Benton Harbor Area Schools welcome back students for 2023-2024 school year

NOW: Benton Harbor Area Schools welcome back students for 2023-2024 school year

Benton Harbor, Mich. - Students at Benton Harbor Area Schools were greeted with handshakes and hugs, a DJ, and a big round of applause Monday morning for their first day of school.

The hope was to start the year with some fun and prioritize the mental health of both students and faculty.

The welcome back clap started at Benton Harbor High School as the staff welcomed back the oldest of the approximately 1500 students in the district.

"We are cheering them on as they begin the school year to get them excited to get started,” said Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Butts.

Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Butts says the school district has a lot to be excited for this year, including new smart boards and $1.3 million worth of new textbooks.

Also, as the district is looking to keep more qualified teachers in the classroom, they're offering $2,000 bonuses in some cases.

The fun made its way to hype up the youngest students at Fair Plain East Elementary as they got off the bus to enjoy their first breakfast of the year.

"You keep that energy up now, they’ll stay on a positive vibe throughout the school year,” said Latasha Heggler-Thomas an Instructional Facilitator for the Special Education Department at Fair Plain Wast.

Teachers told us they were overjoyed to see students' faces walk through the door for the first time since summer break.

Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Butts says it was an exciting start to what he believes will be an exciting year ahead for the district.

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