RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some 20,000 students have started a brand new 2023-2024 school year in Wake County.
The district said there will be 175 school buses on the road beginning Tuesday morning and encouraged drivers to exercise care on the road.
Ahead of the start of a new year, Wake County Public School System has announced changes to the upcoming school year.
Due to the rise in food costs and supply, meals have increased by 25 cents. A full-price meal at elementary school will now cost $3.25. Middle and high schools will increase to $3.50.
Carpenter Elementary School Principal Fay Jones, teachers and students from NC Central University greeted each child this morning as they embarked on a new year.
"It's really important for our kids to see teachers that look like them that they can relate to," she said
Principal Jones says it's a great opportunity to recruit as well
"If we can get them to do their student teaching in our building and they fall in love with our community, then we can hire them as teachers. So totally does help you know, with the teacher shortage, no doubt."
Students like 2nd grader Charlie Munn have a lot to be excited about.
"Probably new teachers, new friends. And I'm in a new hallway, so I get to see other classrooms," he said.
His mom says she is looking forward to the new security measures in place.
"It's nice to see it now implemented in some of the older schools where we've been used to scanning the driver's license and things like that," she said.
WCPSS debuted its new relationship with the Verkada software system the district told ABC11 about in May.
The district-wide system will be used at every school and give WCPSS the ability to know who is on school campuses and protect against sex offenders, protective order and custody arrangements, and keep track of hall passes, according to the district's senior director of security.
"Anything that promotes more security for the children is amazing. It's a big worry for a lot of parents," Haward said. "In our area, there were a couple of concerns at the high school this year where my son went. There were a couple of concerns there. But you just see stories on the news in other areas and some of the tragic events that have happened. So, anything we can do to make our schools safer for our kids for the whole family is important."
For transportation, WCPSS said returning bus drivers will alert them in August for the availability of the upcoming traditional calendar school year. So, currently, they do not have updated vacancy information.
Parents are encouraged to download the Here Comes the Bus app to keep track of their child's assigned bus route.