Students in half a dozen school districts returned to class Monday across the Tennessee Valley. 

In Cleveland, excitement filled the air as students kicked off the new year.    

"It's a new school, new school year, excited to meet friends, so it's going to be exciting for him. I know he's got butterflies, because I've got butterflies for him to start a new school," April Robinson said. 

It's Jamarion Sullivan's first day of fourth grade at George R. Stuart Elementary School. 

Robinson came to make sure her son, Sullivan, got to class without any problems. 

Sullivan isn't the only one getting used to new surroundings. 

"Students are here, we're excited for them. Teachers are excited and that makes the whole community excited, I believe," Dr. Russell Dyer said. 

Dyer is the new Director of Schools of Cleveland City Schools. He spent the day walking hallways and getting to know students and teachers. 

"I want to be transparent. I want to get to know the community. I want to hear concerns, I want to hear great things that are happening at various schools," he added. 

Ad Dyer gets settled in his new position, the focus shifts to students as they settle into the school routine. 

The hardest part of Sullivan is getting up early. 

"He goes to bed late during the summer, so getting him up early is hard. He actually got up early today, so I'm actually surprised. I got him up early and he got right up," Robinson said. 

Getting back on that school schedule is one of the most important keys to success. Just ask Southeast Teacher of the Year and Arnold Memorial Elementary School Music Specialist Siema Swartzel. 

"Tired kids are not always at their best and a lot of times they see things differently because they're just wore out. Make sure they get plenty of sleep. Breakfast is always a good thing, whether they eat here at school or at home, breakfast is always a good thing," Swartzel said. 

Tuesday is the first full day of class for Cleveland City students.