Published: Aug 20, 2012 12:24 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 20, 2012 5:36 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- More than 43,000 Collier County students went back to school Monday. Collier County was the last district in Southwest Florida to start school.

At Lely Elementary, students and staff have something to celebrate this year: the school went from a "C" school last year to an "A" school this year. It was all based on FCAT scores for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.  

Students and staff said they are proud of all of their hard work to reach this achievement. In one 4th grade classroom, Mr. Joe Boschelli says it took a lot of teamwork to reach their goal. He said he got some of those first day of school jitters just like the kids do, but they are having a great day so far. They'll also have an ice cream party to celebrate their "A" status. Boschelli says the achievement is one of the greatest things to happen in his 20-year teaching career.

Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton visited four schools this morning, including Gulf Coast High School, where she greeted students as they got off the bus. Collier County is also an "A" district this year.