NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Before students hit the books in Connecticut, some are joining in the celebration of their teachers.

New Haven Public Schools is starting the 2023-24 academic year with a new superintendent, Dr. Madeline Negrón. The annual convocation is a time to welcome new and returning teachers into the classroom.

Another highlight was the surprise visit by Meriden native and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

Students return to the classroom in New Haven on Thursday, Aug. 31.

In Hartford, the district held a convocation for teachers and staff during a professional learning session before Tuesday’s first day of school.

The event was live-streamed, and each Hartford school held watch parties for faculty and staff.