Thousands head back to school in Fresno and across the Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Jade Lee and her parents are patiently waited outside of Fig Garden Elementary for the first day of school.

She is excited to see her friends again meanwhile her mom Shawnte Beatty is excited to return to routine.

"We make breakfast in the morning, she had some grits and sausage this morning, we watched Mr. Rogers get our minds right," said Beatty.

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Summer vacation is coming to an end for more students from the North Valley to the South Valley, as they head back to school.

This year Jade is in the fifth grade. She admits she is a little nervous to meet her new teacher.

"I don't know who she is, I'm still scared, what if she is mean teacher," said Lee.

She is not the only one. 74,000 students returned to 106 schools in Fresno, and Fresno Unified School District superintendent Bob Nelson said many of them feel the same way.

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Administrators say teachers are all loaded up with supplies and ready to go for the fall semester.

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Thousands of students from Fresno Unified are getting ready for their first day of class.

"We talk a lot about the first day jitters, it is a wonderful opportunity, we know that some of our kids are embarking on their journey toward a lifetime of learning," said Nelson.

Change can be scary but students have plenty to look forward to across the district. Buses started taking off at the crack of dawn, this year all of them are low emissions, but that is not the only upgrade.
"There is a new device called child checkmate and it makes the driver go back and check the passenger compartment of the bus before departing, so no child is left behind," said Reginald Ruben, director of transportation.

Lunch has never looked better, new options are on the menu including orange chicken and a vegetarian burrito. Parents can even rate the food and give the district feedback on their new Nutrislice app.

"Every year we roll out six to seven new menu items which encourage the kids to try something different," said Jose Alvarado director of food services.

In the district, people will notice cosmetic changes at schools, classroom upgrades, and solar panel installations. Staff also underwent active assailant training.

"We just try to make sure that we are as prepared as we can be for any possible safety emergency," said Nelson.

All of this, creating a better school experience and making the first day of school more exciting for Jade and her peers.
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