DUNMORE, Pa. — It's not just any first day of school in the Dunmore School District. It's the first day the district asks every student to come back.
A vaccinated Emma Conte was there for the first day of her senior year.
"Excited to be back. I haven't been to school in a while, and excited to see everyone."
The cars drive in; the buses pull up; students walk into the buildings. This district hasn't seen so many students in buildings at the same time in more than a year.
Most did not wear masks, but some did.
The mask policy in the Dunmore School District depends on a student's age. According to the superintendent, masks are optional at the junior-senior high school. At the elementary center, every student has to wear a mask because elementary school students are too young to be vaccinated.
Senior Jahniah Laborde is vaccinated and ready to go.
"I'm sick of (masks). I don't like the masks."
Seventh-grader Teddy Bloom echoes that sentiment. He believes it's time to leave the mask behind.
"I'm vaccinated, so I don't want to wear one. So I think it should be people's choice to wear one. I don't think you should force that on other people."
But Teddy hopes his unvaccinated classmates do wear their masks.
All in all, Dunmore Superintendent John Marichak thinks parents and students support what the school district is doing.
"It's really quiet. There are folks who are concerned, but I think the bigger picture is what's best for the kids, and I think the community of Dunmore always puts that first," Marichak said.
Marichak added that they will look at the numbers daily, and the district will adjust its policies if and when it's necessary.