Students in Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools are back in class. Students in grades 6 and 9 returned to classes on Sept. 6, secondary students in grades 7 and 8 and 10-12 began their school year on Sept. 7, and elementary students in grades K-5 went back to school on Sept. 8.

According to a press release from PLSAS, the staggered start was intended to help students feel safe and supported as they begin the school year and get acclimated to their school environment and to provide an opportunity for upperclassmen to mentor their younger peers.

The district’s new superintendent, Dr. Michael Thomas, got acquainted with elementary students at a Prior Lake bus stop on the first day of school. Thomas spoke with parents and students at the bus stop and then boarded the bus en route to Five Hawks Elementary, where he greeted the students with high fives and fist bumps.