The countdown is on — both for the end of summer vacation and the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.
Here's when classes begin in public, parochial, private and charter schools in Erie County.
Corry Area School District: Aug. 31. Find the 2022-23 school calendar at: bit.ly/2022_CorrySD_Calendar
Erie School District, Aug. 29; bit.ly/2022_ErieSD_Calendar
Fairview School District, Aug. 31; bit.ly/2022_FairviewSD_Calendar
Fort LeBoeuf School District, Aug. 30; bit.ly/2022_FLBSD_Calendar
General McLane School District, Aug. 30; bit.ly/2022_GMSD_Calendar
Girard School District, Sept. 7; bit.ly/2022_GiradSD_Calendar
Harbor Creek School District, Aug. 30; bit.ly/2022_HCSD_Calendar
Iroquois School District, Aug. 30; bit.ly/2022_ISD_Calendar
Millcreek Township School District, Aug. 30; bit.ly/2022_MTSD_Calendar
North East School District, Aug. 30; bit.ly/2022_NESD_Calendar
Northwestern School District, Aug. 30; bit.ly/2022_NWSD_Calendar
Union City Area School District, Aug. 30; online calendar not available
Wattsburg Area School District, Aug. 30; bit.ly/2022_WASD_Calendar
Parochial and private schools
Bethel Christian School, Aug. 24; bit.ly/2022_Bethel_Calendar
Cathedral Preparatory School/Villa Maria, Sept. 13; bit.ly/2022_CathedralPrep_Calendar
Community Country Day School, Aug. 31; bit.ly/2022_CCCD_Calendar
Erie Catholic School System: Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of Peace, St. George, St. James, St. Jude and St. Luke schools, Aug. 29; bit.ly/2022_ErieCatholic_Calendar
Erie Day School, Sept. 6; bit.ly/2022_EDS_Calendar
Erie First Christian Academy, Aug. 31; bit.ly/2022_EFC_Calendar
Leadership Christian Academy, Aug. 24; bit.ly/2022_LCA_Calendar
Luther Memorial Academy, Aug. 31; bit.ly/2022_Luther_Calendar
Mercyhurst Preparatory School, Aug. 25; bit.ly/2022_MPS_Calendar
Mother Teresa Academy, Sept. 7; bit.ly/2022_MTA_Calendar
St. Gregory Parish School, Aug. 29; bit.ly/2022_StGreg_Calendar
Triumphant Life Christian Academy, Aug. 30; TLCA follows the MTSD calendar: bit.ly/2022_MTSD_Calendar
Charter School of Excellence, Aug. 29; bit.ly/2022_CSE_Calendar
Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School, Sept. 6; bit.ly/2022_ErieRise_Calendar
Montessori Regional Charter School, Aug. 31; bit.ly/2022_MCRC_Calendar
Robert Benjamin Wiley Community Charter School, Aug. 29; bit.ly/2022_RBWCCS_Calendar
Local agencies and businesses are stepping up to alleviate the cost of school supplies and more.Here's what you need to know about back-to-school giveaway events in the Erie region over the coming days:
Back-to-school giveaways:Local agencies giving away free back-to-school supplies to Erie-area students
Erie-area schools and colleges will look much like they did in February 2020 when classes start this month.
Students, teachers and staff are no longer required to wear face masks, except in nurse's offices, and desks don't have to be spaced at least three feet apart. The plastic dividers and temperature scanners that schools used in 2020 and 2021 have likely been placed in storage.
In many ways, it's like the COVID-19 pandemic is over — even though Erie County health officials have said the virus continues to spread through the community.
In its 66-year history, the building for Erie High School has never had as many safety measures.
The April 5 shooting at the school — an unprecedented event for the building — spurred the improvements that will greet students when they start classes on Aug. 29. Some of the changes, including metal detectors, were introduced in the spring, after the shooting.
Upgrades also occurred at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy and the Erie School District's three middle schools and its alternative-learning center. Sweeping improvements to the security measures at the district's 10 elementary schools are on their way, district officials said.
First-phase renovations at Erie High School are nearing completion as a four-story addition is rising at Fairview High School.
A multiyear, multi-million-dollar renovation is underway at McDowell Intermediate High School. Another is about to begin at Corry Area Middle-High School.
They're just some of the construction and renovation projects underway as local schools prepare for the start of classes.
Many Erie County school districts have an optimistic outlook about hiring full-time teachers and substitutes for the upcoming school year. But challenges remain as a national teacher shortage continues.
Last school year, the Erie School District lost nearly 100 full-time teachers to resignations and retirements, said Natalie Fatica, director of human resources for the district. The school year before, they only saw around 40 teachers leave.
It's been a busy teacher hiring season for Erie-area school districts, but many are feeling confident they'll fill their classrooms this school year.
Kevin Smith, the new president of the Villa Maria Cathedral Preparatory Catholic School System, which oversees the newly-consolidated Cathedral Preparatory School, has likened the coming days to a 5-kilometer race.
"I feel like I'm standing at the starting line," he told the Erie Times-News. "We've done the hard work. We know we're ready. We know it's going to go well. But until that gun goes off and you're in it, there's always that nervous anticipation for what's to come."
The nerves are understandable.
Smith, 58, a Cleveland-area native who most recently led the pre-K-8 Monte Cassino School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is now leading a school system in the wake of consolidation.
Read the full interview.
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Erie County school district start dates and calendars