Westfield students return to the classroom for new academic year

It was the first day back in the classroom for hundreds of students in Westfield Public Schools as COVID-19 protocols are relaxed and the district is still look
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 11:25 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2022 at 4:53 PM EDT
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WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - It was the first day back in the classroom for hundreds of students in Westfield Public Schools as COVID-19 protocols are relaxed and the district is still looking to fill some vacancies.

“It’s just exciting to see everybody get back into the groove and we just can’t wait to get started,” said Westfield Public Schools Supt. Stefan Czaporowski.

The buses were rolling and kids were ready for another year of fun learning at Westfield Public Schools. On Tuesday, hundreds of students in Grades 1 through 12 arrived for classes. Western Mass News stopped by Westfield High School where we found senior Samantha Adamtsev excited for what’s ahead.

“There are so many things that I’m looking forward to. Things like senior luau, prom, things like that that I’ve never done before,” Adamtsev said.

The first day also felt like a return to normal for many. Czaporowski continued his tradition of greeting students as they entered their respective buildings. After more than two years of COVID-19 related health and safety protocols, he said students and staff can, for now, study and teach without worry.

“It’s a great feeling. At the same time, we have to be cautious and be mindful of any surges that may come,” Czaporowski explained.

With masks optional and no social distancing in place, some students showed signs of relief.

“The digital learning, some kids probably exceled in it. Personally, for me, I need to be hands-on learning in school,” said Westfield High School junior Travis Lucia.

“I couldn’t even imagine how hard it was for people who were really into clubs (and) having that take away from them because of the pandemic. I believe it’s going to help people who really want to be in these clubs, have fun, and enjoy the clubs that they’re in,” said Westfield High School junior Colin Ahern.

This summer, the district was also looking to fill around 30 teaching openings. There are currently four held by substitutes, but Czaporowski told us that could change soon.

“My hope is we will be fully staffed with regular staff instead of substitutes by next week,” Czaporowski noted.

With the new year in full swing for most, Adamtsev had a message for her classmates.

“Don’t take anything too seriously and try hard in your classes, but also, don’t forget to have fun and take your time because it’s going to go by in a blink. That’s what I noticed my junior year,” Adamtsev added.