MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the new school year gets ready to begin for students and staff, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent’s Opening of School’s Address was held.

It happened at Miami Senior High School on Friday.

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Superintendent Alberto Carvalho called the last 18 months through the COVID-19 pandemic challenging for all.

“It is our collective belief, skill, and focus on the bigger picture that has allowed us to navigate the countless challenged we have experienced the past year and a half,” said Carvalho.

The challenges outside the classroom impacted the community, and in less than two weeks many will be walking through the doors of school again for the first time since the pandemic began.

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“It’s our job – no – our duty to give our students the education they need, the education they want, and the education they deserve,” says Sandra West, Miami-Dade County Council PTA President

Superintendent Carvalho touted the relentless work off school staff trying to figure out how to navigate online education and make sure students were fed while not physically at school.

“Our teachers were essentially students this year, we all were,” says Carvalho.

Miami Senior High School Principal Benny Valdes is hopeful for what the year will bring.

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“Our students have endless time to maximize their time as they prepare for the future together, we can afford our students an opportunity to shine,” says Valdes.