Clark County students head back for first day of school — PHOTOS

Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky, fully aware the school day wouldn’t officially end for a few more hours, said he considered it a smooth start to the new year.

Walking the halls at Global Community High School, one of the district’s new Zoom Schools, which receive additional state funding to provide more support for English-language learners, Skorkowsky noted at about 1:30 p.m. that he had received no reports of major air conditioning or bus incidents.

“I just know with 1,600 buses, we still have a long way to go today,” Skorkowsky said.

“It has been in general a good opening,” he added. “For the most part, kids are in school and learning, which is what it’s all about.”

While some maintenance workers responded to calls to fix broken air conditioning units at individual schools, Skorkowksy said he had not heard of any campus-wide outages as the afternoon temperatures approached the triple digits.

The largest issue reported across the district remained the 20 percent of students who had not registered online before Monday.

On Twitter, parents reported never receiving a bus schedule, while campus registrars started the morning with students wondering whether they could enter any classroom.

Spokeswoman Michelle Booth, however, noted the district made numerous attempts since April to notify parents about the switch to a fully online registration system.

“If 80 percent (of families) followed the timeline, I think that’s a pretty good number,” she said.

NONTRADITIONAL LEARNING

 

A small group of sixth-graders also had to wake early Monday to kick off their nontraditional school year at Nevada Learning Academy, the district’s virtual middle and high school.

While most NVLA students take all their courses online or at their home campus, middle schoolers meet two days each week for face-to-face interaction with their instructors and peers.

“It’s just a new way of doing things,” said 11-year-old Jennifer Michel. “I’m looking forward to attending school, but at home and more comfortable than if I had to sit in front of a teacher all day.”

Jennifer recently finished a sixth-grade orientation that teaches new online students how to access their course work online, download necessary software and upload their homework at home.

The academy, with an enrollment of more than 750 full-time and 5,000 part-time students, was established in 2004 and expanded to the middle school level last year.

Kelly Greenwald, a math instructor at NVLA, watched Jennifer try to build a tower out of spaghetti noodles, string and tape in hopes that it would hold a marshmallow in place.

“We do everything possible to make the transition smoother,” Greenwald said of the move from a brick-and-mortar school to the online campus.

“Seeing us in person really helps. Knowing that we’re here, in front of them, and can offer any assistance definitely makes a difference. They don’t have to feel like they will handle this alone.”

LAST-MINUTE REGISTRATION

A line of parents snaked out of the front office at Cortez Elementary School as a majority of students met their teachers for the first time on the playground.

In April, the district launched an online registration process for families but reported last week that a full one-third of students still had not registered. As of Saturday, about 275,000 of 323,000 students completed their registration online.

“Nobody said anything about that,” one mother told front office workers at Cortez early Monday.

Even parents who successfully registered their students online reported first-day complications.

Rosa Delgado, 24, waited for the first bell with her two daughters — both of whom had not met their teachers yet.

“We’re used to coming to the school early, making introductions, getting know who will teach my kids,” Delgado said. “We don’t know what to expect.

“We’re kind of going in blindfolded.”

Another mother, Elsa Martinez, joined the growing line of patient parents after classes started.

Her son, 6-year-old Jason, proudly showed off his new wrestling-themed backpack while anxiously hoping to start his first day of kindergarten.

“I just want to learn,” he said. “I want to learn about dinosaurs, about zoos, about a lot more things.

“My friends are waiting for me!”

JET-LAGGED AFTER ROBOTICS TEAM TRIP TO CHINA

Moments after the first bell rang at Cimarron-Memorial High School, one particular group of Spartans looked a bit more tired than their peers.

The Cimarron-Memorial robotics team, which arrived back to Las Vegas on Friday after a two-week trip to China, stifled yawns as they welcomed students and staff back to school with a band and cheerleaders.

“I’m definitely jetlagged,” said senior Alexa Lignelli, who sported a rice patty hat as souvenir of her trip. “I’ve been waking up every night at like 2 a.m.

“Same story last night: Up at 3 a.m., just lying there for hours and wishing I could just sleep.”

The robotics team flew to China to help train other students participating in a regional tournament. The Spartans themselves walked away with gold medals for their performance in a separate international competition.

“It’s a great way to start the school year, even if we’re tired,” Lignelli said.

Clark County School Board member Patrice Tew briefly addressed the robotics team about their school’s progress since its designation as a turnaround campus two years ago.

The district places that designation on the lowest-performing schools and allows principals more flexibility to hire new teachers and implement academic interventions.

In 2012-13, Cimarron-Memorial posted a graduation rate of about 51 percent. That rose to 75 percent for the Class of 2015, according to district officials.

BUS DRIVERS READY TO ROLL

As the sun barely started to rise over the Las Vegas valley, dozens of bus drivers with the Clark County School District filed into a North Las Vegas bus yard to prepare for their vehicles for the first day of school.

Driver Laura Hicks, starting her fifth year with the district, pumped the brakes one final time before officially starting the engine for the long route ahead of her.

The 34-year-old driver will cart students to and from Rancho High School and several other campuses.

“This is kind of like a family calling,” Hock said.

“My grandma retired just a few years after after decades driving buses. From 19 to 71, she did this. Now I’m here to make each kid’s day in the morning.”

This will mark the first year Hicks works with special-needs students and expects them to be nervous and excited for day one.

“It’s my job to make them more comfortable,” she said. “You never know what’s going on at home or with bullying. So I just got to help them feel, you know, at least someone’s smiling for them.”

Among the biggest changes that Las Vegas families can expect this school year, the district modified its bus schedules to require new magnet school students to appear at their closest zoned campus for pickup.

The new policy does not impact returning magnet school students and their siblings.

Other changes that parents and students will see this year:

Class sizes: While the expiration of a class-size reduction waiver will shrink the attendance rolls for kindergarten through third-grade teachers, the district will increase class sizes in grades four and above to solve a $67 million budget shortfall. Secondary class sizes will rise by 0.5 students this year. The prior year’s student/teacher ratio was 32-to-1 in fourth and fifth grades; 34-to-1 in middle school; and 33.5-to-1 in high school. The reduction in class sizes in the lower grades helped push teacher vacancies even higher, with elementary positions making up more than half of the total 920 teacher vacancies reported last week.

Full-day kindergarten: In the recent legislative session, state lawmakers approved changes to the public school finance system that eventually will fund full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools. That doesn’t go into effect until 2016-17, though some school districts, like Washoe County in the north, chose to fund full-day kindergarten starting this year. In Clark County, however, some parents will continue to pay tuition to enroll their children in kindergarten, as the school board recently voted to expand full-day kindergarten to just 187 of nearly 220 elementary campuses.

New magnet schools: The district will add about 8,500 seats at seven new magnet schools this year as part of an effort to draw students to underused campuses. The expansion includes transforming Piggott Elementary School and Johnson Junior High School into International Baccalaureate academies; adding science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs to McCaw Elementary School, Guinn Middle School and Eldorado High School; and offering fine and performing arts at White Middle School and Del Sol High School. Last year, nearly 16,700 students applied to magnet schools with seats available for only a third of them.

New select schools: Similar to the magnet school expansion, the district will offer new Advanced Placement and career and technical programs at five area high schools: Bonanza, Chaparral, Mojave, Silverado and Western. Mojave also will gain an engineering program, while Western hosts a biomedical track and Silverado starts the school year with certification from the National Academy Foundation in Finance and Information Technology.

Online registration: For the first time this year, the district required families to register students through an online portal called Infinite Campus. Parents could access the site on their desktops or smartphones, with computers available at each school campus for families without Internet access. However, the district reported last week that a full third of students had not been registered for the first day of school, creating questions about how students will learn about their bus schedules and the need to deal with crowds of angry parents that school registrars will greet on day one.

Victory and Zoom school expansion: With a boost in funding from the Nevada Legislature, students living in poverty and English language learners will benefit from more services offered at several new campuses. Victory Schools, which target interventions to low-income students and at poorly performing campuses, may offer prekindergarten programs, afterschool activities, reading skills centers, parent engagement initiatives and more. At Zoom Schools, students who speak English as a second language could benefit from universal prekindergarten, summer academies, extended school days, reduced class sizes and more. This is the first year the Zoom School program will expand to the secondary level, at Orr and Robison middle schools and Global Community High School.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Neal Morton at nmorton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Find him on Twitter: @nealtmorton.

Send us your photos of the first day of school!

At the Scene
ad-high_impact_4
News
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
Cybersecurity Professionals Flock to Las Vegas for Black Hat
Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting a record 17,000 attendees during its six-day run at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. One thing attendees have in mind is making sure they don't get hacked while they're there. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police chase ends with suspects captured in east Las Vegas
An early Tuesday morning chase ended with a car crash in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. Police were pursuing the vehicle, which they say was involved in robberies in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, when the driver crashed at Owens and Statz Street. A man was taken into custody. A woman was ejected from a vehicle and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The intersection at Mojave Road and Owens Avenue was shut down while police officers searched for the suspect and investigated. The intersection will remain closed for most of the morning.
Record number participate in Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony
Three hundred sixty-five medical students received their white coats during the Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony at the M Resort in Henderson Monday. The ceremony was developed to honor students in osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy as they accept the professional responsibilities inherent in their relationship with patients. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stop for school buses, urges CCSD
Clark County School District Police Department hold a mock traffic stop at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Work Begins at Las Vegas Community Healing Garden
Crews moved the wooden Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden on South Casino Center Boulevard Monday. Construction on a permanent wall is set to begin within the week. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Man wounded outside Cottages apartment
Las Vegas police don't have a motive after a man was shot early Monday morning outside a northwest valley apartment. The man's mother called police to say her son had been shot. She called police around 1:15 a.m. Other people were inside the apartment but no one else was injured. Police are still looking for the shooter.
Ride new Interstate 11 segment in one minute
Interstate 11 opens to the public Thursday, providing sweeping views of Lake Mead, art deco-style bridges and a mural illustrating the construction of Hoover Dam. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Miss El Tiempo 2019
Miss Teen El Tiempo and Miss El Tiempo 2019 were crowned at Sam's Town Saturday, August 4, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Las Vegas Woman Raises Awareness for Anxiety and Depression
Cassi Davis was diagnosed with anxiety and depression after the birth of her second child. After seeking help and support, she felt that there wasn't enough for support for those living day in and day out for those with mood disorders. She created the Crush Run, set for Sept. 22, to raise money for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and bring together a community of people who live with the same conditions she does. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
North Las Vegas marks the opening of Tropical Parkway connector
The City of North Las Vegas, Nevada Department of Transportation and other partners celebrated the opening of the Tropical Parkway connector to Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Beltway. The stretch of road will make access easier for distribution centers for Amazon, Sephora and other companies moving into an 1,100-acre industrial area rising near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bighorn sheep with West Temple in background at Zion National Park
A bighorn sheep walks through Zion National Park (National Park Service)
Adult Superstore location closes after 45 years
The Adult Superstore on Main Street has closed its doors for good after 45 years. The shop, which offered a multitude of adult toys, novelty items and movies, opened in 1973. Four other locations remain open. A note on the front door tells customers, “We can’t fully express our sorrow.” Adult Superstore was awarded Best of Las Vegas adult store by the Review-Journal in 2016 and 2017 .
Funeral held for Las Vegas corrections officer
Department of Public Safety Correctional Officer Kyle Eng died July 19 after a fight with an inmate at the Las Vegas Jail. A funeral was held for Eng at Canyon Ridge Christian Church Monday, July 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What Back-To-School Shopping Is Like For a CCSD Parent and Teacher
Laura LeBowsky, a CCSD special education teacher and mother of two, set out to shop for her children's supply lists at her local Walmart and Target. She was looking for deals to try to keep the total under $150, while also allowing Chloe, 8, and Brady, 6, some choice in what they wanted. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Businesses struggle to fill food manufacturing jobs
Chelten House is a family-owned food manufacturing company from New Jersey. They created a facility in Vegas five years ago and have struggled to find experienced workers in the area. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LeBron heckler crosses line, altercation erupts
NBA superstar LeBron James, his wife, Savannah, and daughter Zhuri were at Liberty High School to watch Bronny James in action Wednesday night. But an unruly fan wearing a Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey heckled the newest Los Angeles Laker. The man screamed at event security with LeBron and his family about 150 feet away. The man had to be restrained, triggering a brief altercation with security. James and his family were escorted out a side door along with Bronny's team, the North Coast Blue Chips. Event officials canceled the game between the Blue Chips and Nike Meanstreets.
Las Vegas Oddities Shop in Downtown Las Vegas
Las Vegas Oddities shop owner Vanessa VanAlstyne describes what's for sale in one of the weirder and wackier stores in Downtown Las Vegas. The store opened less than a year ago and carries everything from human bones to "rogue" taxidermy to Victorian death photography. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like