School year starts off with smiles

students walk up a path lined by trees

While the start of the 2020-21 school year looked a little different this year, some things about the first day of school never change.

Teachers lined the halls of both school buildings eager to greet their students and welcome them to class. At Herkimer Elementary, music, cheers, maracas and tambourines made a joyful noise on Thursday as students in Grades 3-5 began their school year. At Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School on Tuesday, students were greeted at each entrance by staff with schedules in hand, ready to help each student find their way to their correct class.

Waves, air hugs, elbow bumps and other socially distanced greetings were exchanged instead of the usual hugs or high-fives, but the smiles that were visible even behind the face masks showed that these small differences didn’t really matter.

“No first-day jitters! I’m ready,” one elementary student exclaimed.

Before entering a classroom, each student’s temperature was checked. Once in the classroom, teachers helped students get settled in with their belongings, and order meals for the day. Breakfasts were delivered to the classrooms once the school day had begun — lunch is handed out as students are preparing to leave the buildings.

Just like on any first day of school, teachers are spending their first in-person days with students reviewing classroom procedures and expectations. And even if some of those processes are new this year, just like any other year, teachers will be guiding and supporting students through these changes.

“You will make new friends, and we hope you have a wonderful first day of school,” Mrs. Vogt told her elementary students on Thursday.

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