JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Students in the Jackson metro are returning to class for the 2023-24 school year.

Parents dropped off their kids off at Green Elementary School in Jackson on Monday. Students walked into the building with a sense of gratitude, knowing that receiving an education is privilege.

“I like that I could come to school and learn and be able to have the opportunity to learn everything that I need to learn, because I know some other kids, like they don’t have the opportunity to do that,” said Zoei Bowen, Green Elementary National Honor Society President.

As an educator, teaching students in the current climate can be challenging. However, teachers said it’s truly a worthwhile investment to help mold the next generation of the future.

“Teaching is… it’s a privilege to be a teacher to be able to help the babies going around the community. Also to be able to help mold them to be successful and young, to be successful young people growing up in this society,” said Chesmond Jordan, a fifth grade teacher.

The Jackson Public School District (JPS) has implemented new protocols and programs this year after merging some schools. There are digital scanners at high schools to detect dangerous items and free lunches.