Welcome back to school! JPEF staff shares their back to school memories


Today is the first day of school! It is a hectic time for teachers, parents, and students as our community works together to adjust to the new school year. As adults, we don’t often reflect on the first day of school. Will my friends be in my class? Will I have a good teacher? Did my mom pack me something good for lunch? We left those days behind years ago. But those early school days play a role in defining your identity. Here are some of our early school memories:

undefinedEvery year, from Kindergarten through my senior year of high school, my father told us in the morning that he wanted to know the name of one new friend we made in school that day. Then we had to practice introducing ourselves, "Hi! My name is Trey. What's yours?" To this day, I think my comfort in talking with random people comes from those years of practice. – Trey

undefinedI remember my first day of school in Duval County. I was six years old. We had just moved from Arizona to Jacksonville, and as a native Spanish speaker, my English was still not very good. Normally, I spent my days playing with my twin sister and speaking in Spanish with her, but there was a policy that siblings could not attend classes together. I watched the other kids playing a game with a ball and four squares drawn on the concrete, nervous to talk to them. I couldn’t figure out the rules of the game, and eventually curiosity got the best of me. I asked them how to teach me how to play, and they welcomed me into the game.  – Charmaine   

undefinedEvery first-day-of-school eve, I would have this recurring dream that I was late for school and how the day was going to go. So I would wake up extra early to make sure that I was ready to go the next day. Some nights that meant I was waking up every hour, on the hour, because I was so anxious. Kim

undefinedI don’t know if this was the first day, but I was cute. – Joan



Megan in her earlier years. 

undefined Imani getting her picture taken at school. 

Several of our staff members also volunteered in schools today to help out as first day of school can often be very busy. Here, a few of them share their experiences:

Today I was excited to volunteer at Jefferson Davis Middle School, a school I have not had the chance to visit yet! For anyone who has been inside a first day at a middle or high school, it can be hectic as students who have not pre-registered arrive and teachers, school counselors and administrators work together to get everyone's paperwork and schedules in order. I was happy to be able to help, albeit in a small way, make the morning go smoother for students and staff!
- Deirdre

This school year, there are many ways to stay up to date and get involved in our public education system. You can check the School Board calendar regularly to attend a meeting. Listen to the superintendent and your school board representatives discuss their plans for our students’ futures. School Board meetings are also broadcast via webcast, so you can view or listen from the comfort of your own home. We encourage every member of the community to play a part this year and wish parents, teachers, and students and excellent school year.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.