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Students Bid Farewell To Summer, Return To Classes


Pine Middle School. Image: Carla O’Day.

Most students in Washoe County returned to school Monday after an 8-week summer vacation.

Superintendent Traci Davis on Monday visited Anderson and Smithridge elementary schools, Dilworth STEM and Pine middle schools, and Sparks and McQueen high schools.

Davis described it as a “great first day.”

“I’m glad to see everybody is back to school, engaged and ready to go,” she said.

Smithridge fifth grade teacher Dan Scurlock, who taught the same group of children as fourth graders, said it was nice to see his students again.

“I was with these guys last year and I missed them over the summer,” Scurlock said. “When beginning this year, we’re just starting right where we left off last year.”

A 52-year-old school, Smithridge underwent roof repairs during the summer.

Washoe Schools Superintendent Traci Davis. Image: Ty O’Neil.

“We won’t have water dripping into the classrooms when it rains and snows,” Smithridge principal Tom Wortman said. “We’ve had a number of roof leaks. The district tries to maintain the buildings; but at the end of the day, they’re old. It’s nice to get some new work done.”

Students were happy to be back as well.

Smithridge fifth grader Erick Rodriguez said his goals this school year are to earn As and Bs and to score high on his assessments.

“It feels good to be back with all my friends again,” said Rodriguez, 10.

Pine Middle School eighth grader Jessica Hubbell said transitioning from summer will be difficult.

“It’s kind of still summer, but it’s fun to see my friends and hang out with everybody,” said Hubbell, 13. “I’m in the gifted and talented program and the teachers are nice, but I know math will be really hard. But in science, we’ll do some cool experiments.”

For the past few years, the school district has begun classes in early August—rather than the last week of the month—due to extended breaks during the school year. A 1-week fall break, 2-week spring break, and 3-week winter break are now observed. Whereas several years back, there was no fall break, a 1-week spring break, and 2-week winter break.

The last day of school is scheduled June 8, 2018. Contingency days are June 11-13.

Kindergartners at most schools undergo screenings this week and officially begin classes Aug. 14.

For more information on school registration, calendars, bell and bus schedules, immunization requirements, and how to pre-pay for student meals, visit https://www.washoeschools.net/Domain/688.

Police Warn Drivers to Watch for Children

A 13-year-old girl sustained minor injuries after she was struck Monday morning by a vehicle in a marked pedestrian crosswalk on the way to her first day of school in Stead, Reno police said.

The incident occurred in the area of Silver Lake and Stead boulevards, about a quarter-mile from O’Brien Middle School. Police said the girl was transported to a hospital by request of her family.

Police said it’s possible the motorist might have been distracted by the early morning sun and could have been unaware he or she struck anyone. The department reminds the public to follow several safety tips:

  • Slow down when entering the area of a school and look out for children.
  • Don’t drop off or pick up children across the street from their school.
  • When zone flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the street.
  • Stop for crossing guards.
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
  • Use sun visors when the sun is obstructing vision.

“By using a little extra care and caution, motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and school buses can share the road safely in school zones in northern Nevada,” police said in a statement.

Anyone with information on Monday’s incident is asked to contact the Reno Police Department at 775-334-2141 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900 or www.secretwitness.com, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP 411) with keyword SW. The case is No. 17-16503.

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Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.




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