YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — Students and parents throughout the Midstate are getting ready for their first day of school. However, one school is doing more than getting ready.

It’s already the first day of school at York Academy Regional Charter School.

Last year, as at some other schools, lingering COVID-19 precautions — like mandatory masks — were still in effect.

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This year, if all goes well, it’ll be 10th-grader Angel Rosario Flores’ first truly normal school year since “sixth grade, actually — seventh grade was cut in half.”

“Everyone’s a little excited and nervous at the same time,” said 7th grader Cole Strayer-Waninger. For him and his classmates, it’s their first day in the academy’s upper school building, meaning the first time changing classes throughout the day.

But as the day went on, the nerves gave way to the excitement.

“We have like I think two science labs, and a design lab which has like 3-D printers and all that stuff,” Strayer-Waninger said.

All of it on August 15.

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“So the York Academy and the International Baccalaureate program, we teach 193 days, and so that’s basically two-and-a-half weeks longer than everybody else’s school system,” said Mike Lowe, the school’s CEO. “Two-and-a-half weeks pays huge dividends for our children.”

Some people might think ending the summer a bit early would be a bit of a drag. Rosario Flores and Strayer-Waninger see it differently.

“When everyone else is in school, we already feel comfortable, we’re already settled in, we already know what the expectations are,” Rosario Flores said.

“I know it’s really early, but it’s kind of nice to get, like Angel said, a head start because now when everyone’s kind of just coming in and getting used to it, we’re already full in the swing,” Strayer-Waninger said.