INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Students hopped off buses and out of their parents’ cars Wednesday ready to take on their first day of school — some siblings leading each other hand-in-hand.
Most looked eager, but there were some typical back-to-school nerves.
“Nervous, but excited,” said Carrie Wade Burkey, 47, about her 9-year-old, Aiden, and his feelings on returning to school. “But that’s normal, everyone’s nervous. It’s going to be interesting – a good year.”
Aiden, a third grader at Vero Beach Elementary School, said he was excited to be back so he could see his friends.
“Recess, that’s what he’s waiting for,” Wade Burkey said.
Indian River County School District returned from summer break Wednesday to fully in-person classes — the closest to a "normal" first day of school since 2019. About 15,300 students are enrolled in the district's public schools, excluding charter schools and the district's home school program.
There's no mask mandate this year, and quarantine periods have been shortened from 10 days to five.
Schools Superintendent David Moore, who greeted students at Vero Beach Elementary School’s carline Wednesday morning, said the first day was going smoothly.
“Everything seems to be running on schedule,” Moore said. “Typical first-day delays, but very smooth.”
Ashley Lothrop, 26, said her 6-year-old daughter, Skyler, was feeling “a little iffy” about going back to school.
“On the way here she was like, ‘Can you come pick me up early?’” she said. “I was like, ‘No, it’s your first day!’”
At the front of the school, they waved goodbye to each other as Skyler headed off to her first day of second grade.
“I just hope she learns something or makes a new friend,” Lothrop said.
Moore began the morning greeting bus drivers at the bus compound at a "glow party" before sending them out to pick up students, district spokesperson Cristen Maddux said.
School start and dismissal times were adjusted this year at some schools, so parents need to check to avoid issues at the car loops, Maddux said. Some schools experienced long car lines Wednesday morning as parents dropped off their students, she said.
Back to School 2022: What school supplies do my children need? Where can I find their lists?
Safety in school 2022: How safe is my child’s school? What new security is in place this year?
Buses may run late the first few days of school as drivers and students settle into the new school year. For transportation issues, call 772-978-8801.
For general district information, call 772-564-3000.
Schools and health concerns: Back to school 2022: Do my kids need masks? Vaccinations? What health rules are in place?
Colleen Wixon is the education reporter for TCPalm.com. Contact her at Colleen.Wixon@TCPalm.com or 772-978-2235.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Treasure Coast students head back to school in Indian River County