FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WUSA9) -- It's the first day of school for thousands of students across northern Virginia, which means every student in our region is going to school Tuesday.
With more than 186,000 students, Fairfax County is the largest school system in the D.C. region.
Vanessa Herring reported from Bailey's Upper Elementary School on Leesburg Pike in Falls Church. It's the first day the school is open. Principal Marie Lemmon spoke to us about alleviating the issue of overcrowding.
"We had children in 19 trailers and some in the 12-room modular, and This is going to totally solve that problem for us. Bathrooms were a concern, the use of the cafeteria and gym, and here we have space to move and grow," stated Lemmon.
This is a unique building because it was an office building and it has a vertical design.
"It's an amazing beautiful school any child would want to go to. It's the design of the future and it's solving our problems now. Kids were here for open house on Thursday and just loved it," shared Lemmon.
Children from the third, fourth and fifth grades will go to the new school.
She also shared a message with students Tuesday: "Get ready to have fun and work hard. We love you."
We also spoke to Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza. She discussed the important things that students and parents need to know this year.
"The schedule changed slightly like on Mondays, for example, where customarily our schools, our elementary schools had half a day school. We now have a full day of school on Monday just like Tuesday through Friday. That was an important change that we made, and we will have some holidays throughout the year that are very different than we had before but if parents have questions about that, it's available on our website. I encourage them to go to our website. Those holidays, I think, are clearly noted," stated Dr. Garza.
Garza also had a message for students and parents as they get ready for the new school year: "Give it your best this year. Our teachers and employees all through the system are ready to go. We love what we do with our children and we do great things. And we're very proud of our school system but most importantly. we're proud of our students and we're very thankful that families throughout our community have trust in our school system. We're expecting a very, very positive school year."