Bexar County’s roughly 350,000 public school students were back in the classroom as of Monday as school districts shrugged off Tropical Storm Harvey’s halfhearted wallop to the San Antonio area over the weekend.

Thousands of students packed the halls of the area’s two newest high schools, built to accommodate the fast population growth of western Bexar County.

Northside Independent School District welcomed students who live in the far West Side to its new Harlan High School and Kallison Elementary School, while Southwest ISD opened Southwest Legacy High School, the first comprehensive high school in 55 years established in a traditional school district on the South Side.

RELATED: Niche: These are 25 best public high schools in San Antonio for the 2017-2018 school year

Aliyah Manrique, 16, danced up the walkway to the cafeteria Monday morning to begin her sophomore year at Southwest Legacy. Last year she attended Southwest High School, which had been the district’s only high school for 64 years.

Manrique and her friend Denise Vargas, 15 and also a sophomore, live in the Indian Creek neighborhood and were re-zoned to attend the new school. They said the new school could provide them some relief from the crowding at Southwest High, which enrolled about 3,700 students.

“It’s kind of scary, though, because we don’t know the hallways,” Manrique said.

RELATED: For second time, NEISD board to consider Lee High School name

Legacy High opened with about 1,400 students in ninth through 11th grades, but in the years to come it could grow to hold as many as 3,200 students, said Rafael Barajas, its construction supervisor.

Alex Calderon, 16, wore her new cheerleading uniform for her first day at Harlan High School, which has enrolled about 1,500 freshman, sophomore and juniors from Taft, Brennan and O’Connor high schools in Northside ISD. The incoming junior previously attended Taft, where the hallways had been overcrowded with students, she said.

“It was hard to get to class,” Calderon said.

Calderon was glad to see many of her classmates had moved schools with her. It was comforting to see “familiar faces,” she said.

RELATED: Lamar Elementary teacher is finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year

Harlan Principal Robert Harris watched as students formed a line to ascend a wide, curved staircase that overlooks the cafeteria, where round tables bear the school’s logo. In his nearly two decades with Northside ISD, Harris said he’s seen the district open almost a half-dozen schools as it has experienced a surge in residential growth. The area around Harlan remains somewhat secluded — cows grazed in adjacent fields — but Harris said it’s only a matter of time before the area is developed further. Across the street, the wooden framework of a new house was visible.

“There’s just so much growth in this area that it was vital this school was open,” said Harris, who was previously principal at John Jay High School.

Upstairs, a brand-new library was ready for students, complete with a multipurpose classroom, conference and study rooms, four 3-D printers, large whiteboards, a dock of computers and a variety of study areas. Most of the furniture has wheels so things can be rearranged by students as needed. Librarian Virginia Bigler said the space was modeled off of college libraries, part of an effort to “bridge the gap” between high school and college studies.

This year, several Bexar County school districts started classes before the fourth Monday in August. San Antonio ISD, which went back to school Aug. 14, opened CAST Tech High School, a technology and entrepreneurship early-college school on the Fox Tech High School campus. SAISD also converted the former Mark Twain Middle School into the Twain Dual Language Academy, which will grow to enroll pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

Check back to ExpressNews.com and Tuesday’s paper for more coverage of the first day of school.

amalik@express-news.net

Twitter: @AliaAtSAEN