The Education Ministry won't know the true extent of how many primary pupils intend returning to school this year until tomorrow when Auckland primary and intermediate schools report attendance numbers.
In a bulletin to school leaders Auckland principals are being asked to text in how many children have returned to school tomorrow morning.
It comes as hundreds of thousands of children in Auckland and Waikato returned to school today and for some it will be the first time they've been in a classroom for three months.
Children from Years 1 to 10 are allowed back at school in Auckland, but with greater restrictions, including mandatory mask wearing for Year 4 children and older, staggered arrivals and departures and social distancing.
Some primary and intermediate schools are only allowing students to return part-time. Operating hours have also been altered to manage the number of people coming and going from the school at once.
Although some schools expect most kids back, others think few will return as anxiety about the virus remains high - despite all onsite staff now being vaccinated.
All Waikato students can return as the region returns to level 2 today.
May Road School principal Linda Stuart said only about 70 of the school's 200 students had returned which meant those who had could do on a fulltime basis.
"Some of our families are quite anxious and rightly so, so I think they will wait and see how things go and that's fine. That's absolutely fine."
Due to the small number students returning, they were able to return fulltime and had been able to go back to their same classrooms. There were staggered break times so the whole school wasn't all playing at the same time.
The Mt Roskill school had told parents that if they changed their minds and wanted their children to go back to school then that was fine and they would then look at whether there were any implications to who things were run.
Stuart said the students and teachers were delighted to be back and she could hear laughter echoing around the school.
"School is a fun place really and we want kids to come back to that."
Stuart said they hadn't been overly affected by the vaccine mandate and were "coping fine with that".
Asthma New Zealand chief executive Katheren Leitner said the organisation had been contacted by a lot of parents asking for advice on whether they should send their children back to school and what they could do to make sure they were as safe as possible if they did return.
She told The AM Show Covid had not been proven to be a great a risk for those with asthma as those with other chronic conditions, but side effects such as anxiousness and stress could trigger the condition.
She said children with respiratory issues also needed to be kept active.
It will also be the first time the impact of the Government's vaccine mandate is felt as some teachers will be missing from the classroom.
Leitner didn't envy schools having to explain why a teacher wasn't there, but thought honesty was the best policy.
Teachers also have to produce a negative Covid test before re-entering the school.