It was too early Monday to say whether the scheduling meltdown that occurred on Friday would repeat itself. Students were told they would get their schedules during their first period class, so parents dropping off their children had no way to know right away if there were more scheduling glitches.
A few students, however, didn’t know where their first class was located, and they gathered in the cafeteria while administrators sorted it out.
For parent Tommy Villanueva, the immediate concern was simply encouraging his 6th-grade daughter Myalani on her first day of middle school.
“She’s starting a new journey,” Villanueva said. “I just told her just to be herself, and if anybody bothers her or whatever, come to me.”
“She’s ready,” Villanueva said. “It’s just the social thing, meeting all brand new friends.”
Despite some ruffled feathers at Olsen Middle, Broward’s first day of school in 2013 seemed far smoother than in 2012, when delayed bus pass mailings meant students didn’t know which bus to take, students who got on their bus arrived at school hours late because of delays, and some buses never came.
Superintendent Robert Runcie said in interviews ahead of Monday that the district was better prepared this year, and it seemed he was correct.
While thousands of buses rolled along South Florida’s streets, Gregory and Gillian Pons walked with their mother, Miriam, to Cypress Elementary at 5400 SW 112th Ct. Pons, a second-year PTA president at the 300-student Kendall neighborhood school taped blue, gold and silver balloons to columns on 112th Court along one of several red carpets placed at entrance ways.
Reality today, Pons said, is helping teachers by buying supplies for classrooms as cuts and effects of the economy linger.
“There are all these supplies we have to bring, and it’s getting harder, but we have to do whatever we can to help teachers implement for the start of the year,” Pons said, smiling, as she went about her task.
Pons said her family enjoyed “beach, pool and BBQ” on Sunday to tire her kids Gregory, 7, and Gillian, so they’d be up and ready early Monday.
“It’s the first day and everything is new,” said Gillian. “I have new teachers and there are teachers who have been here a long time.”
Son Gregory hadn’t quite that much energy yet. Six in the ‘morn wake up call isn’t easy, he nodded.
Miami Herald staff writers Carli Teproff and Brittny Valdes contributed to this report.