MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Many parents spent most of Sunday getting their kids ready to go back to school.
Monday is the first day of school for most South Florida kids.
For some parents, filling up that back-pack means digging deep in their wallets.
Shopping centers swarmed with families getting ready for the first day of school Sunday afternoon.
“The best part of all of my school supplies is my pencil pouch,” said Francisco Romero.
Little Francisco is excited about Monday morning.
He was out with his mom, brother and cousins getting some last-minute items Sunday.
“Going back to school shopping is very expensive. At least in uniforms, it’s almost about 40-50 dollars. It’s pretty much a hundred dollars a kid between uniforms and school supplies,” said mom Tatiana Romero.
The Miami mom said she and her husband budget and save just for back to school shopping.
Huntington Bank released its yearly estimate of back to school costs and found the price for a back-pack, uniforms and other supplies can cost as much as $642 for elementary school children.
It gets even more expensive as children get older making it hard many low-income parents to prepare their kids for back to school.
“These are individuals who show up at school sometimes literally, barefoot, without the appropriate clothing, without school supplies, without the things that we as human beings take for granted,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
For those students, the Miami-Dade School District hosted a day of shopping.
Low in-come students could get the stuff they need for school for free.
Parents will be able to apply online for free and reduced lunches for students.
At the hi-tech iPrep Academy, classrooms are outfitted with laptops for every student, and even a work-out facility in place of a physical education class.
“But we don’t go to a regular high school. We go to a different high school, it’s not the traditional Miami high,” said iPrep Academy junior Nancy Hernandez.
The Miami-Dade County Public School Superintendent was there the night before the start of the school year, saying the school was a model for the future of the district.
“I always feel that the day before the new school year it’s like this slow re-awakening of this sleeping giant from its summer nap,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “360,000 kids come back to school, 23,000 teachers, 52,000 employees in all including bus drivers and cafeteria workers.”
The new school year brings many changes, including a new Florida standards assessment test.
The Miami-Dade School District leaders said teachers have received training to meet the new requirements.
Students will be encouraged to b-y-o-d: bring your own device. That means cell phones, tablets and laptops. Every school in the district now has wifi.