BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham city school officials say they're excited about the number of students who've shown up for this first week of class.
"We have 500 more students today on day four than we had last year on day four. And we have 1,000 more students today than we had yesterday," said Dr. Mark Sullivan, chief of staff for the school system.
Sullivan says the change in uniform policy may be one reason this year's numbers are higher.
"I know in the past sometimes kids would not come to school the first day of school while they waited to get their new uniforms. So that's not an issue anymore. What they had this summer, played in this summer, the jeans they played in, they can wear those to school," Sullivan says.
Last year the system faced some major criticism when it came to safety, especially after the death of a Huffman High student.
Some parents vowed to leave the system.
Sullivan would not say if they've seen that come to fruition yet, but he does point out there are still many students who have yet to come to class.
"If you haven't registered or you haven't done so, please do so - it's important. There's a lot of research out there that says if a student starts off a certain way in school around attendance, that's the way they are throughout the year. And we know kids can't learn if they're not in class," said Sullivan.
There have been a lot of new families moving into the Birmingham city school system. Sullivan could not say if those families also contribute to the higher numbers, but he hopes those new families will consider the Birmingham school system as their first choice for education.