FONDA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The new school year is off to a successful start at Fonda-Fultonville. School officials prepared parents and guardians for a first day learning curve: A new drop-off system featuring a smoother traffic pattern. It went well, and now Superintendent Thomas Ciaccio can focus on the main event: The students.

“Being in a rural school, a lot of the students haven’t seen all their friends all summer,” Ciaccio explained, “so it’s a reunion for their friends to see them as they start the day.”

Ciaccio explained that student mental health is a focal point of their efforts, ensuring students feel welcome the second they enter the school.

“We need to have as many extracurricular activities, athletic programs, all different kinds of things where every student can find something,” Ciaccio said.

Nothing brings the student body together in the first few weeks of the school year like a good game of football. Athletic Director Eric Wilson looking forward to this Friday night’s lights.

 “We’ve got a great group back from last year. We’ve got a very competitive team,” Wilson said. “We’re hosting Johnstown, a local rivalry school just up over the hill, so it should be exciting.”

According to the Superintendent, the Fonda-Fultonville Braves will keep their team name for now while they continue executing their plan to have a new mascot in place for the 2024-2025 school year. Kickoff between the Braves and the Johnstown Sir Bills is slated for 7:00 P.M. Friday.