EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Wednesday was the first day of school in East Hartford, and students and staff at Langford Elementary happened to get a special welcome from Gov. Ned Lamont.
"I’m fired up because the parents are fired up, the kids are fired up, you should’ve seen the teachers all waiting there ready to greet their students," said Lamont.
He said the start of this school year is a big sigh of relief, already looking much different than the past few years.
COVID protocols are loosened and masks are not required. Lamont said there should be no more disruptions to in-person learning.
"I think we have the tools to keep our kids safe," said Lamont, noting that schools have COVID tests available.
"Showing some symptoms, just take a test, come back in, I want you in the classroom," said Lamont.
SCHOOL SQUAD: Mental health in focus as students head back to school
Parents told FOX61 they are looking forward to a more normal school year for their children.
"It’s a lot nicer this year, you can see it in the kids' faces and the kids smiling coming in and out of school so it’s a big improvement from last year," said Rueben Prado, a parent of a 4th grader.
Superintendent of East Hartford Schools Nathan Quesnel said seeing the students find their new classes and meet their new teachers put a smile on everyone's face.
"You watch those hugs happen, that’s why we became teachers," said Quesnel. "This is the energy we want to carry and live with for our school year."
For the students, they're feeling those back-to-school jitters but say they're just looking forward to being back in the classroom.
"I’m going to make new friends and I can’t wait to see my new teacher," said Jayden Prado, a 4th-grade student.
"I want to learn new stuff," said Evan Nunez, a 5th-grade student.
Students and staff are looking forward to a great school year, but more importantly, they’re looking forward to their students staying in school in person.
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