Rancho Mirage, CA
The ‘first day of school’ jitters can be felt even before hitting the classroom doors, even for parents like Cari Armendariz.
"I typically walk them in and out so they’re not alone," Armendariz said.
She’s extra protective as the number of distractions behind the wheel continues to grow.
"Cars are crazy, people not paying attention, it’s just so good to be so aware of all of your surroundings," says John Livreri.
His son goes to Rancho Mirage Elementary and his daughter is a junior in high school. He always stresses teaching his son the do’s and don’ts on the first day of school.
"You know, looking both ways when he goes out in the street," he said.
27 other schools across the valley went back to school Wednesday morning, all part of the Palm Springs Unified School District. But in the coming weeks, drivers can expect kids and their parents to walk in numbers to and from school throughout the week.
"Those kids will be back out there in the community, they’re going to be in the school zones, they’re going to be in the neighborhoods," said Doug Shupe with the Auto Club of Southern California.
It’s a heads-up for drivers who may think about picking up a cellphone or reaching for something in the floorboard.
"Remember that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds, doubles your chances of being involved in a crash," said Shupe.
Although today is the start of a new year, routine for many parents like Armendariz, is comforting.
"I walked my kindergartener to school, every day i walked him into school," she said.
Whether parents allow their kids to walk by foot, bicycle to school or take the bus, safety for the kids is key.
Students in the Coachella Valley Unified School District head back to class on Wednesday August 16, while students in the Desert Sand Unified School District get another two weeks of vacation, heading back on August 24.