Palm Beach County students head back to school


Hundreds of Palm Beach County School District schools opened their doors on Wednesday morning for the first day of classes.

Superintendent Michael J. Burke visited six schools across the district to welcome students and parents. Burke became superintendent of the Palm Beach County School District last year. On his tour of schools Wednesday morning, he encountered schools both brand new and generations old. One school, SD Spady Elementary School in Delray Beach, celebrated its 100-year anniversary on Wednesday.

Teachers and staff rolled out a red carpet leading into the entrance of the elementary school to welcome students in style. Above the final stretch of red carpet hung a banner that read “HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY.” The energy was high for the occasion, some children clapping or waving their hands to the beat of “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang which played over speakers before classes began.

Spady is not the only school that celebrated its centennial, either. Lake Worth Community High School also turned 100 years old on Wednesday, and was also one of the stops for Burke’s visits.

Just as there were centennial celebrations, there were equal parts excitement for the schools that opened their doors for the first time.

Blue Lake Elementary School in Boca Raton had its very first day of school on Wednesday, when it officially became the district’s 180th school. There are already 697 students enrolled at Blue Lake for this academic year, according to a news release sent out by the school district.

Other schools in the district are kickstarting new programs this academic year. Rolling Green Elementary School in Boynton Beach launched a new Haitian-Creole dual language program that is offered as early as kindergarten.

“The first year includes exposure to language, culture, and enrichment,” the school district’s news release says. “The program will expand to a full two-way dual immersion program which is 50% instruction in English/50% instruction in Haitian-Creole.”

This program is the first dual immersion program for Haitian-Creole in the state of Florida.

The first day of school was marred by an accident in the central portion of the county. A car driven by a 16-year-old rear-ended a school bus in Lake Worth Beach, sending the teenage driver and a teenage passenger to the hospital with serious injuries, police said. The bus driver and single student on the bus were uninjured.

Broward County will welcome back students on Aug. 16 and Miami-Dade on Aug. 17.

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