Students return to class in St. Lucie County

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."

BUS SCHEDULES

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.

TRAFFIC TIPS

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.

LUNCH

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

SCHOOL HOURS

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:

ELEMENTARY/K-8 SCHOOLS

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.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

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.

MAGNET SCHOOLS

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.

HIGH SCHOOLS

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.)

ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

Dale Cassens School: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

LAPP:

9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Delaware Avenue/Indian Hills: 9:40 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.

PACE: 9:40 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.

Elementary Program at Holiday Camp: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

ST. LUCIE SCHOOLS' 2012-13 CALENDAR

The following are some of the important dates on St. Lucie County School District's 2012-13 school calendar:

Aug. 20: First day of school

Sept. 3: Labor Day, no school

Sept. 26: Fall holiday, no school

Sept. 30: Students off, teacher training

Oct. 25: End of first nine weeks

Oct. 26: Students off, teacher work day

Nov. 12: Veterans Day, no school

Nov. 19-23: Thanksgiving break, no school*

Dec. 24-Jan. 3: Winter break

Jan. 4: Students off, teacher work day

Jan. 18: Students off, teacher training

Jan. 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no school

Jan. 22: End of first semester

Feb. 18: Presidents Day, no school

Feb. 26-28: Writing section of Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test

March 25-29: Spring break

April 4: End of third nine weeks

April 15-26: FCAT reading, math and science

May 27: Memorial Day, no school

June 7: Last day of school for students

* Nov. 19-20 are designated weather makeup days and may need to be used as makeup days if classes are canceled because of bad weather. If not needed, schools will be closed for the week of Thanksgiving.

For general questions, call the St. Lucie County School District headquarters at 772-429-3600 or contact your child's school. The district's website is www.stlucieschools.org .

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