Douglas Schools back in session

Henley Chavez shows off her first day of school hat at Minden Elementary school Monday.

Henley Chavez shows off her first day of school hat at Minden Elementary school Monday.
Photo by Sarah Drinkwine.

Schools across Douglas County welcomed back students Monday with enthusiasm for the new year.

“There’s always the excitement of the first day of school,” said Minden Elementary school Principal Crespin Esquivel.

Minden elementary school welcomed students back to school Monday with the theme “ready set, grow.”

“We’re growing our minds, brains and hopefully lots of good things to eat,” said Esquivel.

Esquivel said Minden Elementary school’s big project this year is working on growing their own gardens and introducing computer science into the curriculum.

He said lessons will focus on stem activities while growing vegetables through the school project “Green our Planet.”

“It’s exciting, the kids will get the opportunity to grown some of their own vegetables and then maybe at the end of the year we can celebrate with a sale or something,” said Esquivel.

Esquivel said he is also looking forward to the computer science curriculum which plays heavily into the district wide’s EPIC learning plan.

EPIC is an acronym for empower, prepare, inspire and connect, and aims to provide a learning experience better suited for the latest generation’s needs utilizing technology, personalized education and providing students with more voice in the classroom.

“It’s about relevance and how it’s important to the students,” said Esquivel. “It gives students the opportunity to engage in things they’re excited about and watching kids get excited to learn to me, that’s the whole l point and the best part about it.”  

He said things like computer science and the Green our Planet project creates a meaningful experience.

“The support has been tremendous, it will be interesting to see how it evolves,” said Esquivel.

Over at Douglas High School, the energy on the first day back was just as vibrant with 1,600 students. 

“Today filled me with joy,” said Activities Director and Leadership teacher Karen Lamb. “Even after 18 years I am always so excited to meet new students and also to reconnect with previous students.”

Lamb said looking around she could feel the energy and readiness for a new year.

“We have such amazing students and staff, I could feel the energy,” she said.

Douglas High School Principal Michael Rechs said some new policies this school year is an emphasis on limited cell phone use in classrooms and addressing students that are consistently late to class.

"We are very excited for the new year, happy to see our students and families, and ready to get back to what we do best; teach and learn," said Rechs.


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