Back to school this week for area families

This past Labor Day marked the final unofficial hours of summer, since many students from around the area this week will be trading in their swimsuits and camping gear for pens and calculators as they head back to school.

Shelves on Monday evening in the Fredonia Walmart’s school supplies section were quite bare, indicating the dash to buy last-minute materials before the school bell officially rings for the first time during the 2014-15 school year.

The OBSERVER talked with a few families as they shopped for the needed school supplies on their lists.

“I’ll be glad to see friends again, but I don’t really want to go back because then I’ve got to do homework,” Fredonia sixth-grader Aidan Mohart, 11, said as his mother, Amy, held on to a shopping cart containing folders, glue and a backpack. “It will be nice though, because some of my friends are going into middle school now that they’re done with elementary.”

Amy indicated she thinks this will be a good year, both for Aidan and the rest of the family. She indicated she was purchasing school supplies on Monday that “easily” cost $40 in total.

“Between school clothes and supplies, we’ve spent plenty,” she said. “Summer was definitely way too short; the weather wasn’t as sunny and warm (as previous summers).”

Elsewhere in the store, Nicole Joyce of Angola was hunting for school supplies with most of her six children throwing supplies into the cart; four out of the six attend Lake Shore Central School, including Trey (tenth grade), Aries (eighth), Angelina (fourth) and Serafina (second).

“This summer went by quick,” Nicole said, indicating she has spent around $400 on school clothes and supplies for everyone this year. “I am looking forward to everyone going back to school (though).”

Both Angelina and Serafina indicated they enjoy school since they “learn a lot of new stuff,” while Aries expressed his dislike of school as being “boring.”

The OBSERVER asked Fredonia Superintendent Paul DiFonzo if the school is prepared for the first day of classes.

“I believe we’re very well-prepared,” he said. “We had two in-service days last week for our staff and our building is completely cleaned and ready to go. We still have the project of repairing the roof going on, and that should be finished in mid-October. All the staging area has been moved out to the back area of the school, so the front parking lot is clear.”

DiFonzo added he believes the students will have an “excellent” first day of school.

“We’re going to ask everyone to be patient and take their time through their schedules and I’m sure all these students will be happy to see each other and the teachers and the rest of the staff,” he concluded.

A call to Dunkirk Superintendent Gary Cerne went unreturned on Monday.

Today marks the first day of school for Fredonia Central, while Wednesday will see Dunkirk City School District students get on the school bus for their first day.

Comments on this article may be sent to gfox@observertoday.com