READING, Pa. - Reading School District students will be starting a brand new school year Monday under brand new superintendent Dr. Khalid Mumin.
Mumin is a Philadelphia native who had served as the superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools in Maryland since 2011.
He will be taking charge of the district, with roughly 18,000 students to look after.
One of those students is Lakeisha Mosley. Her and her mother Georgette are excited for the start to the new school year.
"We cannot wait. We are sad that the summer is over, but it is time for her to go back to school," said Georgette Mosley, a parent.
Along with her excitement comes a few concerns about school safety.
"It needs to be improved because there are a lot of fights going on at Reading High and the Citadel and it is very dangerous sometimes for kids to go home and back and forth to school," said Mosley.
But Mosley was happy to hear that safety is one of the main priorities of the new superintendent Dr. Khalid Mumin.
The district has selected a new principal for the Citadel and Mumin says he plans on launching a safe walk program.
"During the first few weeks of school will be safe corridors or safe walking paths where community members will walk children to schools, more specific at the intermediate school," said Reading Superintendent Dr. Khalid Mumin.
Other parents were thrilled at the idea.
"I think that is pretty good to show the children how to keep each other safe and not to start all this violence and drama with the kids," said Michelle Santos, a parent.
In addition to safety, Mumin says this year is all about assessment and planning to see what the district does well and not so well. From there, he wants to come up with a long-term plan he calls the 'State of the Schools Address.'
"I think that is one of our largest challenges is planning and foreshadowing for three to four years out, versus living month by month, year by year and sometimes day by day," said Mumin.
All 18,000 students in the Reading School District will also be getting free breakfast and lunch as part of a federal grant.
Mumin says he also plans on working closely with the school board, which is something that has been an issue with past superintendents.
Overall, parents are embracing the change.
"I think it is great. I think we needed somebody new to come in and take over," said Mosley.
"I am hoping for everything to be much better," said Santos.
Allentown, PA 18102
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