AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- Elementary students in Richmond County went back to school last week. Monday morning, the rest of the district returns.

With the new school year comes changes. Westside High School is one of those with a big change. They have a new state of the art performing arts theater that students are really excited about.

For the district as a whole, middle and high schoolers will get new resources, like upgraded textbooks.

As far mask wearing, they are not required in schools or on buses. Speaking of buses, routes are changing this year to make them more efficient.

“And what that did for us was enable us to be able to accommodate the number of drivers we had to make sure that our students still got picked up in a location that was in a reasonable proximity to their homes and to still make sure they were able to make it to school on time,” said Lynthia Ross, Director of Communications for Richmond County Schools.

Each route is covered with a bus driver this year, however 34 vacancies remain open. To apply for the position head to the Richmond County School district’s website.

An app to track the buses LIVE will be available soon after Labor Day.

Something parents can also look forward to is knowing the school system is taking extra safety measures this school year.

As in past years, each school in the district is required to submit a safety plan, and conduct school safety meetings involving faculty and staff. But this year, teachers will be given an extra safety measure that will help in the classroom.

“We are also integrating in to our schools a crisis alert system that is being installed throughout the course of this school year. So that calls for assistance can be made at the touch of a button on an employee’s ID badge,” Ross explained.

Each school will also, only use one entrance to monitor foot traffic into and out the school buildings.

As far as resource officers go, each middle and high school will have its own. The elementary schools will share resource officers.