By Amber Diaz

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Summer break is officially over in Miami-Dade as Monday morning brought the first day of the new school year.

“We’ll be welcoming 20-thousand teachers to the school system this new year, and an excess of 350-thousand students,” said Miami-Dade public schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

One of his top priorities this year is safety including a place for kids and teachers to go in case of an emergency.

“Everyone of our classrooms in Miami-Dade has a designated hard corner, obviously this is one of the many measures taken in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas,” he said.

Also, a top priority – a top-notch education…

“That includes new music programs, visual arts programs, robotics, and engineering programs. We’re talking about coding for everyone and every single ZIP code,” he said.

Renovations are also a big deal this year.

Carlos Rios, principal at Southwest Miami Senior High School, said about 50 percent of his school looks brand new

“A lot of them are walking into brand new classrooms with brand new furniture, great looking windows, great looking classes,” he said.

“We even have a student-run bank at Southwest Senior High School, this is not unique, we have it at Booker T Washington and other schools in our community, it’s about giving our students a future-ready perspective during the regular school year,” said Carvalho.

The first day of school also means the first day of school zones being enforced. The superintendent urged drivers are urged to be on the lookout for 15 mph school zones and school buses.

“We will have as many as a thousand buses on the street. I am urging drivers throughout the community to be cautious regarding yellow school buses. If you see the arm extended, the stop sign, the lights are active, pay close attention, stop for the buses, stop for our children,” said Carvalho.

Amber Diaz

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