ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester City School District and most other suburban districts started a new school year on Wednesday.

The school doors swung open at 7:15 a.m. at Montessori Academy School No. 53 as teachers, staff and the school principal greeted the students and emphasized the importance of safety and security.

What You Need To Know

  • The new school year kicks off at Montessori Academy No. 53

  • Superintendent Carmine Peluso of the Rochester City School District emphasizes that student safety is their top priority

  • Montessori Academy No. 53 not only focuses on academics but also seeks to create after-school programs to keep students engaged and active outside the classroom

RCSD Superintendent Carmine Peluso echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that ensuring the safety of students is their top priority. 

"I think safety, obviously, is one of our ... as we educate students, safety and security is one of our most important aspects of that as well," said Peluso. "So, you know, safely arriving to school, making sure as kids are walking, as families are walking as well, that we're just being cautious of our families as they get to school. Schools should be sacred grounds and sacred places for our kids."

In Superintendent Peluso's view, maintaining student safety and security extends beyond the school's physical premises. 

Both new and returning students, ranging from preschool to sixth grade, arrived on campus on Wednesday. Montessori Academy No. 53 is actively exploring the creation of after-school programs to keep students engaged and active beyond the classroom. 

As the first day of school starts with a warm day, the school is well-equipped with central air conditioning to ensure that students remain comfortable throughout the day. The principal encourages teachers to keep activities indoors due to the weather but acknowledges the excitement of the first day of school, making allowances for a bit of outdoor activity.