(WSYR-TV) — “As one we rise, together we soar” is the motto at Central Square.

Togetherness is something that’s been hard to come by since COVID-19 found its way to Central New York. 

“I’m just thrilled to be able to welcome students, we’re all thrilled to be able to see their faces and give them fist bumps when they come back in, because it’s just great, it’s been several years, it’s been three years since we’ve been able to start the school year normally,” says Tom Colabufo, Central Square Superintendent.  

 A little bit of weight lifted off this Superintendent’s shoulders when the new COVID-19 guidelines were released by the CDC on Thursday.

“We can actually focus on school safety, we can actually focus on instruction, after-school activities, get back to the important things,” says Colabufo.

If this virus has taught us anything, it’s to prepare for the unexpected. 

“I think you’re going to see an abrupt change, if necessary, in the guidelines as the CDC has already said so if they see a change in the virus they’re already dealing with as in a new version of the virus or we see an acute increase in the incidents of Covid virus-related disease, then you’ll see guidelines change very quickly,” says Dr. Robert Dracker, Medical Doctor at Summerwood Pediatrics.  

Going into the new school year, the staff at Central Square is working on getting back what was lost. 

“We have to focus all of our energy now in closing that learning gap and providing the social and emotional needs and that’s huge right now as a result of COVID,” Colabufo continues.  

The schools are still waiting to see what the New York State Health Department has to say, but Tom Colabufo says, he doesn’t think they’ll look much different.