HALLS, Tenn. (WATE) — The first week of school in Knox County is in the books, and Friday hundreds were out celebrating in Halls. It was all a part of the inaugural Halls Community Back to School Kickoff.

“The vibe this week, the enthusiasm, the feeling, the spirit, the culture, it’s all been positive this week,” Halls High School Principal Spencer Long said.

Everybody at Halls elementary had a smooth start too.

The school’s principal, Nathan Lynn, said, “They really enjoy school. They come to the school with big smiles ready to get back to it and we can really jump in and they can really focus in on what they’re supposed to learn. And look forward to the school and all those opportunities to learn new things.”

“Learned about science and learned about the earth and compass,” said third grader Joannah Martin.

Not long ago, a new organization was formed to serve as a support system.

“We started a new foundation just to help fundraise and help advocate for just the schools in the Halls community,” Long said. “K-12, so this is the first fundraising event for the Halls Community Schools Foundation.”

Tavis Martin has two kids in Halls schools. He said, “Part of the community, we didn’t have that. We moved here from Vegas, and we didn’t really have that there and that’s one the reasons why we moved here in Halls.”

“We truly are dedicated to excellence, and we want excellence for our students,” Lynn said. “We expect it out of our students and we want to give excellence for them so they can achieve great things in life and make a difference in the world.”

While providing a high-quality education is on the top of many minds, so is keeping students and everybody at school safe.

Lynn said, “Every day our students coming into school that safety is definitely the number one priority and I think that we evaluate that every year with our school security officers to say what do we need and what can we do the best so we can be excellent for all of our students in that area as well.”

“I feel very safe for them to come to school,” Martin said. “You see the police out in the mornings and there when they’re letting out of school. It makes you feel like your kids can go to school without having to worry about stuff you see on the news all the time.”

Nearly $5 million in additional funding was allocated this year for school security. A record number of school resource officers have also been hired.