First day of school for Palm Beach County students

Posted by Sheli Muniz - email

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - It's the first day of public school in Palm Beach County. A warning from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office: Tuesday marks the start of their Selective Traffic Enforcement Program for school zones.

That covers the hours of 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. They will be looking closely at speed, parking and bicycle helmet enforcement.

Speeding fines in a school zone during these times range from $156 to $606.

One brand new school in the county is Everglades Elementary. Everyone is expecting a smooth school year especially in light of all the bumps last year.

Students and parents were very upset over changes to the curriculum - requiring among other things - extra testing. It was brought about by former Chief Academic Officer - Jeffrey Hernandez.

The school district eventually did away with those mandates after protests and meetings, and Hernandez was eventually reassigned then later resigned.

Afterwards, though, 95 percent of Palm Beach County teachers who voted gave Superintendent Art Johnson a vote of no confidence. This time, however, school officials and teachers are hopeful for a very different year.

PBC School District Spokesperson Nat Harrington says, "Schools this year have a lot more flexibility than they did this time last year, to implement their curriculum and to test their students ability to grasp the knowledge that's being taught to them. School-based management and curriculum is back so we expect a very smooth opening of school and very smooth school year."
President of Classroom Teachers Association of PBC Robert Dow says, "Changes are put in place that will make this year smoother. We just hope to go forward with a positive attitude and work as best we can for the welfare of students, and, of course, the teachers in Palm Beach County."

One thing the president of the association adds that will continue to be an issue this year: teachers are working without a contract. So, he says, there are one to fourth year teachers all on the same pay schedule. That is something the association will keep pressing forward with.

School district officials say there are some schools who decided to keep implementing the more rigid curriculum. That was up to the principals.

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