Shelton students head back to school

SHELTON - It was back to class for Shelton students Wednesday.

Staff and administrators met with the returning students for what is planned to be a year of full day, in-person learning for the first time since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Masks were on students and staff indoors, but administrators said that did not diminish the enthusiasm of day one.

“It was an exciting and very quick day ... the kids were so happy to be back,” Booth Hill School Principal Dina Marks said. “It was wonderful having noise in the hallways again. Lots of elbow bumps were given today.”

Marks said the students adapt quickly to wearing the masks, and the school is allowing mask breaks outside.

“It was so great to welcome our students back to Long Hill School,” Principal Andrea D'Aiuto said. “We were happy to welcome all our new families to the school community. Our staff is excited to start the new school year.”

Elizabeth Shelton School Principal Jamie Weber said the first day brought the “normal hiccups” with buses, but that was expected.

“It was a great day,” Weber said. “Students and staff were thrilled to be back in the cafeteria for lunch and using the media center for library classes. We are excited for a new school year and are looking forward to being in person all year.”

In an email to parents, Superintendent Ken Saranich stated that last year staffers were forced to think differently about how they educated students and, as a result, “we have made education better.”

Saranich said the schools had prepared for a successful and safe school year, focused on quality instruction.

“It all starts with the first day of school,” he said. “Our goal is to make our students feel welcomed, safe, and ready to learn. Although every start of a school year brings new challenges, I hope that we can face them collaboratively with a positive and productive attitude that is in the best interest of our students.”

Board of Education Chair Kathy Yolish visited several schools, noting that the traffic backups seemed to be endless for a while, but she says that also is due to many parents wanting to bring their children to school and take those first day pictures.

“In peeking into classrooms I saw so many masked little ones eager to be in school,” Yolish said. “A sense of returning to a more normal learning environment seemed to permeate the hallways and classrooms. I am excited and hopeful that this will continue and we can get back to the business of educating our children with minimal interruptions.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com