Cobb County Schools bus driver Claudette Petsch drops off students at Sedalia Park Elementary School Thursday morning. (MARLON A. WALKER / marlon.walker@ajc.com)

Excitement, fear abound as some metro Atlanta schools open

Thousands of students are returning to school in metro Atlanta today, the first start date of the year for many of the state’s children.

With it are traffic laws to remember as school buses return to the roads in droves, as well as excitement and fear from both parents and students as children head back to class.

Cobb Schools Deputy Superintendent John Adams said school bus drivers will drive about 1,000 bus routes and hit some 35,000 bus stops along the way. At its peak, the school's bus system will bring about 75,000 students to and from school each day. 

"School buses are one of the safest ways to get there," he said. 

This also is the first full year the district will use the "Here Comes the Bus" app for parents to keep tabs on bus routes. Using unique codes sent to parents for each route where they have a child assigned, the app will allow parents to track the bus along its route. Adams said about 35,000 parents already were signed up to use the technology.

Third-grader Peyton Patterson was ready to get back to school this morning. 

“I’m a little nervous and excited at the same time,” the 8-year-old said outside Clarkdale Elementary School in Austell. 

Peyton’s mom, Julicia Hamilton, said she was “relieved I don’t have to pay $140 for camp anymore,” but not ready for the strict back-to-school schedule.

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