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School Is Back in Session: The Season Premiere of ‘Abbott Elementary’ 

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Content Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Season three premiere of Abbott Elementary.

While students in New York City Public Schools are celebrating their 100th day of school, students at Abbott Elementary celebrated their first day of school on Wednesday, Feb. 7. That’s right, the ABC sitcom about teachers who work in a Philadelphia public school is back on television screens, making their return with an hour-long episode. 

The last time we saw the Abbott Elementary teachers, they’d just finished their field trip to the Franklin Institute, where Janine Teagues (Quinta Brunson) and Gregory Eddie (Tyler James Williams) discussed their feelings for one another, and Barbara Howard (Sheryl Lee Ralph) had to calm the minds of her kindergarten students and assure them that she isn’t an alien. A lot has changed at Abbott since that field trip. In the season premiere, audiences were caught up on what we missed over summer vacation and the first few months of the school year.

Over summer break, Principal Ava Coleman (Janelle James) had a change of attitude after getting her degree at Harvard over the summer (she sat on their campus while getting her degree from an online university) and now is actually acting like how a principal should. Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter) and her boyfriend, Gary (Bruno Amato), grew closer, which became a problem later in the episode. However, the most shocking change over the break: Janine is no longer a second-grade teacher at Abbott and works for the school district now. Before the school year started, Abbott Elementary was visited by district representatives who approached Janine after hearing the great ideas she had for the school such as hosting a career day, and offered her a fellowship at the district. This was a hard decision for Janine to make, torn between leaving what she loves to do, teaching, or being able to make a difference in the school as an administrator.

After encouragement from other teachers like Jacob Hill (Chris Perfetti) and the promise from the district to be able to visit Abbott Elementary, Janine took the fellowship and implemented her first event as a member of the school district: Career Day. On career day, employees from a variety of fields were paired with different classes: Mr. Eddie got a botanist, Mrs. Howard got a cosmetologist, and, as requested, Mr. Hill got the janitor, Mr. Johnson (William Stanford Davis). Ms.Schemmenti’s dreams came true when she was given someone from the Philadelphia Eagles’ marketing team who was able to pull together a Zoom call with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, Jason Kelce, and defensive end Brandon Graham. With the help of Ms. Teagues and the other members of the district, they were able to hook up the Zoom calls in all the classrooms, so all the students were able to talk to some of the players of their favorite team. The only downside to this virtual visit from the Eagles was when Gary decided to propose to Melissa with the help of the athletes, to which she declined, saying she didn’t want to get remarried. 

Overall, it was an eventful return to Abbott Elementary with lots of changes. I’m looking forward to seeing what else creator Quinta Brunson has in store for the rest of the season and especially excited that the sitcom was just recently renewed for a fourth season. 

You can watch Abbott Elementary on ABC Wednesday nights at 9 P.M. Eastern time or streaming on Hulu the next day.

Kelly Danko is a member of Her Campus at Pace. She has been a member of Her Campus at Pace since her freshman year and contributes by writing articles for her Her Campus chapter. Beyond Her Campus, Kelly works as a Team Leader for Jumpstart, a program that’s mission is to prepare preschool children for Kindergarten. With Jumpstart, Kelly manages a team of other Corps Members and gets them prepared for their weekly sessions in the preschool. She is currently a junior at Pace University's New York City campus, majoring in Early Childhood and Childhood Education with a concentration in English. She strives to be a preschool teacher when she graduates and hopes to pursue her master’s degree in Special Education. In her free time, Kelly enjoys listening to music, reading, and going to concerts. She has attended 46 concerts throughout her life and 20 of those concerts were Harry Styles concerts! She also loves Taylor Swift, the two of them being her favorite artists. When school is not in session, you can find her at her second home: her grandparent’s summer place down at the Jersey Shore where she likes to hang out with friends and go to the beach.