MIAMI – Thousands of students are back in school in Miami-Dade. The main consensus from parents Wednesday was an excitement to have kids back in school full time, learning from classrooms.
"We're excited, we're nervous but we're blessed to have them back in school. We'll have some normality and go back to work," said Alexander DeLeon, a parent.
After years of constant change and COVID protocols, going back to school this year comes with new excitement.
"Our kids, they woke up actually before we did! They came into our room looking forward to it," said one parent we spoke with.
Superintendent Jose Dotres shared that same excitement, stopping by elementary, middle and high schools.
"OK, boys and girls, I know this is going to be a great school year for you," he said.
While they're off to a great start, Dotres said there are plenty of goals moving forward, like filling teacher vacancies across Miami-Dade schools. To do that they'll need to hire more than 250 teachers.
And when it comes to students, "An important goal would be to address the reading proficiency of students. Proficiency of math. Because there is still a way to go. We still have students that will require additional interventions, additional tutoring," he said.
Across the county, police officers were stationed at each school, creating a noticeable presence.
"They've kept it organized and there is a lot of police presence here too, which is fantastic. We feel secure. It' feels better," said one parent.
Dotres said they're also going to be working to create better connections with parents.
"One thing you'll see is an expanded role of our parent academy and our communication with parents. We've expanded that office so that we are able to provide more information to parents," he explained.
"I think it's going to be a good school year and we'll keep a positive outlook," said a father we spoke to.
Dotres also added with students back in classrooms full time it'll be an opportunity for students and teachers to reconnect and grow.
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