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Schools, staff ready for students

The school year starts Monday in Boulder City and for the first time in more than a year, students will start it on campus.

“We are so excited to be starting this year in person,” said Boulder City High School Principal Amy Wagner. “It’s been so hard for all of us to not be connected to our kids. I will do whatever needs to be done to have students on campus.”

The 2020-2021 school year started with full-time distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, Clark County School District students were able to return to their campuses after almost a year of being away.

“We are so excited to welcome back students to King Elementary School for the 2021-2022 school year,” said Jason Schrock, principal. “Last year was such a difficult year for so many of our families. Many of our children struggled with distance education because of technology, but also because of the distance from their friends and classmates.”

“Last year, we didn’t have any students in the building until March, so I am elated to begin the year with all of our students on campus,” said Benjamin Day, principal of Mitchell Elementary School.

“At Garrett Junior High School, we hope that all students feel welcome and start their year with a growth mindset,” said Melanie Teemant, principal. “It is time to start fresh, to take what we have learned about ourselves and the way we teach and consider what we can use to make the educational experience for every student even better.”

Even though the students and teachers will be back on campus, there will be some differences than in previous years.

All students, teachers, employees and visitors are required to wear face masks inside and on all district school buses. Social distancing between students, when possible, is also being encouraged.

“We also just recently received instruction that students will need to wear a mask while playing on our playground structure, but otherwise, they will be able to remove the masks when they are outdoors,” Day said.

Schrock said students at King will have to wear masks inside except during lunch, but they can take them off when they are at recess and during physical education classes.

Another change at King is that parents will be able to be on campus, too.

“Parents will once again be allowed to come onto the campus in the morning to watch their kids play and be part of our new sunrise ceremony,” said Schrock. “This is an opportunity for parents to hear morning announcements and to interact daily with their child’s teacher. We hope that all of these changes will lead to stronger relationships with our families and increased communication.”

Several of the schools are also implementing new equipment and schedules this year.

“Every student will be given a Chromebook to be used throughout the year,” said Wagner.

Wagner also said the school day will start at 7:40 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than previous years, and go to 1:51 p.m.

She said the change is due to transportation needs and not because of COVID-19.

“Our school day begins at 8:25 a.m. and ends at 2:36 p.m.,” Schrock said. “This is a change of five minutes from last year to support parents who have children at both King Elementary School and Mitchell Elementary School. Our gates will also open at 8:10 a.m. to allow parents and students to come onto the campus in the morning.”

Teemant said Garrett is implementing a new schedule where students will be attending eight different class periods.

“They will have four each day and we will operate on an A/B schedule,” she said. “This will give students the opportunity to have two electives for the first time.”

The school will also be offering “Bobcat Time” during the lunch hour that will allow students to do different activities and projects as well as giving them a “brain break.”

“Students will spend 30 minutes each day in classes where they may be doing yoga, STEM projects, film history, Lego, clubs, games and many other interests,” said Teemant. “Each teacher will offer different activities, based on what the students are interested in doing. This gives everyone a brain break during the day, and time to learn new hobbies and skills, and meet new people who share that same interest. It is a brand-new year and a great time to try new ways of learning.”

All the principals are hopeful the 2021-2022 school year will be successful.

“My biggest hope for this school year is that we can keep the kids on campus all year and that our students remain healthy and well,” said Day. “I think that as long as we can do that, our students will have a great year both academically and socially. It’s so important for our kids to be able to connect with one another, as well as with our staff, at school.”

“… I hope all students have fun together and love being a part of our school community,” added Teemant. “That is what the Bobcat family is all about.”

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

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