The first day of school is always a special day for students in Newfoundland and Labrador. But the first day of the 2021 school year is feeling extra special, according to students heading back to the classroom for the fall.
Welcoming students on the parking lot of St. John Bosco School felt like being at a family reunion Wednesday morning, said principal Linda Hart.
"We're pretty excited here today," Hart said while welcoming students back Wednesday morning. "There's nothing better than the first day of school. Fresh starts, new beginnings, people are recharged after the summer. And there's just a lot of excitement in the air."
Wednesday marked the first day of full in-person instruction since February, when a spike in COVID-19 cases forced schools to switch to online learning.
Lots of students, including eighth-grader Shianne Gollop, said a lot of the excitement surrounding the new school year comes from being able reunite with her friends and teachers.
"I get to see all my friends this year again, and I'm just excited to be back," Gollop said. "It means a lot. It makes me really happy to see them again."
Grade 4 student Rihanna Reid said she's looking to just about everything about the new school year — except math — and hopes to be able to continue to do school work somewhere other than her own home.
"I don't want to have to keep sitting down at my desk every few minutes. 'Cause it's boring," she said.
The students aren't the only ones ready to get back to the classroom, though, according to Hart. She said teachers and staff are excited and rejuvenated after the summer break and looking forward to catching up with their students.
"You do miss them over the summer. And when you see them when they come back and they're all taller and tanned from being outdoors all the time and they've got that excitement for learning, it just makes you feel good inside that you're going to be part of that," she said.
"They've had a rough couple of years. We want to make sure they're happy, content and in good spirits."