Students in Lauderdale County schools heard the alarm clocks ringing and school buses pulling up to their houses early Monday.
There's a different look for those students this year. They're wearing uniforms.
School officials say the change hasn't been an easy one for some, but things are going relatively smoothly.
"We've had some parents coming in saying they're having a hard time finding them and there's a lot of stores that have them, and from what I'm being told, there's still plenty to be had," said Billy Burnham, Principal at Southeast Lauderdale.
Burnham says other than the uniforms, this is the smoothest first day of school in his three years at Southeast Lauderdale.
It was also the first day of classes at Lamar School in Meridian. Students started filing into school doors with their parents early Monday.
But if you think it's early for students, think about the teachers. They had to go back to work last week.
Public schools in Meridian started last Thursday. Other schools in surrounding counties started late last week or Monday. Some Alabama schools start later this week.
So, why the early start for school? There are a number of reasons for it:
- Time to prepare for tests
- Students retain more
- More days of school required
Many education officials say they need the extra time to prepare for state standardized tests. Others say a longer summer means students forget more of what they learned the year before.
The number of days students are required to be in school every year has also risen in recent years. Mississippi law says school cannot start before Aug. 1.