CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - More than 50,000 Charleston County students headed back to the classroom Thursday morning.
Many kids started their first day at school in the dark underneath a crescent moon.
Durham School Buses rolled out of bus lots across Charleston County starting at 5 a.m. The contracted company has 372 buses for each of the routes in Charleston County.
CCSD spokesman Andrew Pruitt said approximately 22,000 children will ride those buses this year.
Many of the children had to get up earlier than usual in order to get to school on time.
"Yes! [It was hard getting up]," North Charleston Creative Arts third grader Kiara said.
"[It was] good," fifth grader Tyler Paulin said. "Yeah, [it was hard]."
"This morning it was easy because they couldn't sleep last night," Quashenda Miles, a parent of two, said. "They were excited since it was the first day, but I don't know how it's going to be tomorrow."
North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary started filling up at 6:30 a.m. with cars, and parents walking their kids to school.
Many students sported new backpacks ready to take on the day.
"[I'm looking forward to] learning new stuff," first grader Amoi Bolton said.
"We're just excited," North Charleston Creative Arts Principal Eric Hansen said. "We're so glad this day has come. We've worked really hard for it and this will probably be the best opening we've had yet."
Hansen said changes have been made to how they do things on the first day of school.
They require parents to sign in before walking their kids to their classroom.
"We give them a sticker and our whole goal is so we can be accountable for who is in the building," Hansen said. "Safety first for our kids. That's the number one priority."
"I loved it because they actually know who is in the school, who is not in the school," Miles said. "That's very good on our kids' protection."
Also happening Thursday was the "First Day of School Tour" for Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait.
She started her morning at the new Carolina Park Elementary school in Mt. Pleasant, giving kids fist bumps as they walked through the hallway.
"This is the happy new year for us," Postlewait said. "We have two huge celebrations, the first day we welcome back all of our children and the day they walk across that stage to get their diplomas."
While these kids at the elementary schools in Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston may have some years to go, all came ready to get through the first day of school.