PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Believe it or not, summer is over for Peoria public schools, and today is the first day of the new school year. One such school is Annie Jo Gordon Community Learning Center, where a welcome back parade was held before class started.

School principal Fabian Daniels said that some goals for this school year include improving their attendance percentage to 95 percent, which would be a 4 percent increase. She says they also hope to see a decrease in the number of office referrals. All in all, Daniels seemed excited about the first day of school.

“All of our students are coming back with their uniforms, with their backpacks, and going to be greeted by all our staff members, it’s so exciting to see our babies back here at AJG,” she said.

This is the second year of the modified calendar for Peoria public schools, but AJG is on its third year with the new calendar. Daniels said most families have adapted to the schedule, and that the ones she has talked to are pumped for the start of school.

“Many of them said the summer was a little bit short because of the modified calendar, but they’re excited to be back because they know they’re walking back into a building that they’re going to receive love, they’re going to be nurtured, and also the best education from the best educators here at AJG,” Daniels said.

Niles Jones, a music teacher at the school, said the faculty is ready for the start of classes.

“It’s been a wonderful summer but we are ready to get back in the swing of things, opening up our doors and ready to transform their minds and just ready to have an awesome year,” he said.

Parents and guardians are appreciative of the support they have received. Scott Alger, a grandparent, said he has nothing but positive things to say about District 150.

“I’ve just had great experiences with how supportive they are, for everybody, and they’re my heroes, seriously,” he said.