NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- This week, students all across the state have been heading back to school.

On Thursday, more than 20,000 students kicked off their first day in New Haven, and many got quite the greeting.

Members of the graduate chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity lined up at the Lincoln Bassett Community School Thursday morning, high-fiving students and welcoming them back.

"The more that we can do to show them positive side, that's what we want to do,” said Donald Mcaulay, president of the graduate chapter.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp was also there.

"I’m just excited about the school year and about the job the we'll be doing this year,” Harp said.

While students were excited to start the new school year, there was some confusion about where they were going to be picked up.

That’s because New Haven changed bus routes over the summer, with families being notified at the last minute.

Superintendent of Schools Carol Birks rode the bus with students on Thursday to see the problem first-hand.

"I’m a little disappointed in our transportation, so we're working really hard. I want to apologize off the gate to families,” Birks said.

She said changes were made to reduce redundancies and shorten the amount of time students spend on the bus.

Birks also said she thought families were well aware of the changes.

"My team assured me we had notified families and so yes, we should have notified them sooner. But I thought we did,” Birks said.

To make sure things went smoothly, she said she placed leaders at all schools on Thursday, added phone lines to the offices, and made sure families could communicate through Facebook and their website.

"We really intensified our supports so that families in this community knows we care and love these children,” Birks said.

She's now hoping all students within the district will have a great year ahead.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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