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Students, teachers excited to head back to school

For the first time in almost a year Clark County School District students are back on campus in Boulder City.

“The first day of school with kids back … went quite well,” said Benjamin Day, principal of Mitchell Elementary School. “It was so much fun to see the children back on campus, and it was evident that the kids were excited to be back. It’s fairly common to have at least a couple of students who are very nervous to come back to school on the first day, but I didn’t see any children who had that issue today.”

Superintendent Jesus Jara recently said students in preschool through third grade could return to school under a hybrid instruction model, starting Monday, March 1. This model allows for two days of in-person learning at the school and then three days of distance learning at home.

Mitchell has students in kindergarten through second grade and is one of two elementary schools in Boulder City. The other, King Elementary School, has students in third through fifth grade.

Principal Jason Schrock said King was given permission for all of its students to come back Monday, March 1, under the hybrid instructional model.

He said he was “excited” to have students back in the building.

“There is nothing better, as an educator, than to see a classroom full of smiling students who are curious and excited to learn,” said Schrock. “The excitement that we felt from our students and parents will keep us motivated for a long time.”

Schrock did not mention any problems on Monday at King, and he thanked the teachers and staff for their hard work.

“I want people to know how appreciative I am of our teachers,” he said. “One hundred percent of our teachers chose to return to in-person learning because they knew how important it was for the success of our students as well as the needs of our families. I also want people to know how appreciative I am of our custodial staff for transforming each and every classroom into a place where students can feel safe and engage in learning with their teacher. Finally, I am so thankful for the dedication that I have seen from all of our staff members. They have truly made this transition possible for all of our students and community.”

Day said the only problems he and his staff experienced the first day back were with the new technology they had to use.

“We still need to work out some kinks as far as that goes, but overall, the day went very, very well,” he said.

For older students, Jara announced they can start returning at the end of March. Students in grades six, nine and 12 will start March 22, and students in grades seven, eight, 10 and 11 will be able to return on April 6.

“I am so excited to have our students back on campus starting in March. … Our staff returns to our building on March 15 and ninth-and 12th-grade students will return to face-to-face instruction under the hybrid instructional model on March 22nd,” said Amy Wagner, principal of Boulder City High School. “Grades 10 and 11 will return to face-to-face instruction under the hybrid instructional model on April 6 after spring break.”

Wagner said to follow the hybrid instructional model students will be divided into student cohorts.

“Students in Cohort A will attend school face-to-face on Mondays and Tuesdays and engage in distance learning on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays,” she said. “Students in Cohort B will attend school face-to-face on Thursdays and Fridays and engage in distance learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.”

Students in Cohort C are those who want to do distance learning five days a week.

Garrett Junior High School will also have students returning to campus at the end of March.

“We have been preparing for this for some time now, in hopes it would really happen, so I feel confident that the staff, students and parents will work as a team to make this a great experience regardless of where the students are learning from,” said Principal Melanie Teemant.

Teemant said approximately 80 percent of Garrett’s students will return to campus and the rest will continue full-time distance learning.

Sixth-grade students will return March 22 and seventh-and eighth-grade students will begin April 6.

“We are preparing our building according to the CCSD/CDC guidelines, and at this time are still requiring social distancing of six feet,” she said. “Teachers are also preparing to report and will be in the building to teach the students at home starting March 15. The staff is so excited to have students in the building but will continue to teach in a distance-learning model to accommodate all cohorts effectively via live streaming.”

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

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