BACK TO SCHOOL 2022: What you need to know for the first day

CHARLOTTE — Believe it or not, it’s almost time to head back to school!

Wednesday, Aug. 10, marks the first day of school for the first students in Channel 9′s viewing area.

It’s time to head back to school in the Charlotte area! Our team coverage has students and parents covered on all things “Back to School,” on Eyewitness News.

Eyewitness News has dedicated a special section for coverage to help you prepare for the first day back to class.

FIRST DAY BACK:

Meteorologist Keith Monday will be in Severe Weather Center 9, tracking any weather that could impact your drive to school, bus stop drop-offs, and after-school pick-ups.

[WATCH: Interactive Radar]

If you are concerned about the drive to school, Traffic Team 9 will have traffic updates on Eyewitness News Daybreak every 10 minutes, starting at 4:30 a.m.

Get to school and back home safely

On the first day of school, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will launch more than a thousand buses across the Charlotte area, taking hundreds of thousands of students to and from school.

Parents can track their child’s bus with the “Here Comes the Bus” app.

School officials say parents should have their child at their assigned bus stop at least 10 minutes before the scheduled stop time.

As buses return to the road and kids are back on campus, its important to remember the laws that also go into effect.

“It is not uncommon for motorist to drive recklessly when approaching a school bus,” CMS says on its website. “When you see the amber lights on a school bus, that means the motorist should start slowing down. The bus driver is activating the amber lights to give the motorist notice that they are getting ready to activate the red lights and stop. Driving recklessly to get around a school bus that is driving safely, not only endangers the motorist, but also the children on the school bus.”

[CLICK HERE TO WATCH CHOPPER 9 LIVE TRAFFIC UPDATES]

When students return to the classroom, posted speed limits in school zones also are back in play. Fines for speeding in a school zone can cost hundreds of dollars, not to mention the fee added to your car insurance bill.

Generally, CMS says the school zone speed limits are in effect a half-hour prior to the start of the school day, and again for a half-hour in the afternoon after the students have been dismissed for the day.

BACK TO SCHOOL COVERAGE:

CMS student safety

Beginning this school year, all CMS high school, middle schools and K-8 schools in the district will have weapon detectors, Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh announced in July.

Weapon detectors were added in most 21 CMS high schools during the last school year. A spokesperson for the district did not give an exact date of when the machines will be installed, but said it would happen sometime in the fall of the 2022 to 2023 school year.

“This effort demonstrates our commitment to providing a secure school environment where students can thrive academically, socially and emotionally,” Hattabaugh said in a statement.

The move comes after 31 guns were found on the campuses of CMS schools last year, according to CMS data. Four of the guns were found at middle schools.

Data from the state of North Carolina collected by our partners at the Charlotte Observer shows that Mecklenburg County has led the state for the most guns found over the past 11 years. The district accounts for 23% of the guns found at schools in the state, according to the data.

“The installation of the Evolv body scanners in our high schools has proven to be effective in deterring weapons in our schools in the second semester,” Hattabaugh’s statement said. “We will continue the rollout of scanners to the remaining CMS high schools as well as a plan to reach our middle and K-8 schools.”

The district also conducts random safety screenings on the campuses of all its schools as part of its vigilance measures.

Last winter, the CMS introduced the “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” in middle and high schools to help identify student’s at-risk of hurting themselves or others.

Students can submit a tip through the online “Say Something” system by visiting www.saysomething.net. The free app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play Store, and students can submit tips through the hotline by calling 1-844-5-SAYNOW.

CMS has a similar anonymous platform to report incidents of bullying.

(WATCH BELOW: Tips to score savings on back-to-school supplies)