The first day of classes for Westport public schools' new academic year will be Thursday.

Schools officials confirmed the opening day in a posting late Wednesday afternoon on the school system's website, www.westport.k12.ct.us.

The new school year had initially been scheduled to start Tuesday, but has been postponed twice because of public-safety concerns in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

School officials urge that parents or guardians accompany youngsters to bus stops to help ensure safety because public works and power utility repair crews will still be making repairs at sites around town.

"Parents and students should always assume that downed wires are energized," the schools' statement warns.

"If any parent does not feel comfortable having their child walk to, or stand at, an assigned bus stop, we will permit parents to use any other bus stop on that route.

"Parents also may elect not to send their children to school," the statement from school officials adds.