BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) - Students in Bristol headed back to class on Tuesday.

Channel 3 was invited to celebrate the first day of school at South Side Elementary School.

More than 500 students are enrolled at the school and were greeted by teachers and staff on Tuesday morning.

"Just being able to see the excitement on their faces as they get through the day," said teacher Erin Coombs.

Its principal said this year's theme is "choose kindness."

Principal David Huber said he posted a reminder to all families to drive slowly and anticipate a lot of traffic as children were dropped off on Tuesday morning.

As students walk throughout the school, there are inspiring messages everywhere.

"Our theme this year is choose kindness. We know the kinder we are one another, the easier it is to problem solver, persevere, and learn great things. That's for our staff, families, and kids," Principal Huber said.

The superintendent and deputy superintendent also shared messages on Tuesday as students headed back to class.

"School is a place where they should be nurtured and supported. We're here to create that space for them," Superintendent Catherine Carbone said.

"To just become the best version of yourself. We're here to encourage and support and make that happen," said Deputy Superintendent Michael Dietter.

For more back-to-school stories, check out Channel 3's special website section here.

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