Students at McQuaid Jesuit return for first day of school

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Thursday was the start to the new school year for some students in our area. It’s the start of classes for the districts Canandaigua, Phelps-Clifton Springs, and York, along with McQuaid Jesuit High School.

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McQuaid was one of the last Rochester-area schools to welcome students back from their summer break. Students were happy to be back from their summer break and are looking forward to the challenges the new school year has to offer.

“I’m very excited for the friends I’ll make along the way, and to continue to grow here at McQuaid,” said 6th Grader Yahnsen Wagner

Just after the crack of dawn students started to arrive here at McQuaid. Many of them are ready to get into their classrooms and get the day going. School Principal Adam Baber greeted them at the front entrance. Students like 11th Grader Dominic Sansone, are happy to be back at school.

“Can’t wait to see my friends, and my peers. Get back in the classroom with the teachers. Get ready to learn,” said Sansone.

This year the school has a student population of well over 750. That includes the youngest member of the student body, Wagner.

“Yesterday was my orientation, and the school seems awesome, and so do the teachers. So I’m excited,” said Wagner.

Over the past two and a half years, the school’s environment changed drastically as the pandemic grew. Today, things are quite different.

“One of the things that’s going to be great is we’re all going back together you know in our classes. We’re not going to be spaced apart. We’re going to be close together. We’re going to be able to have group conversations. I think that’s awesome,” said Sansone.

Teachers are also happy to be back. Richard Vernetti graduated from McQuaid back in 2005. He’s an English Teacher now, and in his 9th year of teaching.

“It give me a unique perspective that allows me to connect with the students a little bit stronger, cause I especially in the classroom that I teach in, I was a student in that room. So I can point to my students and say, hey that was my desk,” said Vernetti.

Just like others in his profession, Vernetti is hoping to build a bond with his students

“My students, and I will spend a lot longer period of our lives as peers, and equal, and much smaller time as teacher, and student. So if I can create an environment where they feel seen, heard, and safe they can learn even better in much more free, and open environment,” said Vernetti.

Besides hitting the books students here are also looking forward to all the upcoming fall athletic, and other school events.

News10NBC spoke with McQuaid Principal Adam Barber about the upcoming school year.

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At McQuaid, school leaders and staff members have been preparing the school for weeks for the arrival of over 800 students. The private school has seen its enrollment numbers fluctuate a bit over the recent years but still maintains its top 20% rankings as one of the top private schools in the state.

Last year, the school’s baseball team won the 2022 State Class AA Championship, against Fayetteville-Manlius. This is their 3rd title in the past 3-years and the team is once again going to defend that title this year.

NY State has lifted most of its COVID protocols for schools

Schools statewide this year will look very different this year compared to 2021. New York State no longer requires all students to wear a mask or practice social distancing.

The few protocols that remain include staying at home when testing positive and wearing a mask for ten days after coming in close contact with someone who tested positive. Any student or faculty member who is experiencing unusual symptoms must take an at-home test.

Students will each get at least one at-home testing kit at the start of the school year and the state has 14.5 million kits available. You can read more about the new state protocol here.

More back to school coverage

You can watch our coverage from Wednesday’s return of RCSD School No. 8 here.

You can watch our cover from Tuesday’s return of Webster and Gates Chili schools here.

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