MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It has been a busy day for students in Minneapolis, as they headed back to school Monday.

Students at Lucy Laney received a rock star welcome back from staff and from the district’s new superintendent, Ed Graff.

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Graff came to Minneapolis after spending 25 years working in Anchorage, Alaska public schools.

On Monday morning, he kicked off the year by riding the bus to school with Lucy Laney students. When the students arrived to the school, the principal, community members and parents rolled out the red carpet. Kids were welcomed by music, cheers and handshakes.

It’s something school officials, and Graff, said helps kids jump-start the new year and gets the community involved.

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“I want the children to feel special. I want them to feel wanted. I want them to feel important. I want them to feel like rock stars and celebrities,” Mauri Melander, the principal at Lucy Laney, said.

“Students need us as much as we need them. Schools are a reflection of our community, so it’s really critical that they see support for everything about the first day of school and school year,” Graff said.

At noon, he’s visited Northeast Middle School where he had lunch with some 8th grade students.

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Graff said his goal for Monday is making sure there aren’t any issues or hiccups on the first day of school. He will also talk with teachers to make sure their needs are being met, and make sure parents understand they’re a huge part of the district’s success.