the Covid-19 vaccine. 

"People who are making the vaccine if you are watching this, I really want the vaccine," she said.

Editor's Note: The Learning Curve is an ongoing series on 11Alive and 11Alive.com that will follow the stories of local students as they navigate this unprecedented school year.