Bay County Students Go Back to School, Kindergartners Attend - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Bay County Students Go Back to School, Kindergartners Attend Orientation

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Oakland Terrace Elementary, Panama City Oakland Terrace Elementary, Panama City

It was back to the daily grind for Bay County students on Tuesday morning. School is officially back in session, and for highschoolers, they had the opportunity to sleep in a little later.

The first bell didn't sound until shortly after 8:00 a.m. New this year, non-charter high schools now start class at 8:15 and wrap up shortly before 3:00 in the afternoon.

Bay High School Principal Billy May said it was a smooth first day, and he's glad to have students back in the halls.

We have a schedule or two we have to fix, but all the kids are in their seats. They have a schedule, may not be the one they want, but they're here and we're glad they're back," May told News 13 early Tuesday morning.

Some of Bay County's youngest students also headed to school Tuesday morning.

No books or classwork for the kindergartners. Fourteen of the district's elementary schools welcomed students and parents for kindergarten orientation.

At Oakland Terrace Elementary, families met in the cafeteria to hear from administrators then separated into three different classes. Parents filled out important paperwork with the teachers, while students wasted no time getting into the toys and playing with their new classmates.

However, the entire class won't be joined back together until Friday because of a staggered start. Half of each kindergarten class will come Wednesday, and the other half will attend on Thursday.

"I explained to them why we do it. I can get to know half the class at a time; then they're a little more comfortable with it. But, they [parents] are excited overall. Their kids are going to big kid school," said Kindergarten teacher Rachel Huft.

District officials said the majority of the county's elementary schools use a staggered start for their kindergarten classes.