Miami Trace Local School District students returned to the campus on Wednesday for the first day of the 2021-22 school year.
The day started off with high school students arriving to campus, followed by middle school students, and finally elementary school students. Buses arrived in an orderly fashion as teachers met younger students outside to assist them with getting into the building safely.
Miami Trace Superintendent Kim Pittser explained via email, “today was the first great day of many. Simply put — we are MT Proud! We will continue to put our best foot forward to serve our students and school community.”
The first day for kindergartners is a little different from the rest of the campus. Currently, “signings” for kindergarten are ongoing with half of the grade starting school Aug. 23 and the other half starting school Aug. 24. Kindergarten will hold an open house on Thursday, Aug. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The day went well across the campus with many smiling faces, nervous first-day jitters and new relationships being started.
Justin Lanman, elementary school principal, wrote, “we couldn’t be more pleased with the way that opening day went at Miami Trace Elementary. Our students came to us with smiling faces, enthusiasm and an eagerness to get back into the classroom. The day was filled with laughter, connecting with friends, and establishing new relationships with teachers.”
Parents, students and staff were able to be flexible during the busyness as explained by Jason Binegar, middle school principal, who wrote, “another great start at MTMS. We want to thank our students, parents and staff for being flexible and making today a great day.”
To help share the Miami Trace school spirit and to garner excitement the first day back, a Panther Pep Parade was held in the afternoon. The parade was a courtesy of the Miami Trace High School administration and staff who organized the parade and shared it across campus — so not only high school students could enjoy it, but also the middle and elementary school students.
Bryan Sheets, high school principal, wrote, “Panther Pride was quite evident throughout the halls at Miami Trace High School and on our campus. Special thanks to all the staff, students and parents for making the first day of school an enjoyable experience.”
The district has been prepping for the first day back for awhile, and much of the staff could be seen greeting students with excitement and eagerness. Recently, a freshman-only orientation was held on Aug. 16. Miami Trace Elementary School (grades 1-5) had an open house on Aug. 16. Miami Trace Middle School held a sixth grade-only transition night on Aug. 12, along with an open house for the seventh and eighth grade students on Aug. 16.
Parents and guardians have been registering, re-registering and making plans for their students as the school year approached.
Guidance has been handed down and evaluated from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Department of Education, including in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still ongoing. Many school officials and staff members expressed hopes and prayers that the year would go as well and as normal as possible with little or no illness. Currently, masks are not being mandated for classrooms but are to be worn on buses. While masks are not mandatory off the bus, those who wish to wear a mask on campus are welcome to do so.
Follow the Record-Herald for photos and a story in Friday’s paper about Washington High School’s first day back, which was also on Wednesday.
Information in this article was provided by Miami Trace Superintendent Kim Pittser. Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.