In this April 4, 2013, file photo, geometry and a picture of w cat adorn a chalkboard at Westbrook High School. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Westbrook High School students are back inside the classroom for the first time in months following a fire that damaged parts of the building back in July.

For most of the students and staff in Westbrook, Wednesday brings back a lot of the first day jitters and an overall excitement to get back inside the classroom.

Westbrook High senior Jon Dalessandro said it’s a relief to be back.

“It’s so much easier to work from school,” Dalessandro said. “Being back with everyone in-person at the same time, full capacity, will be nice.”

Like other students coming back to school for the first time since the July fire, he will walk into an updated building.

The superintendent said the renovations include a brighter school with LED lighting now in the majority of the building, as well as a fresh coat of paint and new ceiling tiles.

For many staff members, the return to school in-person is long overdue.

“They’ve just been gone for too long and it’s time to get back,” school social worker Mimi Sorg said.

For some, this makes their jobs a little easier, like Nicole Sturgis, a counselor whose focus is to help seniors decide what they want to do after high school.

“Normally I would have colleges come in and talk with kids in-person and tell them about their schools,” Sturgis said. “We haven’t been able to do that, so really helping them through the college process is way easier in-person.”

On Wednesday, only juniors and seniors were in the building. First-year students and sophomores continued to learn remotely.

Come Thursday and Friday, the grades will flip, with upperclass students learning from home and underclass students in school in-person.

The first day all students will be back is Monday.