PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Broward County got ready for its first day of school early Monday morning at the south terminal bus station in Pembroke Pines
About 73,000 students boarded school buses to head to their first day of class.
Broward County is the sixth largest school district in the nation with nearly 270,000 students enrolled.
The district operates one of the largest school bus fleets in the country, with 1,200 buses hitting the road every day.
Superintendent Robert Runcie was at the terminal dark and early to make sure all operations were running smoothly.
"I just want to thank and respect our bus drivers, our mechanics, our administrators," he said.
He also visited some schools to make sure the students were having a great day back.
"Everyone is excited to be back. Our students are happy to see some of their friends (and) some of their teachers," Runcie said.
This year, the new school year does bring some health fears as parents are concerned about the Zika virus. Runcie said he does have plans in place should Zika-infected mosquitoes travel into Broward County.
"We take a lot of our guidance from the Department of Health. We work with them collaboratively almost every day to make it as safe as possible," Runcie said.
While most students and parents were excited, some were also emotional.
"Very nervous. I've been crying all morning," one mother said.
Runcie applauded the teachers who he said make a difference each and every day.
"I applaud our teachers and our support staff," Runcie said. "(It's) a great day for our students and families."