First day of school in small Marin County school district that changed its controversial name

It's the start of the school year for children in the newly named Miller Creek Elementary School District and many hoped for a fresh start following a summer of controversy surrounding the former district name and one of its' schools.

Over the summer, the school board voted to re-name the district, nixing the Dixie Elementary School and changing it to Miller Creek. And Dixie Elementary is now Lucas Valley Elementary. 

The name change followed months of heated emotions, meetings and public comment.

Proponents of the Miller Creek argued the word "Dixie," recalled America's era of slavery and the Confederacy in the south.

Those opposed to the change said the name referred to Mary Dixie, a Native American woman who had ties to the man who built San Rafael's first schoolhouse in 1864.

Since the July decision to rename the district, school administrators have been working to update marquee signs, buildings and buses just in time for the start of the school year.

The board president at the time said they were thrilled with the decisions they made so they can start the year off on a positive note.

The Miller Creek Elementary School District serves 1,982 students in north San Rafael who attend three elementary schools and one middle school.