LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Education leaders from the state and district levels met with local students on the first day of classes for the 2021-22 school year.

CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara, district trustee Katie Williams, and state Superintendent Jhone Ebert met with around a dozen students at Shadow Ridge High School Monday. The students are among 4,000 returning to that campus and among hundreds of thousands who went back to schools across Southern Nevada.

“What do we need to do to make sure that this year we give you the best year ever?” Dr. Jara asked the group.

Some hot topics included bringing back extracurricular activities and modifying the curriculum to be more project-based.

“I think that would be great,” said Alexis Abney, who is beginning her senior year at Shadow Ridge. “I know so many students struggle with quizzes and it really is learning for a quiz, then after that, you forget it.”

Overall, many students wanted assurance that schools would remain open.

“Staying together in school for as long as we possibly can is probably going to be the most beneficial,” another senior student told school leaders.

Superintendent Jara echoed that statement. He said he was happy to see students across the district taking safety measures seriously.

“From kindergarten, preschool, to now our high school students you see they’re wearing their masks,” said Jara. “They’re really taking care of their health and really, really excited where we are today.”

All CCSD students, faculty, and staff are required to wear masks on school property, regardless of vaccination status. Jara stressed the importance of following safety guidelines to keep schools open normally.

“I love how it is right now and I think it’s a good start,” said Abney. “If we can at least keep it where we’re in school having our sports, having activities, and just getting the school spirit back, getting kids to want to be here and be included.”

Jara said there were no major challenges on the first day of classes, despite restrictions from the pandemic. CCSD is asking parents to check in with children every day before school and monitor any symptoms. District staff members are also required to complete daily self-checks.

If a student does develop symptoms, parents need to contact their school nurse who will refer them to one of six testing sites at local schools. Quarantine will be handled on a case-by-case basis with assistance from the Southern Nevada Health District. Parents will receive a personal call if their child was exposed.