Two of the biggest districts in California head back to school Monday. Fresno Unified and Clovis Unified have more than 100,000 students between the two districts.
Fresno Police were out in force Monday morning to make sure students are safe as they walk or ride their bikes on their first day of school.
The Fresno Police Department is increasing the number of officers on patrol around schools. It's part of the "No Recess For Safety" campaign. Officers from the Fresno Police Department's Traffic Safety Bureau will monitor school zones at more than 90 Fresno area elementary and middle schools. Drivers are being warned to slow down, follow the posted speed limits, and yield to pedestrians.
The clock is ticking for parents who haven't gotten their children vaccinated yet for whooping cough. 7th through 12th graders in Fresno and Clovis have one month from the start of school to get the mandatory t-dap shot. California state law now requires the whooping cough vaccination.
The Fresno Unified School District will continue offering free whooping cough vaccinations. A mobile unit will be set up at Manchester Center at Blackstone and Shields in Fresno Monday through Thursday from 8:30 in the morning to 2:30 in the afternoon.
Stores like Target at River Park were crowded with hundreds of shoppers, but the National Retail Federation says back to school sales are essentially flat compared to last year when the average family spent $606 on back to school shopping. Overall, American shoppers are expected to spend nearly $23-billion dollars to get their kindergarten through 12th grade students ready for school. Back to college shoppers are expected to spend double what K-12 students will spend.
Valley teachers have been preparing for weeks for Monday's big day. Several teachers at Jefferson Elementary in Downtown Fresno spent hours Sunday decorating their classrooms. The teachers hung posters and set up the desks for their new students.
Nancy Suehiro has been teaching for 14 years. This year she will teach fourth graders, something she's never done before. "But with the new standards of teaching and the smart board, everything is a challenge. But, it's actually made it more exciting to teach,' said Suehiro.
Another challenge for teachers all across the Valley will be larger class sizes.
There's a new superintendent of Clovis schools. Doctor Janet Young took over the district's top position. Dr. Young joined Clovis Unified as an elementary school teacher in 1979. She most recently served as the Associate Superintendent for Human Resources and Communications.