Miami-Dade students return to classes for start of 2019-20 school year

MIAMI (WSVN) - Students and teachers across Miami-Dade have begun a new school year.

Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho joined a group of school bus drivers at a transportation center early Monday morning to hand out Dunkin’ Donuts breakfasts and talk to parents about his expectations for the new school year.

“Teach your children and speak with them about respect, responsibility and restrained living,” said Carvalho. “Safety and security are key in our school system. If you see something, say something.”

At 8 a.m., he made his way to Scott Lake Elementary in Miami Gardens to greet students, teachers and parents before he did the morning announcements.

The school recently reached a major milestone.

“I am celebrating this ‘C’ to ‘A’ remarkable accomplishment at this fantastic school,” Carvalho said over the loud speaker to cheers.

The superintendent also made a stop at Barbara Golemen Senior High in Miami Lakes.

The magnet school also saw a grade jump from a “B” to an “A.”

Toussaint Louverture Elementary in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood had players from the Miami Heat stop by.

“You can tell these kids know that it makes them really excited, and it goes by real fast,” said Heat player Kezie Okpala.

“It’s wonderful,” Principal Dr. Lilia Dobao said. “Our theme is hard work pays off, and this is a really nice way to celebrate that.”

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spent the morning doing its part in keeping drivers in check by rolling out its school zone safety initiative.

“We’re using the phrase ‘Stop, drop and roll,'” said MDFR Capt. Miguel Bustamante. “You stop accelerating through the school zone, you drop your speed to 15 miles an hour and you roll safely through the school zone.”

Law enforcement agencies across the county used social media to post safety reminders.

Events were held across the county over the past weekend for parents to get free supplies and backpacks.

Style Saves made sure students had what they needed to walk into class confident on Monday.

“We got backpacks, we got belts, we got supplies,” said Mabel Borrero, who came to the giveaway with her children.

The lines were long at Mana Wynwood on Sunday as about 7,500 students got a chance to pick up the must-haves for their return to class.

Style Saves offered pajamas, backpacks, books and other supplies, while also giving children a chance to show off their art skills and get done up for the big day.

As students and parents attended events to prep for the new year, Carvalho toured several schools that were renovated over the summer.

“Every single kid ought to learn in a clean, new environment with brand-new technology,” said Carvalho. “One important feature, quite frankly, is the improved safety and security in all schools.”

One of the schools upgraded over the summer included Cutler Bay Middle School, which received nearly $15 million to build a new media center, a criminal justice and forensic science academy as well as an ocean academy.

The multi-million dollar upgrades are thanks to the General Obligation Bonds.

“This year, 130 new educational programs, anything from computer science, computer coding, robotics, engineering, artificial intelligence,” Carvalho added, “and music and visual arts programs across the entire district.”

M-DCPS is comprised of 392 schools, 345,000 students and more than 40,000 employees.

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