FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) – After a nearly two week delay, students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District finally began their school year Mondayd morning.
The district hadn`t been able to start because of the Ferguson unrest.
But that all changed this morning.
Parents were outside Ferguson Middle School welcoming kids as they arrived for the first day of class.
The Ferguson-Florissant School District was slated to start back on August 14th.
Erica Williams came to Ferguson Middle with a sign reading welcome back students.
Erica has three kids in the district including one at Ferguson Middle.
'We are very excited. My husband and myself we got up extra early this morning just for this,' said Williams.
The Ferguson-Florissant group parents for peace put up welcome back signs all across the district.
Students from Wydown Middle School in Clayton also made what were called pinwheels for peace.
They put them up at Ferguson Middle Sunday afternoon.
The pinwheels had messages of peace on them.
Students seem ready to start a new year.
'I`m excited because I was ready to come back to school,' said 8th grader Dalicia Anthony.
7th grader Nicholas Williams added, 'I`m ready to get back to school because I want to meet my friends that I haven`t seen in a long time.'
Staff members had special training last week on helping students deal with the unrest.
And the amount of counselors for students as well as staff was doubled district wide for the beginning of school.
'This has really impacted the community quite a bit not only here just in Ferguson but Berkley, Cool Valley, Florissant so it would not surprise me if there`s some students who reach out to some of our counselors,' said school board president Rob Chabot.
Donetta Cleveland, who has a daughter at Ferguson Middle, told us, 'I`m ready to get them back in class, I`m ready for them to get their brains pumping and moving, and just getting back to normal life, normal life without all the extra stress.'
District leaders say they needed things to stabilize before starting classes and that they used the delay to formulate the best possible plan for today.
Ferguson-Florissant has more than 11,000 students in 24 schools.