Bay District Schools Wrap Up A Successful First Day

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BAY COUNTY-- Students across Bay County wrapped up their first day of school Tuesday.

With a new school year comes new challenges, but district officials say it's gearing up to be a successful one.

"Why go off campus when we've got something so nice right here?" a Rutherford High School student said of her newly renovated school.

That response from students is what makes Bay District School officials say the new school year is starting out on the right foot.

"The day's going great," Superintendent Bill Husfelt said Tuesday morning. "All the students I've seen are happy and smiling. I didn't even see any kindergarteners crying!"

But Tuesday did have a few speed bumps.

With 124 school buses back on the roads and school zone speed limits enforced, traffic came to a standstill.

"All traffic's going to be backed up until we get in a flow. It's just going to take a little while," Husfelt said.

"As visitors, the community or parents, your job is to keep the traffic slow," Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman said. "Watch for kids, because they're going to dart between cars. Our job as law enforcement is to try to keep it as safe as possible and enforce the law if we have to."

And traffic was backed up inside schools too: foot traffic.

Husfelt says dozens of students showed up to register on the first day.

"The frustrating thing is they try to prepare the schedule as best as they can, but you have 15, 20, 30 students come in, it kind of twists everything," he said.

Administrators are prepared for some first day overflow, but not like what they saw today.

"It's always the hardest the first day. The second day will be a little bit easier, third day will be a little bit easier," Husfelt said.

District officials say the priority one day one is getting students safely to and from school and into their classrooms.

Despite today's setbacks, Husfelt says, all-in-all, today was successful, and he hopes for a promising start 2014-2015 school year.