Students hit the books as school begins in South Florida post-Irma

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - As schools reopen for students in South Florida, many parents and officials are calling it a step towards normalcy after the state was hit by Hurricane Irma.

“It’ll be a good thing for the kids to get back started,” said one parent.

With buses back on the road and teachers back in the classrooms, the goal is to make sure the students are now educated.

“Now, it’s about making up time lost,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “It’s about ensuring that we go back to an everyday routine. Nothing spells out normalization of a community than kids returning back to school.”

Carvalho visited several schools as things went back to normal. However, Richmond Heights Middle School is the only Miami-Dade public school that will not reopen because of needed cleanup. Students at the school were escorted to Coral Reef Senior High School by school officials.

“This was one of the last schools to have power restored, so we want to err on the side of caution,” Carvalho said of Richmond.

Carvalho also asked parents who are still recovering from the storm to be patient as recovery efforts continue across South Florida.

Carvalho also mentioned via Twitter that bus delays are to be expected due to inoperable traffic lights and debris. “We expect delays. We expect some degree of inconvenience. We expect some degree of discomfort,” said Carvalho, “but we believe that normalcy with our public school system coming back into session.”

In Broward County, the story is the same.

Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie was also on hand to greet students as they returned to school after Irma.

“I spoke to all of our principals yesterday, and given the fact that we’re really trying to get back to normal, that they exercise compassion and flexibility,” Runcie said.

After being gone for over a week, some students were excited to return. However, not all felt the joy.

“I just don’t like going to school sometimes, but when you have to go, you have to go,” said Pasadena Lakes student Gavin Guralla.

Another student was happy to return. “I like school,” he said. “I like learning.”

Some parents are happy that students are going back to their normal routine. “I’m glad that everything’s getting back to normal,” said parent Olivia Navarete. “We survived this, and he has to go back to school.”

The district is also working to make the transition easier for parents. “Until the end of October is provide free lunch and free breakfast for every student,” Runcie said.

Miami-Dade County is also providing free breakfast and lunch.

This comes to the relief of some parents. “Such a blessing to have free lunch, free breakfast,” said parent Emily Mitchell. “It helps the kids too.”

A total of 29 public schools served as shelters in Broward County during the hurricane.

Both school districts praised the faculty and staff for their hard work.

Now, after a week off due to loss of power, officials believe it’s time to hit the books. Extracurricular activities in all of Broward County are also continuing as normal.

Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.