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Schools ready for early start date

The 2017-2018 school year is starting earlier this year for all of Clark County, including the four public schools in town, and district officials are urging parents to make sure their kids are ready.

The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 14, rather than at the end of the month, as it has been in the past.

According the school district, the earlier start date will allow students to finish their exams before the winter break, rather than after.

Despite the earlier start, all of the schools in Boulder City are ready to go, and administrators are encouraging parents and students to be ready, too, starting with registration.

All students in the district — current and new — need to register for school before it starts.

“All parents need to complete an online enrollment process for their children,” said King Elementary School Principal Anthony Gelsone. “This includes returning students as well as new students to our school. For more information and help with this process, parents are welcome to call or come into the school and either Mrs. (Tami) Pratt or Ms. (Cheri) Emerich would be happy to help them.”

Online access

Parents of currently enrolled students can register with the Parent Portal via Infinite Campus at campusportal.ccsd.net. It will take them approximately five minutes to register, as their information is already in the system.

Parents of new students can start the registration process at register.ccsd.net.

“A new feature this year is the ability to respond to certain required sections one time for all students in the application versus doing so individually,” said Greg Manzi, director of student record services. “Another advantage is that families that access the websites from a mobile device can complete registration.”

If needed, parents use computers at schools within the district to register their children.

Once they are registered, Mitchell Elementary School principal Benjamin Day encourages parents and students to focus on goals.

“I think it would be great if every family established specific goals, both as families and as individuals, for what they want to accomplish this school year,” he said. “Those goals could include anything from how many books they want to read, what kind of friend they would like to be, specific skills they would like to learn in school, trying a new hobby, etc. At Mitchell, we talk about ‘Beginning With the End in Mind’ all of the time, and one of the best times to do that is at the onset of a new school year.”

Back on schedule

Gelsone also believes getting kids back on a schedule will help with the transition for the start of school.

“Having a couple children myself, I know that their sleep schedule gradually shifted to staying up later and getting up later,” he said. “So I would recommend to begin the process of getting that schedule shifted back to getting to bed earlier, so that students are back on a regular sleep schedule by time school starts.”

Parents also think getting their kids back on a schedule is a good idea.

“I’m happy school starts earlier now. No more late nights and sleeping all day,” said Lacey Leyman. “No more continuous Netflix marathons! Back to a schedule.”

Gelsone encourages parents to make sure their children’s vaccinations are current and that they look at the suggested school supply list on their school’s website.

Starting earlier isn’t all fun and games, as it has brought one specific challenge.

“The biggest challenge is to make sure that all of our families were aware of the change of start date, so that they did not plan vacations during this time,” said Boulder City High School Principal Amy Wagner.

Positive outlooks

One thing that remains the same with the 2017-2018 school year, however, is what each principal hopes the year holds.

“We hope all students enjoy their junior high experiences with the 1:1 Chromebooks and learn how they can be used to improve their learning,” said Garrett Junior High School Principal Jamey Hood. “As always, our goals are to improve test scores but, more importantly, teach students to be responsible citizens who learn self-advocacy in an appropriate and kind manner. This is a time when parents need to stay connected with your child but let them learn to self-advocate so they become responsible adults.”

“We always hope that all of our students have had a safe, healthy and restful summer break and are excited to return to school,” added Gelsone. “We look forward to hundreds of smiling little faces walking onto our campus every day. We hope that parents, students and teachers have another fun and successful school year. Working together as a school community, we will accomplish great things.”

Day said he hopes his students — the youngest ones in the district — will start learning how to be leaders.

“Our mission at Mitchell is to develop kind and successful leaders by helping them apply seven very specific habits to their lives on a daily basis, so my hope for this year is that we fulfill our mission by doing that,” he said. “I’m convinced that every child has the potential to be a leader, and that leadership is a choice, so at the end of the school year, if every child has developed habits that allow them to lead their own lives successfully and work effectively with others in an interdependent world, then I will feel good about what we’ve done.”

Wagner said she hopes her students will spend the year building relationships with those around them.

“I am looking forward to this school year, and I hope that all of our students finish this year feeling connected, inspired and eager to share what they have learned with others,” she said. “I have always loved the first week of school. I enjoy seeing all of the faces of our returning students and the faces of our new ones. I enjoy hearing about their summer adventures and what they want to accomplish this school year. I enjoy connecting with our families and community while talking about the many accomplishments of our students and school.”

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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