First day of school ‘felt like a homecoming’ for staff, students

Aug 30, 2021

Wareham’s students, teachers and other public school staff headed back to their classrooms on Monday, Aug. 30. 

Although students were required to wear masks per state regulations, most of the district’s principals viewed the first day of the 2021-2022 school year as a return to (almost) normal. 

Wareham Middle School Principal Tracie Cote said the day was “a wonderful start to the school year.” 

“Staff and students were extremely excited to be in school,” she said. “It certainly felt like a homecoming to us. There were students in the building that we had not seen in a year and a half. The energy level was very high today.” There were many details and procedures that had to be explained to students, but it went well, Cote said.

Joan Seamans, principal of Minot Forest Elementary School, also said students were excited to be back at school. 

“The teachers took time to decorate classrooms, which was different than last year,” she said, noting that the rooms “looked very inviting.”

Because some fourth-grade students were fully remote last year, Seamans said it was some kids’ first year at Minot. She said they were excited to be in school in person. 

“We went through a lot of our routines today, which takes time,” Seamans explained. “We are looking forward to day two where things tend to go quicker and smoother. I appreciate the families being patient on the first day as buses ran past their scheduled times and we took time to ensure the right person picked up the right student.”

Overall, though, she said all the first-day preparations helped things go off without a hitch.

Wareham’s youngest learners returned to John W. Decas Elementary school, and Principal Bethany Chandler said the first day was “very successful.” 

“Both students and staff were excited to reunite and celebrate learning in person,” she said.

Over at Wareham High School, Principal Scott Palladino said the first day was a “great day for all of us at the high school.”

“It was great to see all of the students in person,” he said. “Some of the students we haven’t seen in person since March 13, 2020.”

For that reason, he said it was many students’ first day inside the high school. There was “a lot of positive energy,” Palladino said.

“What stood out most to me was how happy the students were to get back to some normalcy,” he added. “The only thing different to our pre-covid days was that everyone was wearing a mask. Everything else was pretty much back to normal.”

After the hustle and bustle of the first day back, students and staff across the district were worn out. 

“We will all sleep well tonight!” Cote said. 

This story has been updated to include a comment from Decas Elementary Principal Bethany Chandler.