It was the perfect September morning for the first day of school, sunny but a bit chilly, reminding us that with the first day fall is just around the corner.
Mayor Lovely Warren, Superintendent Barbara-Deane Williams and a hallway filled with teachers at School 17 cheered and welcomed students as they hopped off the bus and walked to class Wednesday morning.
Warren spoke on some of her key education initiatives including giving away more than a million books through a number of city projects, and lobbying the state for more pre-k funding.
She said School 17 is an example of what all schools could be for their neighborhoods.
"The days of our schools locking their doors and fences at 2:15pm are over. Instead, we want our schools to be true community resources, where children and families can come to receive more than just the three R's."
Warren stressed getting families and parents more involved in their children's education, saying parents are a child’s first teacher.
Superintendent Deane Williams said everyone has been hard at work prepping for the school year from maintenance staff to teachers; she also highlighted some of her goals for the year.
"We're looking forward this year to focusing on literacy. Reading, math, reading by grade three, algebra by grade eight, making sure our students are at grade level and stay on track for graduation."
The mayor said the city has a long way to go in improving education but they have made progress in goals set in her 3 to 3 initiative.
Warren began that project in 2014, saying students reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade are more likely to graduate high school. The initiative focuses on early education.