More than 2,350 Island children will head back to school Tuesday as Island public schools reopen for the year.

The year promises to be a mix of new and old. There will be new staff in every building, new curricula, a new director at the charter school and a new open campus policy for seniors at the high school. Aging facilities, especially in Tisbury and at the high school, are a top concern among administrators.

And one elementary school principal will make this his last year before retirement. At Thursday morning’s opening convocation in the Performing Arts Center, Vineyard Schools superintendent Dr. Matthew D’Andrea talked about new beginnings. “It’s the opportunity to start again, to correct the mistakes of the past, and to grow as an educator and as a student,” he told hundreds of teachers gathered in the auditorium.

“September brings . . . the hopefulness of a new school year, the joy of being together again.” His speech was interrupted with cheers and culminated with a flash mob from the staff at the Tisbury School, clapping, cheering, whistling, and tossing beach balls into the crowd. The rowdy display was accompanied by Earth, Wind & Fire’s hit song September.

Speaking with the Gazette, Mr. D’Andrea said about 50 new staff will join the public schools this year.

He said facilities needs at the regional high school and at the aging Tisbury School remain a priority. “Those are two very important projects that we need to keep on the front burner and make sure we keep working towards,”

Mr. D’Andrea said. He said he expects to hear back about the high school’s application for funding support from the Massachusetts School Building Authority in December. At the high school, seniors will have the opportunity to arrive late, leave early or walk off campus during the day as part of a new open campus policy, principal Sara Dingledy said. The policy was suggested by students and underwent a successful pilot program last spring.

The Tisbury School staff interrupted back-to-school meeting with a flash mob. — Holly Pretsky

“I think seniors are at the place where they can make decisions for themselves,” Ms. Dingledy said. “I think they appreciate that freedom. It’s a nice thing for them to be able to manage.” She said she looked forward to working with interim assistant principal Dhakir Warren and intern Jeremy Light this year. Over the summer, school administrators have been working to transfer the 683 students onto the new classroom information portal called PowerSchool.

“It’ll make the possibility of tracking data better,” Ms. Dingledy said. “I’ll be able to click on a kid and know their schedule and see their attendance.”

She expects about 150 incoming freshmen, and entering her third year as principal, said she feels like she’s hitting her stride.

“I’m feeling really optimistic about this year,” Ms. Dingledy said.

At the Edgartown School, principal John Stevens said staff will debut a new math curriculum in grades 2 through 8 called Go Math! The curriculum comes from the same publisher as the high school’s math program, Mr. Stevens said. “The teachers wanted a new math program and they were investigating last year and made a selection through pretty arduous selection process,” he said.

He said there are 39 incoming kindergarteners, slightly down from last year’s total of 44. The school also hired three new staff, including an additional teacher in their English language learning department to keep up with growing demand. He said of the approximately 350 students enrolled at the school, 75 are English language learners.

Mr. Stevens also announced this week that he will retire after this school year, ending a 12-year tenure at the school.

“I’m going to miss the kids, their families, and all the folks that work here in the building,” he said.

At the Oak Bluffs School, principal Megan Farrell said work on the soccer and lacrosse fields is nearly complete. The playing fields were overhauled as part of an initiative of the Field Fund to grow and maintain healthy grass fields around the Island.

Superintendent Matthew D'Andrea said about 50 new staff will join the public schools this year. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“It’s an amazing community project,” Ms. Farrell said.

She said also looks forward to continuing to offer new coding opportunities and computer science curriculum through a grant from Project Lead the Way. She said the school also recently received a service-learning grant from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“We’re having kids identify real-world problems in the community that they can solve,” she said.

The school is welcoming two new teachers and expect 53 kindergarteners this year bringing total enrollment to about 405.

Tisbury School principal John Custer struggled to come up with news for this year.

“If you asked, what’s old? I could say everything,” he joked. The school is in serious need of an update, he told selectmen and other town leaders during a facilities tour earlier this month.

But he said he appreciated the work of town facilities manager Kirk Metell in working to prepare the school and grounds for another school year.

“Kirk Metell has been really very helpful in identifying and arranging for building and grounds maintenance and improvement,” Mr. Custer said. “He’s been terrific.”

School staff participated in a security training with school safety consultants Synergy Solutions for the third time this year. The consultants specialize in preparing for the possibility of a violent intruder.

“It’s not the most fun or enjoyable topic but something that’s necessary,” Mr. Custer said.

Mr. Custer said school enrollment continues to hover around 300, with a smaller-than-usual incoming kindergarten class of about 20 students.

The West Tisbury School has also taken steps to increase security, installing a new state-of-the-art alarm system over the summer, according to principal Donna Lowell Bettencourt. She said the school has also added an English language learning program for newcomers, students who have little to no experience with the language.

The school garden has expanded, and Ms. Lowell Bettencourt is looking for community members to help students tend it.

“We’re now reaching out to local seniors to have a partnership with that garden,” she said. “The senior community is such a wealth of knowledge we want to tap into.”

She said school enrollment continues to grow, reaching about 352 this year in grades K through 8.

Schools focused on improving the grounds before students arrive. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“We’re just above where we were last year at highest enrollment time,” Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt said. The school has also seen significant staff changes with six new teachers and more teaching assistants.

At the Chilmark School, principal Susan Stevens is celebrating the new playground, funded through community preservation funds from Chilmark and Aquinnah, the Chilmark Community Center and private donations totaling more than $140,000.

“We’ve been waiting all summer for it to come,” Mrs. Stevens said. “We had a committee and they sat down first to decide what are the things we want to work on, climbing, hand over hand, twisting. So we looked at all those things and then chose a playground that would meet those needs.”

She said the K through 5 school has also seen increased enrollment, totaling about 60 students this year, with 10 incoming kindergarteners.

“Between tours and evening presentations and word of mouth, we got a lot of interest, maybe too much interest. We had to turn down all school choice kids,” she said. “It’s exciting, but it’s a lot, but we’ll handle it.”

She said fourth and fifth graders will set sail on the Alabama on Sept. 10 for their five-day annual trip.

The Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School begins its first year under the leadership of new director Pete Steedman. “As with anything new, the nerves are there, but you get these nerves every year as a teacher,” he told the Gazette in an interview. The charter school will welcome 180 students from kindergarten through grade 12, including 15 kindergarteners.

Meanwhile, students enjoyed their last days of summer this week. “I’m kind of bummed,” said Henry Coogan while shopping with his family at Stop & Shop. Henry will begin seventh grade at the Oak Bluffs School next week. “I just don’t want it to end.”

Sipping a soda Wednesday in her family’s minivan outside Alley’s General Store in West Tisbury, Maysie Vanderhoop White, who will enter third grade this year at the Charter School, felt optimistic about the new school year.

“I’m excited because I want to make new friends,” she said. But there’s still a lot of preparing to do, according to her mother, Tiffany Vanderhoop.

“We went to Philbin Beach yesterday, and she still has seaweed in her hair,” she said.