LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tuesday is the first day of school for Jefferson County students, but some Western High School students have already been hitting the books.

They are full-time college students and barely old enough to drive.

"This is the early college program in partnership with Jefferson Community and Technical College," said Western High School Principal Michael Newman.

This is the first JCPS dual credit program where students spend an entire day on a college campus.

"I plan to go to school for another eight years because I want to be in the medical program," said Acacia Bowman, "and so this is like a free year of college."

So far, 19 students from Western have signed up, taking 12 credit hours a piece.

They're part of the test group. If it works, Western plans to send 150 kids to JCTC over the next two years.

"It's more laid back than high school and obviously more strict," said Marissa. "I think it's pretty cool."

Meanwhile, with classes in the rest of the school district starting Tuesday, we found teachers like Wendy Smith putting the finishing touches on their rooms.

Ironically, Smith's plan calls for chewing gum.

"We have sticks of gum because we all are going to stick together this year," Smith said.

In her first year at Roosevelt-Perry Elementary, Smith will see new state standards for science teaching as well as new literacy and math programs launching at this school.

"I believe we're going to see some improvement in some of our scores,"  Principal Pam Howell said. "The old things we used to be doing, it wasn't working. So we're going to try this and see what happens this year."

The first day sets the tone for the entire year, and one of the most important tasks for administrators is making sure children arrive home safely.

That's why because every student will be issued a color-coded tag with their information on it. Red tags go to Kindergartners and so on. Students will also be issued wrist bands with corresponding bus information and where that bus is going.

Parents with questions can call the JCPS hotline at 485-RIDE. The hotline was taking calls until 4:30 Monday, and calls will be taken from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. 

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