MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Before the boys walk into their classrooms for the first time next week, they’re here at Xavier High School getting acquainted and having a little fun along the way.

Just like so many other schools in the state, Xavier High School faced many obstacles last year.

It was a year that forced everyone to jump through hoops weekly. This year, the headmaster is optimistic heading into the start of school.

“Well, I think the big difference is we have the vaccine available and about 95% of our faculty and staff are vaccinated and as of yesterday about 60% of our student body,” said Xavier High School Headmaster David Ustis.

The school is kicking it all off with freshman orientation. Freshmen are partnered up with seniors. It gives them a chance to get a look at the classes and hallways ahead of time.

“Just a chance to really learn the school, how to open a locker, how to get through the cafeteria line, what does their daily schedule look like once we start classes on the 2nd,” Ustis said.

This year will still have some restrictions but it won’t be as strict as last year.

“You know in regard to our school day a little less restrictive in terms of the hallways, the bathrooms, the staircases, things like that because I think what is the DPH learned was that we could be a little less restrictive on certain things,” Ustis said.

They are hoping for a healthy year ahead.

“My hope this year is that we start full and in-person on Sept. 2 and that come that first week of June, we’re still full and in-person,” Ustis said.