Classes kick off for Topeka Public Schools

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Tuesday was the first day of school at Topeka Public Schools.

Before the sun came up, drivers with Kansas Central School Bus were already at work. Checking their buses and hitting the road to greet students for their first day of school.

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“The bus driver forms an attachment to their kids. They become your kids. So, you haven’t seen them all summer, so you’re first going back and you see them coming, it’s real exciting to see them coming on the bus. And they’re excited to go to school too,” said Tanya Sturgeon with Kansas Central School Bus.

Drivers have been practicing their routes for weeks ahead of the first day. Getting a refresher on the rules of the road.

“We’ve had drivers out on courses. They haven’t been on a bus for a couple months so we want to make sure their skills are sharp,” Sturgeon detailed.

Once they pick up their precious cargo, students make it to school ready for the first day. This year, Topeka Schools' Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson did her traditional crossing guard duty at McCarter Elementary.

“I love to be one of the first faces they see from administration. To principles, to teachers to say we love you and welcome back,” Anderson beamed with joy.

While she focuses on the younger students in the first week, she says her office has implemented new programs throughout the district to help students get a jump start on their future.

“Robotics and coding is a requirement from kindergarten through 12th grade. So that’s a little new piece for us,” Anderson detailed.

She and Kansas Central School Bus stress that there are ways to make the transition smooth for everyone.

“If there’s anything special they need to know or anything special about that student, parents should let drivers know and they can work together and make things better for the student and the driver. It makes things a lot easier,” said Sturgeon.

Anderson also told 13 NEWS any students worried about having school supplies or back-to-school clothes should reach out to them. "We'll take it from there," she said.