Students head back to class across the Bay area

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Thousands of students across the Bay area made their way back to the classroom on Wednesday. For families living in Citrus, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee counties, August 10 was a day of new beginnings.

Despite the rainy weather facing the region over the past four days, buses were out in full force Wednesday morning.

Boasting new technology, new backpacks and an entire set of new goals for the 2016-2017 school year, here’s a snapshot of what students saw across Tampa Bay:


The day started dark and early for Pinellas County school bus drivers as they headed out on their routes for the first day of school.

Sure, summer always goes by fast. But this year classes started two weeks early.

Superintendent Michael Grego says the change in schedule is to make sure students get their final exams done before winter break. According to him, that’s especially important for high school students, when grade-point averages and college admissions are on the line.

*Luca and Mateo head back to James B. Sanderlin IB World School. (BN9+ user)


In Hillsborough County, officials are looking ahead four years — they want a graduation rate of 90 percent by 2020.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins said improving the district’s graduation rate is one of his top priorities.

"We have to provide the resources, the programs, the opportunities for our students to stay connected in their schooling," Eakins said. "Throughout their high school years, elementary, middle, truly get them engaged around the curriculum, around those opportunities."

*Janae and Devan Gipson, Trinity School for Children, were ready for their first day of class! (BN9+ user)


Meanwhile, freshman orientation at Crystal River High School in Citrus County wasn’t just about learning a locker combination. Students were encouraged to play games and socialize with their new classmates.

*Olivia started kindergarten at Citrus Springs Elementary on Wednesday! (BN9+ user)



The school year can be a busy time, so wouldn’t it be nice to have a mobile app to make things easier? Well, the Hernando School District has one ready to go.

Everything that is on the district’s website can also be found on the app.

“It is very user-friendly,” Superintendent Lori Romano said. “It is a one-stop shop for our community members and our families and all of our employees to get up to date information."

*It’s an exciting day at Explorer K-8 in Hernando County. (BN9+ user)



In Manatee County, about 49,000 students were back in class Wednesday. School officials projected a growth of about 850 students for this year.

*Aly was excited for her first day at William H. Bashaw Elementary School in Bradenton. (BN9+ user)

Pasco and Polk

Pasco County and Polk County students will head back to class next week.

Bay News 9 – news

August 10, 2016 |

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