More than 1,200 Guadalupe Union students returned to school Tuesday, eager to start the new year and kick off their second semester of classes.

Ed Cora, Guadalupe Union superintendent, said he looks forward to continuing the district's implementation of the one-to-web program this semester, something he hopes will contribute to a positive learning environment.

"I am looking forward to students continuing to learn in a positive environment as well as expanded use of their mobile devices in order to increase their academic achievement," he said. 

According to Cora, the new semester will mark the start of construction on a new, eight-classroom building at McKenzie Junior High. Construction of the building, which is expected to begin in March, will help relieve overcrowding within district schools.

When the bell rang at 3 p.m. Tuesday, McKenzie Junior High Principal Gabe Solorio stood near the gate and waved goodbye to students as they left the school. Many jumped onto the yellow school buses while others were whisked away by parents or older relatives. Some biked, others walked. A pair of students jockeyed for control over a scooter, taking turns as they rode out the gate.

Cedric Flores, a seventh-grader, was one of a half dozen students waiting for a ride Tuesday after a majority of the students had gone home for the day. Sitting on a table near the main office, Flores said he liked his three-week vacation but was glad to be back among his friends.

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"I just came back," he said. "Disneyland was more fun. I wish school could have more games and fun things to do."

While he's looking forward to the semester progressing, Flores said he's cautious (and a little worried) about getting closer to the start of high school.

"I'm looking forward to it a little bit," he said. "It's a scary thought."

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga

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Education Reporter

Santa Maria Times reporter Mathew Burciaga covers education for Lee Central Coast Newspapers.