First Day of School kicks off in Marion County, big changes ahead for students

MARION COUNTY, Fla. Thursday morning kicked off the first day of school for many students throughout North Central Florida.

In Marion County, students are going back to school with a few changes in place.

One new elementary school principal says she's excited for the new year.

As the morning bell sounded, the first day of school in Marion County was underway.

Dr. Heidi Maier said, "Our vision is coming true today. We have principals in great positions and the children are loving school. What more can you ask for."

School superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier made principal changes at 24 different schools throughout the county.

And as for Oakcrest Elementary School own Diane Leinenbach, is getting her first taste of the new year.

Diane Leinenbach said, “I met most of our students and parents at the walker gate this morning and I welcomed them onto the campus. We identified how every student was getting home which was my main concern, but being proactive we got a handle on things."

Maier says even more changes are going into effect for students in pre-k through 5th grade.

Elementary school students will not have traditional homework.

Instead students are asked to read at least 20 minutes each evening with their parent.

Emily Hyatte said, "We're just trying to start off on a positive note so the kids will know that also.”

Principal Leinenbach says with the new system in place, her students will be starting the year off on the right foot.