Students, teachers return for first day of school
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- Summer break has ended and thousands of kids have returned to school.
Miami-Dade and Broward Public Schools' superintendents woke up early Monday to make sure things run smoothly on the first day of school.
At about 6 a.m., Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho greeted district employees at a bus depot in Miami. He also talked about his expectations for the 2012 - 2013 school year. "I'm very pleased that we balanced the budget without raising taxes and without firing a single teacher for economic reasons," he said. "So I expect this to be a tough year but a fair year. Last year we broke all records with highest ever graduation rates, and we're going to try to do it all over again."
Also, 255 new buses were revealed this morning. The buses are equipped with seat belts and air conditioning. Officials said the buses are a lot more fuel efficient then the older ones.
After school got underway, Carvalho was on the site of a remodeling project at one of the most historic schools in the district, Miami Senior High School. The school is in the middle of a two-year expansion, which will give students more space. "We're adding 150,000 square feet of space, 825 new student stations, and we're bringing Miami High back to it's old glory. It's a fantastic project," said Carvalho.
In Broward County, Office Depot and Miami Heat players handed out backpacks filled with school supplies to students at Orange Brook Elementary. Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie was also on hand distributing supplies and talked about his outlook for this school year. "We've hired an additional 650 teachers, above and beyond what we would have based on enrollment," he said. "We're able to add another 150 or so equivalent teaching positions for our specials, which are music, art, media specialists."
Monday morning also marked the start of a new school year for students at Hollywood Hills High School Military Academy in Broward County. It is the first-ever public military school in South Florida. "I just love being into this military academy. It's something I always dreamed about and now, I'm here, and it's the best feeling I've ever had," said one student.
Over the weekend, hundreds of parents were furious that they had to spend the final day of summer vacation with their children at a bus depot to try and figure out how their kids would get to school on time come Monday. Broward County Schools admitted they sent bus slips out two days late last week, but it was not in time to make it to some mailboxes. The School Board said everything has since been resolved.
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