FAIRFIELD — It was a mostly confident crop of students waiting outside McKinley Elementary School Thursday, as the town’s schools opened for the new year.

Some students used the playground to work off any excess energy or nerves while waiting for the first bell to ring. Kindergarten teachers held signs outside their classrooms, as their charges lined up, name tags in place.

Nine-year-old Allie Cooper said that she was more excited for the first day then her mom. Entering the fourth grade, Allie said she expects that this school year may be a little bit harder than the third grade. The best part about school, Allie said, was making new friends.

Ryan and Carter Yancey, a set of 5-year-old twins, had been at the school on Wednesday for orientation, when they discovered they were in the same classroom. Their foster mom and great aunt, Angie Julious, quickly had that changed.

“They’re excited,” Julious said, “and a little bit scared.” Attending the Early Childhood Center last year, she said, prepared them for their first day of elementary school.

“They’re ready to roll,” Julious said. “They have a couple of their friends in their classes, so they’re happy.”

Valentina Torres, 5, was ready to go and start kindergarten, with her backpack on at 8:30 a.m, and was “very, very excited.”

Not only were teachers and administrators outside to greet students, and make sure they knew which classroom they were assigned to, but the school’s mascot, Bubbles, was also on hand. Bubbles gave out high fives and hugs, and posed for pictures.

Parents, teachers, and students weren’t the only ones prepared for the first day of school. According to Lt. Robert Kalamaras, the traffic unit was out Thursday morning, ready to issue $500 tickets for any motorist passing a stopped school bus. Kalamaras said there are some areas in town where motorists are known for passing school buses, and those are the areas they planned to target.