Nevada elementary, middle schools start Wednesday
Textbooks meant to provide life lessons and cautionary tales of a world full of ABCs and 123s will be cracked open this week as Zephyr Cove Elementary and Kingsbury Middle schools launch their academic years.
With track records that have become the envy of their sibling schools on the South Shore and in Carson Valley, leaders at both campuses say they have high hopes and attainable goals for the next 10 months.
“We’re excited. I think all of us have our first day jitters,” said Nancy Cauley, Zephyr Cove Elementary’s new principal. “Most of our teachers will be seeing old and new faces. For me they will all be new faces and I’m excited about that. We’re all looking forward to a positive and productive school year.”
As of Tuesday enrollment at Zephyr Cove was 210 student. The school, with its 19 teachers and 16 support staff, has had the distinction of being “high achieving” for four straight years under the federal education program No Child Left Behind.
Cauley intends to shoot for five straight years and has implemented a number of programs for the year, including a math Olympiad for fourth and fifth grade students. The idea is to get students who are math achievers to participate in the program.
Other events planned at Zephyr Cove include its back to school night on Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. for students and their families. Later on in the year the school will have family and literacy nights, a science fair in February, various fundraising and a sock hop.
While it is set to close in two years because of declining enrollment, Kingsbury Middle School will continue to push its own high standards of academic achievement through the new year, said principal Dan Walton. Like Zephyr Cove, Kingsbury has maintained its No Child Left Behind “high achieving” status for four straight years.
This year the focus will be on attendance. Last year the middle school had a 94.5 percent attendance rate, which fares better than most schools its size. Still, Walton wants to improve the number by at least a couple percentage points.
“We’re pretty high at 94 percent average daily attendance, but we feel there is always room for improvement,” Walton said.
As of Tuesday the middle school had an enrollment of 130 students. The school has nine full time teachers and nine classified and support staff members.
This year marks a milestone for the sixth through eighth grade Kingsbury school, which will celebrate 30 years with a unique, historical prospective that it will lend to its curriculum.
Like last year’s study of the Olympic games where students incorporated the history of the games into their learning, Kingsbury instructors will again integrate local Tahoe history with its geography, math and English classes.
— Zephyr Cove Elementary, 8:55 a.m. Wednesday
— Kingsbury Middle School, 7:40 a.m. Wednesday
— Whittell High School classes begin Aug. 28