Almost flawless is how Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie described the first day back at school for thousands of students.
“Today was a resounding success,” Runcie said. “Again, it’s been the best start of the school year I’ve experienced since being here in the district.”
Runcie went to classrooms across the county and saw seasoned students and new ones ready to soak up knowledge from their teachers. In addition, Broward rolled out some eco-friendly buses that are fueled by propane.
“Smoother rid. Cleaner. We don’t have all the pollution coming out of the back of the bus,” said bus driver Alfreda Jackson.
Runcie’s counterpart in Miami-Dade County, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho pushed safety and new technology as classes got underway.
In Miami-Dade County, more than 1,250 buses travel 1,100 routes on school days. Some of the buses are high-efficiency buses that have been updated with three air-conditioning units per bus and new safety features including higher suits to keep kids even safer during an accident.
Miami-Dade is also starting the school year with a new app to help parents keep track of their kids' progress at school. The app, Dade Schools Mobile, is free on the app store and keeps track of grades, attendance and other info.
“How about this: 400 schools with Wi-Fi installed on the first day of school,” Carvalho said, “eleven thousand new interactive boards bringing the power of the internet, 140,000 new digital devices for students along with digital content.”
At Twin Lakes Elementary in Hialeah, students were treated to a surprise appearance by Miami Heat player Shabazz Napier and team mascot Burnie.
“I’m able to play basketball but I’m able to inspire a lot of kids and any way I can inspire kids that’s what I’m going to do," Napier said.
"We live for this day," Runcie said.