SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State Education Department Commissioner Dr. Betty Rosa paid students a visit for their first day back in the Schenectady City School District.

Rosa took a tour of Pleasant Valley Elementary School with Superintendent Anibal Soler. She told reporters that, in addition to school safety, the department is focused on addressing a teacher shortage plaguing many school districts.

“We have also created flexibility as you know, in many of our ranks, to not only recruit, retain, and support the teachers,” Rosa said.

Superintendent Soler acknowledged that, after the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, parents are incredibly focused on their children’s safety at school. The district welcomed 52 new members to its safety team.

“We’ve also added things like restorative practice specialists, counselors in all of our elementary schools,” Soler said. “So that’s all part of that whole safety team, that safety approach. Again, our parents send us their most prized possessions, which is their children, and we have a responsibility to make sure we do everything we can in our power to create a safe and welcoming environment.”