Summer vacation officially ends for about 38,000 Lexington students Thursday morning when Fayette County Public Schools reopen for the 2011-12 school year.
School buses will hit Lexington streets before 6 a.m. and will be delivering elementary students to schools by about 7:15, school district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said.
The first day of school means more traffic on Lexington's streets. Officials are urging drivers to be extra careful during Thursday morning's commute.
Parents who have questions about their child's bus route or schedule may call (859) 381-3855 or find information at FCPS.net/bus.
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The new school year will bring a number of firsts to public schools in Kentucky: new, tougher core content standards in reading and mathematics; end-of-course assessments for high school students taking certain courses, and a new statewide test to replace the old CATS test.
There also are some firsts in Fayette County: Thursday marks the first time in seven years that the schools will open without Stu Silberman at the helm. Silberman retired this year and will became executive director of the Prichard Committee on Academic Excellence on Sept. 1.
His successor, Tom Shelton, begins his term as superintendent on Sept. 1. Mary Wright, the schools' chief operating officer, is the acting superintendent until then.
The Fayette County district is opening with 56 schools this year, including two new ones: Wellington Elementary on Keithshire Way and the 80-acre Locust Trace Agri-Science Farm on Lees town Road.