LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — More than a half-million Los Angeles Unified School District students headed back to school on Tuesday.

According to the school district, members of the board of education and district officials greeted 550,000 students on the first day of the new school year.

“LAUSD Schools are the places where American dreams can come true,” said L.A. School Board President Steve Zimmer. “Nothing is more powerful than the potential of our children. May the hope of this day supercharge a new spirit of collaboration around public education in L.A. that will change lives and transform communities.”

Los Angeles School Police and Los Angeles Police Department officers were also out in force to ensure the safety of students on campus.

Officers additionally monitored traffic in the area to make sure that motorists drove cautiously around school areas.

Last year, the district faced several problems. The central computer program, MiSis, crashed leaving students without class schedules, and some schools were highly understaffed by about 200 teachers in total.

However, authorities stressed that positive changes have been lined up to counteract for last year’s trouble.

“They can expected success this year,” said Dr. Frances Marie Gipson, local district east superintendent. “We’ve had daily call-ins to make sure every student is on track for success.”

Technicians were brought in to the schools to be on hand if any problems arose with the program.

In response to last year’s lack of staffing, permanent teachers were hired to fill every classroom within the school district.

Additional funding has allowed for more nurses, counselors and librarians to also be hired.

This year, some secondary students were put into smaller math and English classes.

Meanwhile, hospital officials of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles offered a series of tips to help keep children safe and healthy during the school year.

— Children under the age of 10-years-old should not walk alone to school. They should stay on sidewalks or walk in the direction of traffic.

— Crosswalks should always be used when crossing the street.

— Headphones should not be worn and text messages should not be sent while walking.

— Reflective gear and light-colored clothing should be worn while riding bicycles or scooters.

— Backpacks should be kept light to prevent back problems.

— Children should stay hydrated during hot weather, especially heat wave conditions.

— Hands should be washed frequently throughout the day to avoid picking up or passing germs to other students.

— Vaccination records should be up to date, and eyesight and hearing should be checked prior to the first day of school.

At this time, only Bell Senior High School operates on a year-round schedule within the district. Students who attend this school began classes on July 1.

Health officials reminded the public that seventh-graders need to be immunized against whooping cough. Those without proof of immunization will not be able to attend classes.

“We look forward to collaborating with parents, students, teachers and school leadership for what promises to be a school year filled with much success,” added Board Vice President Dr. George McKenna III.

Officials explained the LAUSD is the nation’s second-largest school district.

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