8th largest district in U.S. goes back to school this week

Nearly 212,000 students will return to school in Orange County this week, as classes resume on Thursday, August 10.

According to Orange County Public Schools, a total of 210 schools across Orange County will welcome students from 209 countries of origin.

That includes Water Spring Middle School, which officially reopened last week after two years of renovations. Previously, students at the school had been sharing the campus of Horizon High School. The new, state-of-the-art campus boasts computer labs, advanced technology, a multipurpose cafeteria, and a brand new gym.

Water Spring Middle School reopens after two years of construction

Although no additional schools were opened during the past school year, the current size of the district makes it the eighth largest in the nation. It is only the fourth largest in the state of Florida, however, trailing Miami-Dade, Broward, and Hillsborough districts.

In a press release issued on Friday, August 4, OCPS detailed several statistics for the upcoming school year.

According to officials, while last year, 203,137 digital devices were distributed to students, this year, every student will have a digital device.

Currently, OCPS employs 24,294 employees, which includes 15,201 instructional employees broken down into 12,225 in the classroom and 2,976 outside of the classroom.

The district says that at least 35,000,0000 meals were served during the last school year, or around 195,000 meals a day. Earlier this summer, Orange County Public Schools announced that all students would be served meals at no charge throughout the 2023-24 school year.

During the summer, nearly 730,000 meals were distributed at 241 sites across the district.

The district also operates the largest public transportation system in Central Florida, with approximately 56,000 students being transported to and from school every day using 500 school buses. The OCPS fleet of buses travels close to 13 million miles per year.

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