Minutes before the end of the school day on Wednesday, Perry Hall High School's hallways were quiet.
But they soon filled with chatter and the sounds of teenagers shuffling to their buses and cars, carrying new backpacks and wearing new shoes.
Despite a student shooting just two days prior, that left 17-year-old Daniel Borowy critically injured and led to the arrest of 15-year-old Robert W. Gladden Jr.—the scene appeared much like any other from the first week of a new school year.
Still, signs in support of Borowy, an increased police presence and a TV news station's truck along Ebenezer Road were among the reminders of Monday's incident.
Principal George Roberts emphasized on Tuesday during a news conference the need for the return of a "sense of normalcy" at the school.
When asked if that had been achieved on Wednesday afternoon, Roberts simply said, "We're trying."
He told Patch that students are planning a memorial service on school grounds on Saturday, and other events are still in the planning stages.
School Resource Officer Gregory Klein, of the Baltimore County Police Department, praised students' behavior since the tumultuous first day.
"They've been tuned in, engaged. You walk by the classrooms and they're all paying attention. These kids have been amazing, they truly have," Klein said.
"Certainly, there are some kids having a harder time than others and guidance has done a great job with those kids," he added.
Students said the mood at the school had improved, but remained somewhat somber. They also told Patch that no one had forgotten about the initial incident.
"It feels fine. I'm not worried about anything because they caught the guy and everything. And they wouldn't let us come back if something was wrong," said sophomore Austin Kahmer.
"I feel like we have a sense of the tragedy, but I feel like, yes, school has definitely taken a turn for the better, and we're getting back into the normal swing of things," said senior Mike Koogle. "Today, generally the mood was very positive."
For Jasmine Turno, a freshman, the sting of the events from her first day of high school lingers.
"We're not all upbeat and perfectly happy like nothing happened. We know something happened and we know [Borowy] was hurt," Turno said.