Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston wants to see classrooms full of the town's "little geniuses" when schools reopen next week.
Schools will be open to all children for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Preston says it's natural for parents to have reservations, but insists school is the best place for children to be.
He said: "In every classroom of every school in Middlesbrough from September there will be little geniuses who will grow up and help our town prosper.
"It's vital that we help all children realise their potential so they can be part of the ambitious future we're building for the town.
"Schools and parents worked hard to keep learning going at home during lockdown, but there's no substitute for time in the classroom."
Classrooms closed for all but vulnerable young people and children of key workers in March.
More pupils were welcomed back towards the end of the summer term and teachers are now gearing up for a full return under controlled conditions.
Mr Preston added: "I fully understand why parents will have anxieties due to Covid, but I know how hard schools have worked to put arrangements in place to keep everyone safe.
"Let's get all kids back to school carefully and give them the best start in life as we begin looking to the future."
Middlesbrough Council's Education and Health and Safety teams have worked with individual schools and academy trusts on preparations for the new term.
All schools are following Government guidance to put in place comprehensive plans and risk assessments for re-opening.
Protocols developed with Public Health England and the Department of Education are being put in place to help headteachers respond to any positive cases.