Update 2:30 p.m.:
Fort Worth superintendent Walter Dansby visited I.M. Terrell Elementary School and Western Hills Elementary School on Monday.
"We’re really excited about the beginning of the school year, a lot of new opportunities and we’re looking forward to it," Dansby told reporters. "It's very important to get the first day started off on the right foot for everyone, for teachers and students as well. It's something that carries us out throughout the week but also throughout the entire year."
Increased campus security is evident at Fort Worth schools, where a partnership between the school district and the city of Fort Worth is placing trained volunteers near 10 elementary campuses who are on the lookout for unusual behavior.
The volunteers from Code Blue: Citizens on Patrol use bikes, cars or golf carts to patrol the perimeter of the campuses during the school day.
Volunteer James Weatherford expects to be on duty twice a week at Western Hills Elementary School. He wears a blue vest and bike helmet.
"This has been my home for 65 years and it is time to give back to the community," Weatherford said. "I'm going to be on my bike patrolling the parking lots.
"We are not to interface directly with students," he said. " Our primary focus is protection of the children. We're not going to be involved with disputes or mundane things."
Security at campuses was upgraded using money in a 2007 bond package, including adding classroom call buttons for teachers to communicate with the office, thumb locks so the door can be locked from the inside and security camera. A Nov. 2013 bond package proposal includes funds to upgrade security, including more cameras and controlled access doors.
Dansby said Code Blue is trained and "counseled on how to interact with anything that may happen on our school campus."
He added: "Code Blue will be very diligent around our campuses and are going to report directly to the police department. It is basically the same thing they do in the neighborhoods and they are going to give us the opportunity to work with us during the school day."
Don't forget: For many teachers and administrators alike, Monday was their first day at a new campus assignment. That was the case for Cynthia Miles-Brown, the new principal at Daggett Middle School, a campus for grades six to eight in the Fairmont-Southside historic district. (photo by Diane Smith).
School is in! More than 80,000 students in Fort Worth schools returned to classes this morning.
At Western Hills Elementary School, students carried boxes of school supplies, including tissues, notebooks and packs of pencils, as they entered the school.
Many greeted classmates with high fives and showed off neon tennis shoes and new backpacks.
Second grader James Lyons, 7, carried a bag stuffed with crayons, glue, folders and notebooks. He is transferring from a Kennedale school but already has friends after meeting children in his new neighborhood.
"Mom, did you bring my Spiderman pencils?" he asked?
She reassured him they were in his bag.
"Yes!," he said. "That's a relief."
Left: For t Worth superintendent Walter Dansby talks with Code Blue volunteer James Weatherford.