Duval County Public Schools head back to school today

Jacksonville — Its that time of year again where students return to school and daily routines change after the long summer break. Monday is the first day of classes for Duval County Public Schools and DCPS says this year about 128,000 students will be enrolled at 196 schools across the county.

First it will be high schools to head back, DCPS says they will start around 7:15 this morning and then get out around 2 in the afternoon, then elementary schools will go back around 8:30 and get released around 3, and finally middle schools start around 9:30 and don’t get out until around 4:15.

As students, parents and guardians get back into their routines, the first day had some excited.

“Oh, she woke up at 2:45 and said how many hours do we got left?” said one East Arlington woman walking her second grader to school.

Others were having flashbacks as they sent their loved ones off to school.

“It felt good, like,  it felt like I was going to school.” Said one man walking his cousin to Sandalwood High School.

Following the Parkland school shooting, school safety standards were raised for districts across the state. Going into this year, Duval County  Public Schools says the district is working to make sure school safety assistants are in place at all elementary schools. The district says they are recruiting, vetting and training people to become school safety assistants at elementary schools, and while they continue to train those assistants, JSO is providing support to schools. DCPS says they already have school resource officers at their middle and high schools. The district has previously said they plan to have an assistant in place by the end of the first nine weeks of school.

In addition to the school safety officers the district has taken other steps to keep your child safe. DCPS says the district has added electronic entry systems at 9 schools with 2 other schools in the process of having them installed. The district says those systems are projected to be installed by the early fall. DCPS says once those systems are in place all schools in the district will have an electronic buzz-in system. In addition, the district says each school has a safety plan and a emergency response team, all classrooms will be locked when students are inside, school plans are reviewed each semester, and all offices have a communications line directly to school police and district leadership who can then get in direct contact with JSO.

This year DCPS says 860 busses will take about 48,000 students to school and if you have any questions you can give them a call at the Transportation Call Center at 904-381-7433 now through August 24th.

If you have any other questions about sending your child back to school in Duval the district has more information below.

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