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A sign welcomes students back to school at PS 88 in Ridgewood. Robin Sentell

A sign welcomes students back to school at PS 88 in Ridgewood.

They carried overstuffed backpacks and insulated lunch bags. They were nervous but joyful, wary yet optimistic. For the 1.1 million students who attend New York City public schools, many of the sentiments were the same, whether it was the first day of kindergarten at PS 196 in Queens or the first day of senior year at the New York Harbor School on Governors Island. As the 2017 school year got underway on Sept. 7, schoolyards and hallways were filled with tears and cheers, questions and answers, hopes and dreams. But in 1,800 schools in five boroughs, there was a common thread: Educators and learners are in it together, striving to be the best they can be. Welcome back!

Casey, with supplies in hand, gives dad Ken Shallcross a good-bye kiss at PS 81 Bernadette WeeksCasey, with supplies in hand, gives dad Ken Shallcross a good-bye kiss at PS 81 in Riverdale, the Bronx. Gavin and Eitan are excited to be starting kindergarten at PS 196 in Forest HillRachel NobelGavin and Eitan are excited to be starting kindergarten at PS 196 in Forest Hills, Queens.

Co-teachers Jennifer Alves and Amy-Beth Lalicata gather their 4th-graders at PS Deidre McFadyenCo-teachers Jennifer Alves and Amy-Beth Lalicata gather their 4th-graders at PS 212 in Jackson Heights, Queens. Alexis (left) and Alexander Polanco take a back-to-school father/son selfie at PCara MetzAlexis (left) and Alexander Polanco take a back-to-school father/son selfie at PS 199 in Midwood, Brooklyn.

Crossing guard Zaraida Torres greets Robert Jackson and his daughter, Camille, aAnne SilversteinCrossing guard Zaraida Torres greets Robert Jackson and his daughter, Camille, a 3rd-grader at PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights. The 2nd-grade team at PS 44 on Staten Island wears matching shirts that say, “TeMiller PhotographyThe 2nd-grade team at PS 44 on Staten Island wears matching shirts that say, “Teaching is my thing!”

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