Pinellas County Schools welcomes students back for the first day of the school year

PHOTO: Curlew Creek Elementary Physical Education teacher Pat Malinski speaks with the school’s patrols before they start their first assignment on the first day of school.

New teachers, new friends and, for some, new schools altogether.

That’s what more than 100,000 students are experiencing today as Pinellas County Schools welcomes them back for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

Superintendent Michael A. Grego, who is visiting multiple schools today to personally greet students, had this to say to families as the new school year gets underway: “The first day of a new school year is such a wonderful time for students, parents and staff,” Dr. Grego said. “Let’s work together to make the 2013-14 school year the best yet.”

Dr. Grego started his morning well before dawn at the bus compound at Walter Pownall Service Center, where he thanked bus drivers for their service. By the end of today, Pinellas County Schools bus drivers will have crisscrossed the county on more than 500 routes. At the School Board meeting last week, Dr. Grego urged motorists to be patient and allow a little extra time during their morning routines as school buses returns to the roads this week.

Grego also expressed optimism about this year and offered his thanks to teachers,  principals and community partners who have been working hard over the summer. Their preparation, Grego said, “is paving the way for a smooth start to school.”

To view photos from the first day of school, click here.

To watch video highlights from the first day of school, click here.