Superintendant Bill Huyett speaks on the first day at Rosa Parks Elementary. Photo: Rachel Anderson

Today was the first day of school for over 9,000 students in the Berkeley Unified School District.

“From my sense, it was a very calm start to the year,” said Superintendant Bill Huyett. “It was really, ‘Let’s get going. We’re ready to go.'”

Huyett visited six of Berkeley’s schools today. He said he usually tries to visit all the schools by the end of the first week.

Berkeleysider Rachel Anderson sent in the photo (right) of Huyett at Rosa Parks Elementary School. Huyett referred in his talk there to “some news” about the school that would be released tomorrow that would “make the school community very happy”. State API test scores are due to be released tomorrow. Huyett and the school’s fourth graders led a “rousing rendition” of the school pledge.

Huyett said he was particularly struck by the atmosphere at Berkeley High School.

“Often at a high school, there are a few days of settling in, but I didn’t see that,” he said. Huyett said there is a major focus at improving attendance at BHS and the new arrangements, with only three entrances and exits which are all monitored seemed “better organized” to him. (Read our end of year interview with BHS Principal Pasquale Scuderi where he speaks about attendance being a priority.)

How was your first day of school this year? Let us know in the comments.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...