The Foothill Elementary School family lost one of its own this summer: 10-year-old Vincent Holzer. But despite concerns, teachers say the children seem to be doing OK on their first day of school.
Foothill was decorated with lots of welcome-back signs and balloons Wednesday.
There was lots of positive energy from the students and staff excited about being back after summer vacation.
School Principal Bridget Braney said teachers will talk with the older kids about the tragedy but overall, the day is about sending a tribute to Vincent.
"Vincent Holzer would have wanted the kids to be celebrating and to not be sad," Braney said. "And so we are doing that in his memory as well to make sure that we are celebrating our first day of school and having a great time."
The Santa Barbara County Department of Mental Health Services has teamed with Goleta and Santa Barbara school districts to provide free counseling at Foothill for community members through Compassion Centers on Thursday and Friday.
There will be three sessions each day from 10-12; 1-3, and 5-7.