Back to School: First day guide for West Michigan students


KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The time has come! The bell is about to ring, because school is back in session!

Students across Kalamazoo and beyond are back to class Tuesday, ready to start off the new school year.

100 High-Fives

Waiting at the front doors when they arrive will be a heroes welcome!

The 100 High-Fives tradition happens every year thanks to the Mothers of Hope. They enlist 100 men in the community to come out to the first day of school for Kalamazoo Public Schools and greet the children with high-fives. The goal is for students to see their role models welcoming them to school and inspire them to achieve and become "Kalamazoo Promise ready," according to Kalamazoo County Commission chair, Stephanie Moore.

Big community names greeting at schools Tuesday morning include Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell, Representative Jon Hoadley and Judge Alexander Lipsey.

"Most of the time they're shocked just to see their presence, the high level of energy," said Moore. "Just to see the guys there giving the high-fives and the fist bumps. They love that people take the time out just to show the kids some love."

Free Library Cards

Each student at Kalamazoo Public Schools will also receive a library card this year as part of a partnership with the Kalamazoo Public Library. The goal is to make getting a card simpler to promote reading and the wealth of resources the public library has to offer.

Students will now have access to thousands of classic works, reference books and a place to browse the web for free.

"It's a great way to get kids and families into the library," said Ryan Wieber, the director of the Kalamazoo Public Library. "We're doing away with the idea that kids have to come in with a parent and get a library card. We're making it one big step easier by having that process automated. Just by enrolling in Kalamazoo Public Schools you're eligible for a card."

All KPS students from first grade through seniors in high school will automatically be registered for a library card, but parents can opt out if they want.

Flooded Roads Back Open

Getting to school was almost a major headache for parents and school bus drivers Tuesday morning but all roads in Kalamazoo are now back open.

Roads were shut down overnight after severe storms blew through West Michigan causing water to pool in the road.

A Fresh Look

Martin Public Schools Superintendent David Harnish spent his summer cleaning up and painting the entire school, K-12th.

Read more: Martin Schools Superintendent painting classrooms himself to save district thousands

Cheers For the Home Team

Portage Northern High School finally has their own home stadium. Complete with safe turf and concession stands, athletes are taking the field for the 2018 football season.

Read more: Alums, fans bask in Huskie Stadium spotlight

Send Us Your Photos

As your kids grab their bags and head off to class, don't forget to send us your photos!

We want to see your back to school pictures, cool classrooms and first day of school lunches.

You can CHIME IN by clicking here.

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