NEW CANAAN — The first bus, loaded with a mix of elementary school students, arrived around 8:50 a.m. Thursday morning at 769 Ponus Ridge Road.

The energy was palpable, with loud chatter and yells as the bus neared its stop, right where a line of school officials and teachers awaited the students.

“So far so good,” West School Principal Jan Murphy said as she was greeting and high-fiving a line of children who were headed to the playground. “The sun is shining and it can’t get better than this.”

First graders were escorted to the playground, where many took to climbing the monkey bars and playing tag, a last burst of summer energy before beginning another academic year.

Superintendent of School Bryan Luizzi had been at the high school and Saxe Middle School prior to West where he, accompanied by other administration officials, waved to children as they boarded off the bus and headed to their respective classrooms.

“It’s my fifth time doing this,” Luizzi said. “It’s always very exciting.”