Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

For Thousands of Youths around the Region, It's Time to Hit the Books

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

For Thousands of Youths around the Region, It's Time to Hit the Books

Article excerpt

SARASOTA -- Only one word came to mind when Ryan Bausback thought about returning to Booker High School for his senior year: Meh.

It didn't feel like his previous first day, he said. It's only his second year at the school after moving from Michigan City, Indiana, just before his junior year.

For that reason, he also feels like a sophomore, but with unusual pangs of senioritis -- a phenomenon that sees many seniors champing at the bit to leave high school and start college, their careers or military service.

Bausback has the same first period teacher as last year, enhancing the feeling of deja vu.

After school, but before cross-county team practice (a sport Bausback captains), the 17-year-old sat in the library reading class instructions in a Superman T-shirt, dark camouflage shorts and blue Nike sneakers. He said the first day brought rekindled friendships.

"There was a lot of: 'Oh hey, what's up man, haven't seen you since spring,'" Bausback said. "It's nice to make those connections again."

From Parrish to North Port, about 92,000 students returned to public and charter schools Monday in Sarasota and Manatee counties. About 43,000 of those students walked into 40 traditional public schools and 12 charter schools in Sarasota County.

That's an increase of about 900 students over last year, a sign that Sarasota County is growing again.

Nearly 5,000 employees, including 2,675 teachers, were also marking the start of the new school year in Sarasota County.

While the day went smoothly in most of the county, North Port schools endured a technological snag.

A piece of network equipment failed there, affecting public elementary, middle and high schools near the city for about 45 minutes to an hour during the mid-morning. The system was running again at the schools by late morning and early afternoon.

Traffic also was an issue, with backups around schools during opening and closing bells.

East-bound Proctor Road near Riverview High School was backed up nearly a mile early Monday morning before classes started. Parents at Alta Vista Elementary had to park across the street to walk their children to the school.

Congestion could be found almost anywhere with a school zone sign. …

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