DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Ah, the first day back to school. The hustle and bustle of getting kids out the door and to their school before the bell rings for their first class.
For Marisol Falero’s six year old son Alejandro it was his first day of first grade. Alejandro seemed a little anxious and Marisol said it will take a little while for her to get used to the idea of leaving him in school.
“I’ll be worried about him. I did take the day off of work so I’m available just in case,” said Falero.
Robert McCullugh, who goes to Silver Lakes Elementary, said he was looking forward to heading back to class.
“I’m excited about if there have been any changes in the school,” said McCullugh. “Are there new art teachers, P-E teachers or music teachers?”
While he seemed calm, his mother Yolanda had a few jitters.
“It’s nervous but exciting. They are out of the house now,” she said.
Student Jasmine Rodriguez said in addition to seeing her friends again, she excited about all the games they will get to play.
In Broward County, the sixth largest school district in the country, about a third of the districts 260,000 students hopped a bus to get to school.
Last year, the district ran into a number of problems with their buses. Parents received bus routing information the weekend before school started, some buses were late on the first day of school while others didn’t show up at all.
Superintendent Robert Runcie said this year they’ve taken steps to avoid last year’s problems.
“The biggest challenge was not having enough bus drivers, we’ve addressed that problem,” said Runcie. “We’ve got more drivers than routes. The other thing is maintaining the stability of our routes.”
There are also other changes this year.
Academically, Runcie said, many fifth grade classes are going ‘digital,’ some underperforming schools have been ‘repurposed’ and he plans to fight for more education dollars at the state capital.
“What we’re doing is ensuring that every penny we’re spending is spent efficiently. We’re putting dollars to our highest priorities,” said Runcie.
This is Runcie’s first tenure as a Superintendent after spending time working as a businessman and then holding several positions within the Chicago school system. It will be his third school year in Broward County.
He has received good reviews from the school board and has a good working relationship with the teachers.