ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — It’s that time of the year again and students are heading back to the classroom.

On August 9, Roanoke County Public Schools (RCPS) welcomed their students back from the summer break and many are excited for the school year.

Dr. Ken Nicely, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools with RCPS, says seeing everybody gets ready for the first day of school and for students, it’s naturally exciting. He adds that one of the things he looks forward to each year is seeing the kids full of energy.

Dr. Nicely says they are prepared to keep students on track this school year with special lesson plans that can connect what they are learning to the real world.

“This year we are really focused on learning. We are focused on what we call deeper learning which, is learning that’s engaging and purposeful. We ask our teachers to prepare lessons in learning experiences that really help kids seek connections between what they are learning in schools and in the real world,” said Nicely.

Chuck Lionberger, with RCPS, shared he is thrilled to be back to school, but he wants drivers and parents to be safe while school buses are on the road.

Lionberger says with the start of school, drivers should be aware of children at all times. He shared every time that you see flashing lights your should stop your vehicle until the kids are safely off the bus.

“There’s only one exception to that rule and that is a divided highway where there is a physical barrier between the travel lanes,” said Lionberger.

He shared that if drivers don’t stop they are putting children in danger.

Drivers need to be aware of pedestrians, as they may see an uptick since school is back in session.

“Welcome back we are thrilled to be back at school. We want to thank all of our bus drivers, nutrition workers, of course, all of our teachers, our maintenance staff,” said Lionberger “There is a huge team to make sure students learn and we are so appreciative that we are back.”