FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Monday marked the first day of school for students in St. Lucie County. At least 40,000 students go to school within that particular district.
Students can expect some changes during the school year. The district has hired eight new principals to work at schools like Port St. Lucie High and Allapattah Flats K-8 School.
Also this year, there are two new schools students can attend. The first is Mosaic Digital Academy, a virtual K-12 school. The second is College Preparatory Academy, which is a charter high school in Port St. Lucie.
Francis K. Sweet Elementary also welcomed back students Monday. The school was shaken by tragedy last March, when one of its busses got into a crash. That crash killed 9-year old Aaron Beauchamp, and injured 16 other students.
Parents are still sad about the tragic crash, but say they must move on. Maria Mendoza's child is a second grader at the school.
"We're fine. We're strong," Mendoza said. "This is a family. F.K. Sweet is a family and we support each other."
Be sure you know ahead of time which bus your child is supposed to ride.
At the St. Lucie County School District website, there is a searchable database where you enter your home address and select the schools your children are registered to attend and you can then figure out what school bus they should ride. Check out the site at www.stlucieschools.org/transportation .
If you're not sure, contact your child's school or the district's transportation department at 772-340-7120 for more information.
Transportation will be provided for eligible students within their attendance zone, magnet school students, for students choosing high school career academies not offered at their assigned school, as well as those transferring high schools within the district as a result of new legislation that allows opportunity scholarships for high school transfers, according to the district's website.
The district also has a transportation department hotline for parents, which they can reach at 772-340-4849.
With the start of school comes the return of school zones with their 15- to 20-mph speed limits.
Be sure to arrive early so your child isn't late. Remember that school drop-off and pickup lines are busy during the first few days of school.
Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children. State law requires you to stop.
Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks.
School menus are listed on the district's website on the Parents & Students page or at www.stlucieschools.org/departments/food-service .
Students on free and reduced lunch must complete and return a new application at the beginning of the school year. If you think your child qualifies and need to fill out the paperwork, contact the school district's food and nutrition services department at 772-429-6190.
SCHOOL MEAL PRICES*
$1.75: Elementary lunch
$2.00: Middle and high school lunch
$0.40: Reduced price lunch
$1.00: Breakfast for all students
$0.30: Reduced price breakfast
*Meal prices are higher for adults
St. Lucie County public schools' start and end times have not changed from last year. The following are the school hours for the 2012-2013 school year:
Allapattah Flats K-8: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bayshore Elementary: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
C.A. Moore Elementary: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Dan McCarty 3-8: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Floresta Elementary: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Garden City Early Learning Center: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lakewood Park Elementary: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lawnwood Elementary: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Manatee Academy K-8: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mariposa Elementary: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Morningside Elementary: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Northport K-8: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oak Hammock K-8: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Palm Pointe at Tradition K-8 (charter): 9:40 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
Parkway Elementary: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rivers Edge Elementary: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
St. Lucie West K-8: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Samuel S. Gaines K-8: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Savanna Ridge: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
St. Lucie Elementary: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Weatherbee Elementary: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
West Gate K-8: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
White City Elementary: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Windmill Point: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Forest Grove Middle: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Southern Oaks Middle: 9:40 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
Southport Middle: 9:40 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
Fairlawn Elementary: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fort Pierce Magnet School of Arts K-8: 9:40 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
Frances K. Sweet Elementary: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Lincoln Park Academy 6-12: 7:23 a.m. to 1:34 p.m.
Village Green Elementary: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
All: 7:33 a.m. to 1:41 p.m. (except for Lincoln Park whose hours are 7:23 a.m. to 1:34 p.m.)
Dale Cassens School: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
LAPP: 9:30 a.m. to 4