Henderson’s charter, private school options expanding into new year

While many teachers are busy unpacking books, decorating classrooms and preparing lesson plans, students are buying backpacks, gathering school supplies and getting in the last of their late-night fun.

It’s time for another school year to begin Aug. 29.

New additions

In addition to the Clark County School District, parents have options to check out new private and charter schools in the area.

Lake Mead Christian Academy, 655 E. Lake Mead Parkway, was slated to open the doors to its second campus Aug. 17.

“We’ve come a long way from where we’ve started,” said founder Sue Blakeley.

The opening of the new campus comes 26 years after Blakeley had a vision for a different type of school.

Lake Mead Christian Academy was in a temporary location until 1998 when it opened its first campus at 640 E. Lake Mead Parkway.

With the student size, along with staffing needs growing, Blakeley looked at expanding. Her ideas were put on hold after the Great Recession.

A few years ago, she began pursuing the idea of a second campus using land across the street.

The campus broke ground in October 2015.

The new facility has 22 classrooms, an early education center and, for the first time, a football field. Practices and games have previously been held at other schools.

Behind the school, there is another plot of land that will eventually become a third campus.

Lake Mead Christian Academy has open enrollment year-round for grades kindergarten through 12.

It’s not the only new addition to the area.

Pinecrest Academy is also slated to open a new campus Aug. 29. For the first time, it will offer high school classes.

Principal Jessica LeNeave said the school set up shop in Henderson in 2006.

“And ever since then, we’ve had a lot of demand,” she added.

The charter school, which has about a 3,000-student waiting list, focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, or STEAM, programing.

Over the last few years, it has added more campuses in Henderson. A new campus, located inside the Cadence community, broke ground in January.

About one-third of the overall campus is complete and operational. The remaining components will be added over the next few years to accommodate the school’s growth.

The new location will accommodate about 1,000 students from kindergarten through ninth grade.

LeNeave said each year, a new grade level will be added.

In addition to new grades, the new campus is offering an aviation program for its students

LeNeave added that there is a need in the aviation industry, and it makes sense to begin training high school students who are interested in joining that field.

“We are looking to expand beyond that and have an engineering and pre-med program,” she said.

CCSD back-to-school preparations

There are no significant changes to Henderson-area schools coming into the new year.

While some schools across the county will convert back to a nine-month schedule, the Henderson-based schools — Twitchell, Thorpe, Treem, Vanderburg and Wallin elementary schools — are expected to stay year-round.

Getting ready to go back to school also means households have to make sure students are signed up for free lunch programs or taking the correct bus route.

Applications for free or reduced lunch programs can be found at each school or at applyforlunch.com.

For students who buy their lunches at school, parents can set up an account online at myschoolbucks.com and add money to pay for meals.

Parents with children with a special need who require transportation can call the school district to have that set up. The request can take about three to five days to process.

If there have been changes to bus routes, parents should have been notified earlier in August.

All transportation needs can answered through the call center at 702-799-8100 or transportation.ccsd.net.

More resources and tips from the school district are available at ccsd.net/schools/back-to-school.

To reach Henderson View reporter Michael Lyle, email mlyle@viewnews.com or call 702-387-5201. Find him on Twitter: @mjlyle.

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