Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2017

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Parents’ guide: 10 things to know for a new school year


Keith Shimada / Special to the Home News

Crossing guard Dareece Navarro, a Summerlin resident and school parent, stops traffic as a woman walks her daughter to Keith and Karen Hayes Elementary School.

Clark County School District’s 2011-12 academic year begins next week, and it’s time for parents to get organized to ensure their kids have a successful first day. Getting ready for a new school year is no easy task, so here’s a list of things to help you and your kids start on a positive note:

    • buses
      Photo by Heather Cory


      Although the responsibility of a student’s transportation to and from school lies with the parent or legal guardian, the School District’s Transportation Department exists to assist students plan a safe, timely and efficient commute. It also determines if a student is eligible for bus transportation. If students live two miles or more from school, they qualify for bus transportation. Check for exceptions. Students residing within walking distance of their assigned schools may receive transportation on an as-available basis, with available seat preference being to students farthest from their assigned schools.

      Online registration is available by clicking here or calling 799-8111.

    • Vaccination Shot
      /Las Vegas Sun

      Health issues and vaccinations

      Student health and safety are a priority for the School District. Health officials are involved in managing communicable diseases to minimize exposure to other students or faculty. Students are not to attend school unless compliance with immunization requirements is complete or in progress according to Southern Nevada Health District guidelines.

      If a student has health problems or experiences a medical issue during the school year, the school nurse should be notified as soon as possible. Teachers are given confidential notice of students whose medical conditions may affect their learning ability.

      Students who are sick, experience vomiting or diarrhea or have temperatures of 100 degrees or higher should stay home from school. If a physician prescribes antibiotics for contagious diseases, children may return to school after having taken the medication for 24 hours.

      Students who use self-medications for asthma and anaphylaxis require written permission from their primary physician and parent.

    • Ruben P. Diaz Elementary School
      Photo by Cydney Cappello

      Dress code

      In an effort to increase student achievement, promote safety and enhance a positive school atmosphere, principals may establish a policy that requires students to wear standard student attire. In other words, a uniform. A school that chooses to implement a dress code must conduct a survey of families every fourth year with at least 55 percent approving the dress code. Basic colors allowed are khaki, navy and white. Parents may apply for an exemption based on a religious objection or verified medical condition.

      Schools that don’t implement a dress code expect students to wear attire that promotes learning.

      Do wear: Shoes with soles; shorts, skirts and dresses at least fingertip length; hemmed shorts without fraying and sleeveless shirts must have straps at least three inches wide that cover the shoulder.

      Don’t wear: Crop tops (no skin showing between bottom of shirt/blouse and top of pants/skirts); strapless, low-cut clothing; clothing with slits; tops and outfits that provide minimum coverage; spaghetti straps; slogans or advertising on clothing that by their controversial or obscene nature disrupts an educational setting; clothing with spikes or studs and headgear (except for designated school-approved uniforms or at authorized athletic practices or activities).

    • First Day of School
      Photo by Mona Shield Payne/Special to the Sun


      In an effort to decrease energy costs and save the School District millions of dollars, many schools have changed their school hours for the 2011-12 year. To prevent your student from being tardy on the first day, make sure you know when the late bell rings. For safety purposes, unaccompanied elementary students aren’t allowed to arrive on campus more than 15 minutes before the first bell.

    • homeless4
      Photo by Steve Marcus


      Each school or teacher should provide a list of suggested supplies your child will need during the year. Supplies vary from grade to grade, and some teachers require specific material. To prevent the expense of buying unnecessary items, parents are advised to obtain the “supply list” from their child’s teacher or the school.

    • School Cafeteria Breakfast
      Photo by Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun

      Cafeteria services

      School District food services have improved to help students and parents make nutritional choices. On the Food Service website,, parents can view school menus and obtain nutritional information on food items served, then review what menu items their student has purchased. Parents who prefer to pay for their student’s lunch online can create an account at or call the department at 799-8123.

    • School Cafeteria Lunch
      Photo by Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun

      Free and reduced-price lunch

      With the county’s unemployment rate at 14 percent, more than 169,660 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Parents can apply for this benefit any time during the school year. If parents don’t qualify for benefits now, but have a decrease in household income, become unemployed or have an increase in family members, they can fill out an application at that time. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch may also qualify for free or reduced-price breakfast.

    • St. Jude's Ranch
      Photo by Leila Navidi

      Homework hotline

      Aired on VegasPBS, Clark County teachers host an hourlong call-in show, assisting students with tough homework assignments or general instructions. During the school year, four days a week, students can call in their questions before, during and after the program. Hotline number: 799-5111

      Phone lines are open from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday

      Aired at 4 p.m. in classrooms on ITV Live channel 47, and on Cox cable channels 111 and 96.

    • SafeKey Program
      Photo by Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun


      SafeKey is a county-operated program for students in grades K-5 who need supervision before and after school. The program includes recreational activities, a snack and homework assistance. The times and cost are available in school offices, and all students must register at individual school sites before participating. For additional information regarding the program, call 455-8251 or visit the Clark County Parks and Recreation website.

    • ParentLink
      /Courtesy of CCSD


      ParentLink is a computer-based system for parents to track their child’s grades, attendance, cafeteria balance and more. The student’s school should provide a login ID and password at the start of the year. Once enrolled, parents can opt-in for email notification of grade updates and view attendance for the term.

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