Miami-Dade aims for smooth start of classes as Carvalho tours schools

MIAMI (WSVN) - Hours away from the first day of classes in Miami-Dade County, school officials made final preparations, as they worked toward a smooth and safe start to the school year.

Schools across the county will open their doors on Monday, welcoming students back from summer break, but Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho spent the entire weekend touring campuses.

“So far, based on everything I’ve seen, everything is perfect,” he said.

Teacher D’Andrea Harris said she’s glad to finally be able to reunite with her pupils.

“I am looking most forward to just being able to embrace the students,” she said.

Carvalho spent all day Sunday traveling to different schools across the district to make sure each one was up to date and up to par for the new year.

“One hundred and thirty million dollars were spent over the summer renovating schools and adding 15,000 new security cameras,” he said.

Millions were spent upgrading classrooms, but the main focus this year is school safety.

“New security cameras, ensuring that every single school in Miami-Dade has a high-definition TV security system, centrally linked, viewable 24 hours a day by law enforcement entities, ensuring that kids will be safe, teachers will be safe and parents will have peace of mind,” said Carvalho.

“When they come to school, they need to have a place where they can feel safe, and it’s easier to learn when they don’t have walls up,” said Harris.

Carvalho began the day south at Kendall Square K-8 Center, where he toured the new $13.8 million school that is scheduled to open in late fall.

Next, he was off to Air Base K-8 Center for International Education in Homestead, where they have new computer labs and a music room.

Then, Carvalho went to Rockway Elementary, which got major upgrades like new windows, heating, ventilation, a new elevator and new classroom technology.

The superintendent then stopped at Kinloch Park Middle in Miami, which also received improvements like new windows, doors, air conditioning and upgrades to the band room.

After that, Carvalho went to Toussaint L’Ouverture Elementary in Miami, which got new floors, paint and technology upgrades.

He ended the night at iPrep Academy in Miami, where he is the principal. He spent some time checking out the new and improved, state-of-the-art equipment and classrooms.

Even the University of Miami Hurricanes helped get students geared up for back to school. They spent the day at CARE Elementary, signing autographs, taking pictures and giving each student a goodie bag.

Carvalho said there are about 360,000 students currently registered in Miami-Dade County.

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