First day of school for San Diego Unified - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

First day of school for San Diego Unified

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's the first day of school for thousands of students in the San Diego Unified School District.

You can't beat the excitement of the first day back to school, with more than 200 campuses and 130,000 students district-wide. Administrators have their fingers crossed that bussing and staffing projections go smoothly.

On campus at Clairemont High, Thomas Riccio, the drum major of the marching band, is tuned up and ready for a solid senior year.

"I love music, and I want to continue that through my life, but I also want to go into the medical field. So that's why I keep studying and studying," Thomas said.

School officials are hoping for another successful year in the classroom. San Diego Unified has seen six consecutive years of positive test scores on standardized testing and high school exit exams. But with deep budget cuts, Superintendent Bill Kowba says the main challenges of 2011-2012 will be staffing and enrollment issues, which once again means doing more with less.

"We have had to make some budget cuts that resulted in smaller teaching staffs, smaller support staff and I don't think the enrollment will have shrunk at all. We may be a little bit on the level side, maybe a little bit up, so we will have to stretch our resources to make sure we have a quality learning experience for everyone," Kowba said.

Superintendent Kowba says due to a new law, all students in grades 7 through 12 must be vaccinated for whooping cough by October 6.

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