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Back to School: Six-Month Odyssey Finally Ends

By Jarret Liotta

A six-month odyssey finally reached shore today when Westport students returned to school for the first time since March.

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Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice visited with different schools throughout the day, including Coleytown Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com

Though they were hidden behind masks, the first day of in-person learning featured many smiling faces from kids, parents and staff alike.

“I’m very happy my kids are in school,” said Ana Johnson, who picked up her son Wyatt, 9, from the morning class at Coleytown Elementary School.

“I’m very appreciative of the teachers and the staff for all their hard work to hopefully have a good first day,” she said.

“We’re so grateful that they get to go,” echoed Bethany Eppner, whose family recently relocated from New York City, where she said class is not in in-person session.

Thomas Scarice, Westport’s new superintendent of schools, was on hand to check in with staff and greet parents at various schools.

“It is as good as can be expected,” he said of the first day’s operation.

“We are asking people to take on Herculean tasks and they are all rising up,” he said, noting he was humbled to be serving as their superintendent.

“We have asked our professionals to not only reinvent how they’re teaching, but also how we run our school in and out, and they are all stepping up to the challenge with a spectacular attitude,” Scarice said.

“I’m so glad that she has an opportunity to get out there and give it a shot,” said Shiri Homler, whose daughter Lucy, 5, began her first day of kindergarten.

“I’m hoping that this all works out,” she said.

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