SAN ANTONIO – On Monday, teachers with the Northside Independent School District headed back to work.
Their first day back included a pep rally at Ross Middle School, followed by a neighborhood block walk.
More than 500 teachers from Ross, Esparza, Linton, Martin, Powell and Villarreal middle schools -- all wearing bright pink t-shirts -- packed the gymnasium.
The Holmes High School band and cheerleaders helped set an upbeat atmosphere.
A panel of special guest speakers, including Mayor Ivy Taylor, San Antonio police Chief William McManus and NISD Superintendent Brian Wood, offered words of encouragement.
McManus told teachers, "You make that big difference whether that kid is going to fall off the tightrope on the wrong side or stay on the right side."
After the pep rally, teachers hit the streets for a block walk to visit as many students and families in the neighborhood as possible. They handed out bags filled with back-to-school information, including orientation dates, a school calendar and school supply lists.
While some went house-to-house, other groups targeted apartment complexes.
At the Monticello Apartments, a group of teachers in a truck honked and called for parents to meet them out front.
"A lot of people that live in these apartments. The single moms don't have transportation so there are a lot that actually walk or take the bus so it helps out that they are here," said Rosalie Gomez, a mother of three.
The first day of school for NISD students is on Monday, Aug. 25.