Students return to the classroom, and it’s a day mixed with excitement, anxiety and anticipation.

Summer break is over, and students are back in the classroom. Erie School District superintendent Brian Polito said there are metal detectors at the elementary level.

“They caused a little bit of a backup this morning at some of the schools. There were some blips with it, but we are going to make some adjustments and should have things running very smoothly by the end of the week,” said Polito.

Polito said there are more students this year too; Last year, they had about 10,000. This year, they are at about 10,300.

“It’s a good thing, we have been seeing declining enrollment over the past several years so it’s nice to see a bit of an uptick. We do have some new American families coming into the community this year as well with the closure of Rise (Leadership Academy). Many of those families are coming back to our schools,” Polito added.

He went on to say they are really focused on Erie High this school year.

“Over the last couple of years we have invested about $72 million in renovations, and we are really on the back end of that. We should have a couple more months and then things should be in very good shape for the facilities,” Polito said.

United Way of Erie County schools brings support and services to help remove some of the barriers students face.

“If they need some additional support after school or health services or basic needs, we want to make sure that all of those are provided for families right here at the school so their children can learn and thrive,” said Mike Jaruszewicz, United Way of Erie County.

Polito added this summer they announced Erie High is going to become a community school.

They plan to have that up and running by the start of the 2024-25 school year.