KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va (WSAZ) -- The first day of school wouldn't be complete without some goodbye kisses, catching up with friends and a little bit of nerves.
Kanawha County students returned to school Monday, August 12th.
"I'm not ready," said fourth-grader Harlee Derrix.
It's a day some look forward to all summer.
"He was up at 6 o'clock," said Shoals Elementary Parent Josh Ginther. "I was still in bed and he was shaking me telling me it's time to go to school."
But going back to school also brings up concerns for some parents at Shoals Elementary School.
"I said a heartfelt prayer this morning for protection over the school, the teachers, just the whole area," said Ruby Derrix. "With everything going on out there. You better be prayed up."
That's why Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies made their presence known Monday, directing traffic and patrolling.
It's all part of a program funded by the Kanawha County Commission.
"This puts deputies at the schools, randomly patrolling them throughout the school year," said Sgt. Brian Humphreys. "It also puts them at special events. They create and develop relationships with the parents, the students, and the teachers and staff at the schools so that if and when there is some sort of a crisis, there's a foundational relationship there between the deputies that work that area who are in those schools and those who work the schools and need our assistance."
That foundation gives parents the peace of mind they need to send their children to school with confidence.
"I'm a little bit excited," said Harlee Derrix.