MIAMI (CBS4)- Miami-Dade teachers are back to school. Teachers officially headed back to work Thursday, and superintendent Alberto Carvalho greeted them with his annual back to school address.

Carvalho was in attendance delivering his message of gratitude, hope and motivation to teachers, principals and administrators who filled the auditorium at Miami Edison Middle School.

In addressing the crowd, Carvalho spoke of the strides that were made in the district by the country’s fourth largest school district, despite the strain of resources, CBS4’s Gwen Belton reported.

Carvalho also stressed the gains made by students on the FCAT and graduation rates.

“Over the last year, district-wide, our students continued to reach new heights on the FCAT even though the bar was not only raised it was actually replaced,” he said. “As a result of the work of our professional educators you and we continue to close the achievement gap for African American students in writing and in mathematics.”

Carvalho however said that there’s lots ahead to work on.

“But while these are promising results, trust me, there is much work that remains to be done,” he said.

Raul Calzadilla, principal at Airbase Elementary School, said he enjoyed Carvalho’s speech.

“You’d be amazed at how much that pep talked helped us… to set direction, to give us motivation, inspiration for the year,” Calzadilla said. “He’s such a great speaker.”

Students return to school on Monday, August 22.