Students Return To A “Normal” School Year In Jamestown

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Schools across Chautauqua County welcomed students back to the class on Tuesday, and for the first time in over two years, there is an ample amount of normalcy. 

At Ring Elementary School in Jamestown, kids from pre-kindergarten to fourth grade returned for their first day of classes, in what is the beginning of a new academic year.

“This is New Year’s day for us,“ explained Superintendent Kevin Whitaker. “It’s great to see kids, I was just talking with a five-year-old here, his first day of school it’s very exciting. A lot of new sneakers, a lot of new outfits, a lot of new hairdos. Kids are excited, staff is excited, we’re all excited, this is a wonderful day.”    

This year differs in many ways compared to the past school seasons, for the first time since the pandemic, COVID guidelines have been significantly reduced.

“Thankfully all of that is behind us,“ stated Dr. Whitaker. “I Hope it stays behind us, and this year is very much a normal year. We’re walking around, we can see each other’s faces, we can say hello, we can congregate, it’s been wonderful so far.” 

At the elementary school, Principle Annette Miller tells us they were able to open up breakfast to students for the first time in many years as well.

“We hadn’t had breakfast here in the school for two years,“ explained Principle Miller. “So that was a big consideration for them to have, and they weren’t sure exactly how to get in line for breakfast, and make sure that they put their numbers in correctly and where to go.”     

In the end, school is a necessity that engages students with the Jamestown community.

“When kids are able to engage with school, come to school, be successful in school, they can then be successful in our community, and they’ll stick around, and we can have a wonderful continuing community with our future citizens,“ said Dr. Whitaker. 

The school district also reminds drivers to be cautious today, keeping an eye out for kiddos walking to and from school. 


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