Warm welcomes encourage children on first day of school in Wake, Durham, Cumberland counties

The majority of students in central North Carolina headed back to school Monday.

Wake County Public School System schools on the traditional calendar, Durham Public Schools, and Cumberland County Schools all start the 2019-2020 school year.

In Wake County, there were more than 10,000 teachers and administrators ready to greet 161,000 students on the first day back.

Some of those teachers will be welcoming students to eight brand new schools including Southeast Raleigh Elementary School, which represents a special connection with the community and the YMCA.

"Southeast Raleigh Elementary School is our first public-private partnership in the school system," Superintendent Cathy Moore said. "It is a collaboration between the WCPSS, the YMCA of the Triangle and Southeast Raleigh Promise, a community organization. It is an amazing vision. There is purpose and a lot of love that's gone into creating this school for this community."

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The majority of students in central North Carolina headed back to school Monday.



In Cumberland County, the community turned out to encourage and excite students about the start of the school year. Community leaders, Greek organizations and volunteers cheered on and high-fived students as buses dropped them off at school.

Meanwhile, the school district is urging parents and students to cut down on tardiness. CCS said students are arriving as much as an hour late at times.

CCS also warned students who are driving to class to slow down and pay attention. Troopers will be out in force for the beginning of school, writing tickets and making sure the roads are as safe as possible.

Dr. Marvin Connelly Jr., who is returning to duty after a health scare, said safety is top priority for his school district today.

"Let's get all of our children to school safely and back home safely."

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In Cumberland County, the school district is urging parents and students to cut down on tardiness.



PHOTOS: ABC11 anchors, reporters show us their best back to school looks


In Durham, Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga said he is excited to start the second year with an improved academic plan. The district rolled out the plan last year and liked the initial results.

"Our mission as educators is to make sure, wherever they are, to take them so they can reach their full potential. That's what this logo stands for," Mubenga said, speaking about a lapel pin he was wearing.

The lapel pin represents diversity; he said it's a focus in Durham to enroll students of several backgrounds, abilities and situations.

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Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga said he is excited to start the second year with an improved academic plan.



In Holly Springs, four crosswalks near schools now have bright orange flags that students can carry with them while crossing the street. Students can grab the flag, carry it with them across the street, and leave it on the other side.

SEE ALSO: Teachers offer advice for a successful back-to-school

With school back in full swing, drivers will be seing more buses on the road. Be sure to be careful when driving, and do not pass stopped school buses--that could land you a $500 fine and five points on your license.

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ABC11's Kim Deaner breaks down the rules for when you can pass a stopped school bus.



There were just under 1,000 bus crashes in North Carolina last school year.

SEE ALSO: ABC11 back-to-school headlines
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