KATY, Texas -- As the crowd grew outside the doors of Katy ISD’s Bryant Elementary Wednesday morning, so did the smile on Superintendent Lance Hindt’s face. When the time came for a memorial photo, he was ready.

“Now, everybody show your teeth if you’ve got ‘em!” Hindt told the group of students posing with him.

It’s not every day the head of the district is doling out high fives as school starts, but Wednesday isn’t like every other day and Bryant Elementary isn’t like every other school.

“Elementary No. 40 right here,” Hindt says. “You know, we’re a fast-growing school district, but we’re really thrilled with the facilities.”

TAKE A TOUR: Inside look at Katy ISD's new Bryant Elementary

Bright, open and full of open collaborative spaces, Bryant offers a new take on learning.

“Schools have changed a bit since the early ’70s and ‘80s when I was in school, but what’s happening in the classrooms hasn’t changed,” says Hindt.

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Another thing that hasn’t changed: that first-day buzz. Sisters Macariya and Naveyah told us they’re pretty excited for one reason in particular.

“Me and Nevayah are on the same floor,” Macariya says.

The big sis helped her little sister, who’s in kindergarten, navigate the new halls this morning as they headed to their new classrooms. They were joined by hundreds of other kids, including Justin Osborne’s youngest son, kindergartener Oliver.

“He’ll be the first class to go all the way through school,” Osborne says. “That’s exciting.”

The district says it’s growing by about 3,000 students each year, which is why the superintendent says that bond voters passed in 2014 to build more schools like Bryant one was so important.