ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Students at Rochester City School District had their first day of school Wednesday, alongside many other districts across the country.

Teachers at Roberto Clemente School No. 8 welcomed 460 students Wednesday morning.

“Our staff is looking fantastic,” Principal Stephanie Thompson said. “We are fully staffed. I have a wonderful staff that has helped also recruit throughout the summer.” 

While the school has some changes for the upcoming year, many areas important to parents are remaining the same.

As the pandemic continues to stay in the rearview mirror, school officials said that masks will remain optional for both staff and students. Lunches will also remain free for eligible students at all schools in the district.

The school does have plans for updating their ability to communicate with parents, Chief of Communications Marisol Ramos-Lopez said.

“We communicate with our families through robocalls, through traditional letters, through social media,” she said. “And this year, we are communicating with them through a new family newsletter through an app called Smore, which allows us to communicate with families and they can translate it into over 100 languages.”

The district has 65 languages spoken by families at home, with the top five being English, Spanish, Arabic, Nepali, and Somali. This new app will allow families to translate all communications into any language they choose.