RACINE, Wis. — Summer break came to an end for students at Park High School in Racine as they walked into a new school year on Thursday.
"It's a lot. It's a lot," said sophomore Arniessie Reynolds.
"Little nervous just for the first day of classes but other than that pretty good," said junior Isabella Wentorf.
This year 1,100 students are getting used to their new schedules and classes in person.
Both Reynolds and Wentorf said this year feels a little more normal with relaxed protocols following a couple of years of dealing with the pandemic.
"It's like you're able to be a little closer to people and students and get to know people better," Reynolds said.
"Our junior class, they've never actually had a high school assembly or high school dance, so it's kind of interesting to see what it really is like to be a real high schooler," Wentorf stated.
While classes and grades are important to graduate, executive principal Bill O'Malley said this year high on the list are building up school spirit and focusing on their motto, "Today is a new day."
Park High School closed out the first day on a high note by holding an assembly, getting everyone together, cranking up the music, and bringing lots of energy.
"It's about those memories that they create. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years they've missed out on some of those engagements," O'Malley said.
O'Malley believes building a culture of family and support is crucial, that includes making school enjoyable.
"If we're gonna get kids to learn, if we're gonna get kids engaged, it's all about building those relationships," O'Malley said.
"It's definitely, definitely a good feeling," said Reynolds.
"I'm super excited for that because I missed it. So I have two years to get four years in, but I'm excited," Wentorf said.