Students return to school in Miami-Dade County

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Summer is officially over for Miami-Dade public school students as they headed back to the classroom for the first day of school on Thursday.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the state’s largest school district with over 350,000 registered students, is excited to get the new year going.

Early Thursday morning, buses rolled out to 770 different routes to pick up students in the third-largest school district in the country.

A Local 10 News crew was at American Senior High School in Hialeah, as the sounds of the school band and cheerleaders welcomed back more than 1,600 students.

Sky 10 flew above Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes as the students filled in and were ready to start their first day.

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Jose Dotres arrived at the high school shortly after 7 a.m., one of many school visits that he plans to make on Thursday.

“It matters that we start on the best feeling possible — that we encourage the students as they enter school, and that we thank the teachers and school leaders for everything they do,” he said.

Dotres went into classrooms and saw students enjoying free breakfast, which is available district-wide for the entire 2023-2024 school year.

As close to 17,000 teachers begin getting to know their new students, some students like Jezariah Sanchez, a senior at American Senior High School, had mixed feelings about coming back.

“It’s like a 50/50. Like, I’m really excited, but also, it’s nerve-wracking too,” Sanchez said.

While some students have mixed feelings about coming back to school, other seniors like Melanie Cabrera are already looking ahead to graduation.

“It’s just gonna be super exciting because I’m a first generation here. My parents are immigrants, so it’s gonna be cool to have my family there to watch me,” she said.

With teacher shortages being a nationwide trend, MDCPS reports that they have 198 vacancies of core subject teachers heading into the 2023-2024 school year, which is lower than last year.

“We have individuals at the school district that are fully certified teachers and if there is a need, they will be deployed,” said Dotres.

Students headed back to school last week in Monroe County and Broward County students return next Monday.

If you’d like to share your children’s back to school photos with us, click here. All photos will be displayed in our Pins section and some photos will be featured on Local 10 News.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue issued safety tips for students and parents ahead of the new school year. Click here for more information.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.