“We are so happy to have you here,” Unqua Elementary School Principal Deanna Catapano said over the loudspeaker, her first address to students just minutes after they arrived in the raindrops and settled into their classrooms on Sept. 9.
Unqua and the other eight buildings in the Massapequa School District opened up for the 2021-2022 school year after almost 11 weeks of summer vacation. More than 6,000 students in grades 1-12 arrived at school with their new backpacks and school supplies, eager to learn and reunite with friends. As is a Massapequa tradition, kindergartners were scheduled to begin the following day.
At the elementary schools, students made their way to their classrooms and were warmly greeted by their teachers, while at the secondary level, middle and high school students were able to go to their lockers for the first time since before the pandemic.
“In education, there is not much that tops the energy and enthusiasm of a new school year,” Superintendent Lucille Iconis said. “The first day of school is filled with so much hope, promise and joy, and I am excited to welcome back our students and staff.”