Mayor Kenney, students ring in new school year in Philadelphia

Summer break is officially over for Philadelphia public school students.

Tuesday is the first day of school, and students are gearing up for several festivities across the city.

Mayor Jim Kenney and Dr. William R. Hite, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, delivered remarks at a bell ringing ceremony to mark the first day of school at Robert Morris Elementary School in North Philadelphia.

“We are excited to build on the progress we have made in recent years, which includes more children reading on grade level, attending school regularly, and graduating ready for college and career," said Dr. Hite. "There is still work to do, but we look forward to working with our families, communities and other partners to make this school year the best one yet for our students.”

After the ceremony, Hite, Kenney and invited guests toured the school to see teacher Deborah Russell’s second grade classroom recently modernized with new furniture, lighting and manipulatives to enhance reading instruction. They also visited the school’s “Bee-Hive,” where students can earn incentives, including books, for positive behavior throughout the year.

“I am excited about the new supports and opportunities that Philadelphia students will have this year, including new staff, modernized classrooms, and improved school facilities,” said Kenney. “This progress wouldn’t be possible without the leadership of Dr. Hite and the Board of Education, and the thousands of School District employees who are committed to ensuring the success of each child."

Send us your back-to-school photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #FOX29goodday!