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Parents and students get the lowdown on new school year

More than 5,200 Nye County School District (NCSD) students are returning to their respective classes this week after their brief summer break.

Each school held a separate open house for students and parents over the week before school started Aug. 11.

At Pahrump’s sole middle school, Rosemary Clarke, Principal Tim Wombaker said his school has experienced a slight reduction in the number of students for the new fall semester.

He also said he’s dealing with issues related to staffing.

“We have seen a number of students who have withdrawn this year. Many of the families are moving to Las Vegas because there’s better opportunities for employment. We have added a few staff members because we were short due to some licensing issues and we are working on that,” he said.

The principal also said everyone is adjusting to the new school year, which began two weeks earlier for the roughly 900 students attending classes.

“It is the beginning of August and the kids are adjusting to having a shortened summer which is always tough. It’s also very hot and when you have many kids, in the beginning of August, as air conditioning problems come along, but the district is working hard to fix it and stay caught up with that. Air conditioning is always an issue when you live in Nevada,” he said.

Wombaker also said the school provides parents with resources to access student information at any time.

“There are individual school websites and they have everything a parent needs. They can access forms if their kids are participating in athletics. There’s even lunch forms on the district website. Using technology instead of driving around all of the time is always the best way to go. We also have what’s known as ‘Sprigeo,’ which is an online way to report bullying. It was activated district wide,” he said.

The principal also urged parents to monitor their child’s activity when they use social media.

“Parents need to be aware of what their kids are watching or texting. Technology is fabulous and great, but it can also be very dangerous if it’s not monitored,” he said.

On the far south end of town, one elementary school is welcoming a brand new principal.

Von Sheppard is Floyd Elementary School’s top administrator.

Sheppard said on Wednesday, that the first week of school is moving along nicely.

He gave much praise to his staff for making his transition a smooth one.

“It’s been great. I was just telling them that I am lucky. I’ve got the best staff, and it’s been a great start to the year. We’re looking forward to this new school year. The district’s focus this year is ‘Everyday Math’ and of course that is our focus. We are going to try and go as deep as we can, but also be creative and innovative with everyday math. We are looking to follow the district’s lead,” he said.

The principal also had a message for parents regarding student performance as the school year proceeds.

“I am looking forward to a vision of success for 2014-15. The elementary years are critical times of development for students and families. We are looking to make sure that this is one of the top schools in Nevada. Not just Pahrump, but Nevada,” he said. “I am privileged to have the opportunity in my first year as principal and I feel honored to work with our highly qualified and dedicated staff, our wonderful students, and all of the supportive parents,” Sheppard said.

Faculty members at J.G. Johnson Elementary did something slightly out of the ordinary this week.

Principal Jeff Skelton and several teachers paid a visit to RCMS.

The staff welcomed their outgoing 5th grade students who moved up to sixth grade.

“We went over as a group with a banner and welcomed our students on their first day at RCMS. We love our J.G. Johnson students and miss them all. To us, no matter how old they get they will always be one of our students and we want to support them in their educational journey.

Entering his third year as superintendent, Dale Norton provided a message for parents throughout the district.

“I remain as committed to the students of Nye County School District as I was going into my first year. Together we will continue to move forward with every child in mind. Our goal is to provide excellent instruction to every child, in every classroom, every day,” he said.

Additionally, Pahrump Valley High School welcomes former Assistant Principal Chris Brockman who will assume the principal’s position after Max Buffi tendered his resignation in June.

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