It's back to school for some students in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- While many students are enjoying the end of their summer vacation, some students had their first day of school.

Global Leadership Academy Southwest welcomed their 6th to 8th graders on Monday.

The students started the morning as they always do, with teachers and staff gathering outside for Harambee, which usually lasts about an hour where students enjoy live music, recite the school pledge and song.

Parents listened in this morning, happy to hear the familiar chants.

"They do that at home sometimes, and at first I was like what is that, and then they said this is what we do at school, and I said that's great," said Judy Baughn, a parent.

Once inside, many students said they were excited to start learning again after having about a month off.

"Everybody starts before us but it's okay," said Mya Drummond, an 8th grader.

The Philadelphia charter school is a year-round school, and some students said they were excited to hit the books again.

"I'm still excited, got a lot of energy ready to learn," said Eric White, an 8th grader.

Over on West Allegheny Avenue in Tioga, Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School students had their official back to school day today, exploring their new campus for the first time.

Cristo Rey broke ground on the new school in November 2017, moving from its original location at 5218 N. Broad Street, where the school had been operating since 2012.

"We're very excited by this day. We've envisioned this day for about six years," said John McConnell, the school's founder and president.

With a hot start to the school year, students said they were especially thankful to be in the new building.

"It's been much better--there's air conditioning and also just a new environment," said Christopher Bernal, a senior.

The new school building has a gym and science lab among other new rooms that the old building didn't have.

"I have to pinch myself every time I walk into this building, compared to our old building, this truly is a blessing," said Flannery O'Connor, the school's principal.

Philadelphia School District students will return to school the Tuesday after Labor Day.
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