Local Schools Celebrate “Return To Normal” With New School Year
For several local school districts, Thursday marked the first day that students returned to classrooms for the 2022-2023 school year. For most, the return may have felt unfamiliar after two years of various protocols related to COVID-19.
Schools across Acadiana opened their doors to students without having requirements for masking, social distancing, and other mitigation efforts.
"It was exciting to be back on campus for the first 'normal' start of the school year and great to see all the smiling faces," said Lafayette Parish School Board member Justin Centanni. "We're working through the usual beginning of the year transportation issues, but overall it was a promising beginning."
Approximately half of Lafayette Parish's students returned to school on Thursday. Those "A-Day" students will return on Monday. Friday, the other half of those students, who are "B-Day," will report, and then return on Monday with the first half.
This staggered approach allows schools to wade slowly into the beginning of year procedures and get a feel for the tweaks they'll need to make to the processes without overloading their systems.
In Vermilion Parish, Superintendent Tommy Byler likewise enjoys the feeling of school getting back to normal.
"We’re very pleased with our first day," Byler said. "There was a lot of great energy. It just felt normal for the first time in a long time."
Like Centanni, Byler acknowledged that there are still a few things to work out, as there always are in a school year. "A few hiccups, but that’s normal," he explained. "It was great being able to watch kids come in and get to work like you normally would."