Smiling faces were seen all around Santa Monica Thursday, with students eager to return for the 2023-24 year at Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. At Lincoln Middle School, new principal Jose Cuevas conversed with students and parents during a welcome back event, while students picked up their class schedules. Meanwhile, the kids of Edison Learning Academy spent their first morning greeting teachers in both English and Spanish, while getting in some playtime with new friends. Edison Principal Lori Orum said that the school is mainly the same, but that 2023-24 will have a focus on social and emotional learning for the dual immersion campus. The streets of Santa Monica also saw the return of crossing guards to pickup and dropoff locations throughout the district.