The first day of school for most WCSD schools was Monday and what a great start to a new school year! I enjoyed a busy but exciting day talking to staff, students, and families and welcoming them back to a brand new school year. My thanks to the trustees, elected officials, and community partners who at joined me throughout the day. I really enjoyed sharing the great things happening in WCSD with all of them.
I am thankful for the many employees who play such an important role in the lives of our students. There are so many behind the scenes people who support our students, staff, and schools each and every day. That is why I started the first day of school at the Nutrition Services Department on Spice Islands Drive. The dedicated staff members start their day between 1 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. They not only make all the food and meals at this location, they also load the meals and deliver them to the schools throughout the District. They prepare an average of 45,000 meals each day for students and staff. We were able to see the ongoing construction happening, too. They are expanding the dry goods storage, production floor area, cold storage, and office space during this two-year project. Believe me, they definitely need more space to accomplish the work they do every day.
The first school we visited was Dilworth STEM Academy in Sparks. We joined Principal Laura Petersen and other staff members as they greeted students and families arriving for the first day. This year Dilworth welcomed 6th grade students to the school. This is helping to alleviate overcrowding at nearby elementary schools. We had breakfast with the new 6th grade students and joined them and their teachers as they settled into a new school year and new school. Even at this early hour, there was an exciting buzz and both students and teachers were ready to go!
Our next visit was at Sparks High School. Our group joined students arriving for their first day and were greeted by music, cheerleaders, and staff. What a great way to start off the first day of school! Principal Kevin Carroll took us to six classrooms to observe amazing first day lessons. Several of the classrooms were freshman classes and we had fun meeting the Class of 2021 students as they started their high school journey.
We traveled to Anderson Elementary School next and joined new principal Mike Martindale for a tour of the school. The students were already in their classrooms. They were learning about the school and classroom rules and getting to know each other. We visited four classrooms that included 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. The teachers and students were all ready for the new year.
We moved on to Smithridge STEM Academy where we saw the amazing new roof at the school. Capital funding was used to replace the school