Parents are getting ready to send their students off to school buying them their notebooks, colored pencils and a new pair of shoes. Students can smell the new supplies, the freshly cut grass driving to the school and see their friends, ready to take charge of the new school year.
Teachers, administrators, the IT department and every other person in the district that makes a school function have to prepare for the first day of school, too. Summer break may seem like everyone receives the summer off but it’s when the most work is put into keeping the school a well-oiled machine for the upcoming year.
Counselors are the ones that make sure students are in the classes they are supposed to be in and make sure there’s a balance in the number of students in each classroom.
Emily Baker, a guidance counselor at Kingman High School has had a busy last two weeks making sure students have their schedules ready for the first day of school.
“This week has been pretty busy. It’s registration week and we’ve had a whole bunch of students coming through,” Baker said.
Even after the first week of school, the next two weeks for counselors are busy taking care of students transferring out of class, new students coming in and assuring students that are nervous about the first day that they are in a safe environment.
KHS has a freshmen connection program where all the freshmen will come to campus and meet the counselors, faculty and staff. During this time they are shown the campus and learn about their expectations as a Bulldog.
“Students familiarize themselves with the campus before the rest of the kids arrive, so they won’t show up and freak out when the rest of the students arrive and not find their classes,” Baker said.
Baker has 300 students on her case load, often students come to her to change their schedule because they may not like a certain teacher or because they want a different lunch period. Counselors will take into consideration if a student has failed a teacher and would like to switch.
“If a change can be made then we see what we can do,” Baker said.
Baker is excited for the upcoming school year and returning to KHS after being at Lee Williams High School for the previous three years.
“I’m excited to meet the new teachers and getting the kids going,” Baker said. “We’re ready to do this.”
The IT department at KUSD has a busy summer making sure computers are computing, projectors are projecting, and security cameras are working for the first day of instruction.
Tim Gardner is an IT technician with KUSD. During the summer he and his colleagues have been getting computers ready for teachers and students so they can hit the ground running on the first day of school.
“At the beginning of the year, I need to go to every single room and make sure the computers are hooked up, printers are working, and projectors are working,” Gardner said.
Technical difficulties teachers come across when they return to their classrooms is the internet not working, the computer running slower than usual, or their classroom phones not working.
“Usually if teachers see me they’ll tap me on the shoulder about their problem,” Gardner said.
Prior to the students getting to school the IT department has to set up the Chromebooks for the students to use and computer labs.
“After school starts, is when it calms down,” Gardner said.
In the summer custodial staff deep cleans the classrooms, hallways and every other part of the school. To get the floors shiny and clean, they strip the old wax and provide a new coat of wax for the school. If the classrooms have carpet, custodial staff deep cleans those too.
In order to get these classrooms clean for students and teachers they have to move out the furniture in the classrooms, clean the room, and move everything back into the room. Of course, their job doesn’t stop there. It continues, to the school year cleaning sweeping the halls, taking trash out and providing a clean environment.