GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Students from Grand Rapids Public Schools headed back to school Tuesday morning.

News 8 talked with GRPS Superintendent, Dr. Leadriane Roby, and Director of School Security, Larry Johnson about the upcoming school year.

This is the first year GRPS is not enforcing uniforms. Dr. Roby said the decision was made after a survey order to give students more creative freedom to express themselves.

“We are very excited to see our young people show up in all of their fashions, and however they see themselves presenting themselves this year,” said Dr. Roby.

With kids going back to school and the recent increase in school shootings, another big topic of discussion is safety. Johnson said parents should trust the system, and that GRPS security staff has been working all summer long to get ready for the new year. He said teachers have also participated in trainings.

“We will continue to train, continue to look at ways to improve safety and security in our district, continue to work with our families and students, to ensure they’re safe when they enter our properties and buildings,” said Johnson.

Both Johnson and Dr. Roby said they are looking forward to the start of the new school year and welcoming kids back into class.