More than 4,000 students arrived safely Monday for the first day of 2012-13 school year in the Milford School District.

More than 4,000 students arrived safely Monday for the first day of 2012-13 school year in the Milford School District.

“I’m excited to go learn new stuff in a new grade,” Chris Perry, a fourth grader at Lulu M. Ross Elementary School, exclaimed after making his was way off the bus.

“I’m glad it’s the first day,” Kaya Hughes, a fifth grader at Ross Elementary, said of the new school year. “My favorite part about school is math.”

Excitement over the first day of school wasn’t limited to just students, either.

“It’s extremely exciting,” said Ross Elementary Principal Cindy McKenzie. “I love the first day of school when the kids come in all excited and they can’t wait to get to their classroom.”

New superintendent Phyllis Kohel said the first day back went well at all seven schools in the district.

“So far it’s been great,” she said Monday. “I was particularly interested to see how the bus drop offs would be with the new start times, but it all went very smoothly.”

Kohel was referring to the new bus drop-off times approved by the Milford school board in mid-July. Starting Monday, school buses will now drop off elementary school students first. The buses then head back out to pick up students who attend Milford Middle School, Milford Central Academy and Milford High School.

Classroom schedules, teacher planning periods and school dismissal times also have changed this year.

But schedules aren’t the only thing new at Milford High School, where Principal David Carter is starting his first year at the helm.

“I look at today like game day,” said Carter, a former high school assistant principal and football coach. “This is what we’ve been preparing for and working towards and now it’s time to execute. Some of the students are a little unsure and some are a little concerned, but it’s our job to get them on the right path so they can learn and grow into responsible young adults.”

During grade-level assemblies Monday morning, Carter stressed to students the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, respecting their peers and the faculty and abiding by school and district policy.

“This will be the best year, if you choose to make it that way,” he told the tenth-grade class, who attended Milford High for the first time Monday. “Be in the moment and be excited about it.”

Tenth grader Jenna Campbell said having Carter as her new principal is one of the things she’s most looking forward to this year, along with homecoming and getting her driver’s license.

“He’s really cool,” she said. “I play sports and he’s really involved with athletics. I’m glad he’s here.”

Seniors Diamond Cartwright and Destiny Sivels, meanwhile, said they were excited to be starting their last year of high school.

“I’m glad to be back to see all my old friends and teachers,” Sivels said. “I’m really looking forward to the homecoming game and getting to leave school early because I’m a senior.”

Cartwright said the school year can’t go fast enough.

“I’m really looking forward to going on the senior cruise,” she said. “I’m ready to graduate already.”