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Back: Nevada County students return to school

Sherry Chargin’s freshman class at Deer Creek Elementary School is ready for students returning to school this week in Nevada City.
Photo: Elias Funez

On Monday, many students returned to class, and many more started the school year today.

Dan Frisella, who is entering his first year as Nevada Joint Union High School District superintendent after serving as vice superintendent, said preparations have gone well.

“We spent the summer months adjusting to staffing changes, deep cleaning our classrooms and school sites,” Frisella said, “and continuing our strategic efforts to improve teaching and learning. learning”.

The Frisella District currently has approximately 2,500 students enrolled in its five schools.

The Office of the Nevada County Schools Superintendent, in conjunction with Nevada County education officials, released a statement on Monday containing relevant safety information for the start of the school year.

In part, the statement read: “With the guidance and technical assistance of law enforcement and fire service partners, and the Emergency Management Preparedness Technical Assistance Center for the School, public and charter schools in Nevada County have developed school safety plans that are regularly reviewed and updated. Plans include procedures for lockdowns, evacuations, active shooters, wildfires, earthquakes and more.

“Each campus maintains plans tailored to its site and responds to the critical, incident-specific, and site-specific needs of that campus. Safety plans include communication protocols for connecting with law enforcement and messaging families. Plans are formally reviewed annually to ensure current security requirements are met and best practices are implemented.

“We want to assure the community that we have protective systems in place, we are ready to respond, and we will continue to be proactive in our prevention efforts to keep our schools safe.”

Safety summits will be held at Bear River High School from 6-8 p.m. on September 12 and at Nevada Union High School from 6-8 p.m. on September 13.

Frisella added, “District staff are highly committed to our mission to provide high-quality educational opportunities for Nevada County high school students. We are excited and optimistic about the start of another school year and look forward to welcoming our students back to their schools. »


Beth Whittlesey, who has taught Spanish at Nevada Union for 22 years, said part of the challenge of returning to the school year was adjusting to a new schedule, but this one was worth it.

Sherry Chargin has been teaching for 28 years, and her class of first-graders this year will likely be her last.
Photo: Elias Funez

“I go there a few days before school starts to get ready and make sure everything is ready,” Whittlesey said. “Sometimes there are things like desks outside the classroom because they were cleaning carpets.”

“I love getting in there and making my classroom student-friendly and making sure everything is ready for that first day. You get your smile on your face and get ready to show students what we have to offer. »

Returning to school after the pandemic adds another dimension to the “back to school” routine.

Whittlesey said: “I think the bottom line is that we hope to get back on track academically, and especially socially. We hope this will be the year everyone gets back on track.

School started Monday for Nevada City School District students.

Sherry Chargin has been teaching for 28 years, and her class of first-graders this year will likely be her last.

“I think this year is my last year,” Chargin said. “I think I’m ready to kiss her.”

Chargin herself feels the relief of not being locked into a global pandemic.

“Yeah, that’s a lot more normal,” she said. “I had to ask how often are we supposed to sanitize our hands? We were doing it eight to 10 times a day.

“It’s a good thing to be able to say the sound of the letter and have (students) see the movement of the mouth,” Chargin said of teaching her children to read without the challenges of having to wear a face mask. . “I hope this is the start of the new normal.”

Chargin added that the beginning of the school year is so different from the end; during the school year, she gets to know her students and promotes their growth.

She also wants to go out on a high.

“I just want it to be the best class ever. And I wanted to go out still really like it.

Sherry Chargin looks at over 20 years of class photos.
Photo: Elias Funez

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be contacted at [email protected]