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Schools report smooth return

Parents can finally exhale after a long summer of kids in the house as school is back in session in Boulder City. On Monday, Aug. 8, all four schools in town welcomed back students for the 2022-23 school year in an orderly fashion without any mishaps.

“We had a great first day of school. Things went smoothly for students and staff,” said Amy Wagner, principal at Boulder City High School.

This is what many consider the first “normal” year back for students after the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no more social distancing, no more one-way hallways and, most notably, no more masks.

“This was the first year in a couple of years where we have not had a ton of strict COVID protocols. It felt pretty normal,” said Mitchell Elementary Principal Benjamin Day.

“We had an amazing first few days. The kids have been fantastic. We have a great sixth-grade group, too; they have been really mature,” said Garrett Junior High Principal Melanie Teemant.

Many new teachers joined the Clark County School District family. At BCHS, Spanish teacher Victoria Miller, history teacher John Donaldson, science teacher Jennifer Rodgers and English teacher Steve Roe became staff members. Social studies teacher Jacob Bennie, math teacher Ryan Pusko, learning strategist Brittany Henn, and English language arts special education advisor Katherine Sunvick joined the staff at Garrett Junior High.

Additionally, students are returning to classrooms with more resources this year. All students can receive free meals —breakfast and lunch — through the National School Lunch Program.

Started during the pandemic, the program is designed to help families recover and ensure students have food to eat.

“We are so happy to be able to provide this assistance to families throughout the state,” said Nevada Department of Agriculture Director Jennifer Ott. “The NDA is committed to addressing food insecurity throughout Nevada, and this will have a great impact.”

She asks that families continue to fill out the free and reduced lunch eligibility application to make sure the department is using the funding in the best way possible.

“Completing the eligibility application is also about more than just school meals; it provides important data that allows schools to receive additional funding and benefits to support students and teachers,” Ott said.

Other resources for students include the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a $30 a month discount on home broadband services, and the launch of a new academic support initiative that will provide unlimited virtual tutoring 24/7.

Clark County School District recently partnered with Paper, which works with school districts nationwide to provide 1:1 instructional support across more than 200 subject areas in English, Spanish, French, and Mandarin. The service is free to all kindergarten through 12th grade students.

According to the district, Paper’s staff of trained, background-checked tutors empower students to achieve success with equitable access to academic support.

Contact reporter Owen Krepps at okrepps@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @OKrepps85.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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