From left, Assistant Principal Chris Breyan, Principal Janna Sirowich, and Assistant Principal Johanna Davis welcome kids back to Coleytown Elementary School on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — The calendar may still say August, but the first day of school Tuesday morning marked the end of summer.

Arrival at Coleytown Middle School Tuesday morning. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

In a blur of yellow buses, red crossing guard signs and crisp back-to-school clothes, Westport’s students headed back to class.

Crossing guard Rich Space guides the students to their first day at Kings Highway Elementary School. (Photo by Thane Grauel)

Thomas Gupitz, 10, a fifth grader at Saugatuck Elementary School, shared about a great vacation.

“It was an amazing summer,” he said. “We went to Italy and to France, and had fun at the beach.”

Students Michael Wang, 13, left, and Lucas Blanco, 12, arrive early for the first day at Coleytown Middle School. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

Max  McGorty, 6, who was starting first grade at SES, arrived accompanied by his three-year-old brother, Killen, and father, Mike.

Asked if he was excited to start school, he said “No.”

Mom Marion Westby bids goodbye to her children, Billy Elliott, 6, and Annie Elliott, 10, at CES. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

“He learns fast,” joked his dad, who tried to keep the goodbye upbeat with some photo-taking outside the school.

CMS Principal Kris Szabo welcomes students back Tuesday morning. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

Across town school administrators were happy to be back, especially Coleytown Middle School principal Kris Szabo, who is finally starting the top of a school year at their new building.

Students arrives at CMS. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

“Obviously we’re very excited to be back at Coleytown in a newly renovated building,” she said, noting the staff looked forward to rebuilding their school community and culture.

“We had a fantastic orientation yesterday,” she said, which included sixth graders and new students to the district.

Bus arrival at Coleytown Middle School. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

“The kids were so excited, they didn’t want to leave,” she said.

Justin Mastocciolo, 8, arrives at Coleytown Elementary School for his first day of third grade. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

At Kings Highway School Luke McGuinn, 10, a new fifth grader, and his brother, Sebastian, 8, who’s starting third grade, paused outside the school so their mother, Deanne McGuinn, could take a photo.

They then hurried inside.

Sarah Evans, 8, and her parents, Kami and Tony, arrive for drop-off at CES. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

“I’ll just assume they’re excited,” the mother said.

On Burr Street, crossing guard Rich Space was shepherding kids to school.

Crossing Guard Rich Space chats with parent Rosa Balestrino on Burr Street by Kings Highway School. (Photo by Thane Grauel)

“Have an awesome day,” a father called out as his child crossed the street under Space’s watchful eye.

The guard, who kept a running count of the children, said in the past it was only seven or eight kids in a day, but now that’s changed dramatically with COVID.

Paraprofessional Colleen Quinn, who has worked at Coleytown Middle School for 21 years, welcomes students in from the busses. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

“It’s close to 50 or 60,” he said. “Less kids take the bus.”

Clair Benmosche and her son Julian, 10, rode their bikes to CES for the first day of school. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

Across town, new fifth grader Marco Vazquez, 10, was likewise walking to Coleytown Elementary School with his dad, Jose Vazquez.

Shiri Homler sees her daughter, Lucy, 6, off to first grade at CES Tuesday morning. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)

“It feels exciting,” Marco said, “and it feels very enjoyable that I get to see my friends again.”

Aided by her two assistant principals — Chris Breyan and Johanna Davis — CES principal Janna Sirowich was all smiles as she oversaw the drop-off line Tuesday morning.

“We are thrilled to welcome students back for the new school year,” she said.

CES Principal Janna Sirowich poses for a picture with Ashley Zitter, 6, on the first day of school. (Photo by Jarret Liotta)