LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) — It’s the start of a new school year with new policies in Laurens County School District 55.

“Safety is a top priority and we want to be able to focus on the main thing, which is our students and their learning,” said superintendent Dr. Ameca Thomas.

District-wide students are required to use clear backpacks this school year. Board members approved this new policy over the summer.

“All of our students, I think we had one or two that didn’t have any, we had some bags to provide them, but all of our students had their clear book bags and were ready to go when they got here this morning,” said Laurens High School Principal Lewis Compton.

District leaders hope this new security effort will increase safety in schools.

“This is just another measure with the clear backpacks to hopefully deter unwanted behaviors and just to keep our schools safe so we can really focus on teaching and learning,” said Thomas. “You’re able to actually see in the bags to see what’s in there, so hopefully it’s just another added layer of protection.”

The district also added weapon detectors at each middle school and Laurens High School. The detectors are portable and can be positioned at school entrances and moved, as needed.

“If there’s anything that’s alerted, we have staff who are trained and who are able to handle that and take care of it,” said Thomas.

With the back-to-school rush Tuesday morning, Principal Compton said it was an adjustment for students.

“It did back up a little bit this morning, it’s just sort of a learning curve for all of us,” said Compton.

He said soon students will settle in to the new routine.

“I think as we move along, we’ll just get faster and faster,” said Compton.

He believes these security measures will help enforce a safe learning environment.

“We’re here to protect our children and make sure that everybody is safe in Laurens District 55,” said Compton.

The district has also purchased two K-9 article dogs that will be trained through the police department and sheriff’s office. District leaders said the K-9s will be on campuses later this year.