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School bells chime for North Summit School District students

North Summit School District welcomes students back to the classroom
North Summit School District
North Summit School District welcomes students back to the classroom.

Wednesday is opening day for the North Summit School District in Coalville. School officials reported busy students and a few new district-wide programs.

North Summit School District Superintendent Jerre Holmes said the students and staff are in go mode on their first full day of school. Despite teacher shortages, he feels fortunate that all North Summit positions are in place and that the district's schools are fully staffed.

Volleyball, girls' soccer, football, cross-country, and other extracurricular activities began before classes started.

"We've already had games going on," Holmes said. "So, we're excited about all of our teams and our clubs and organizations. Our cross-country [team,] they run all summer. They're the crazy ones. They love it. And they'll do well again this year. Our girls’ soccer team has had a couple of games. It's a great addition to the regular classroom. In fact, they are classrooms."

Last year's enrollment was 1034 students. Homes said they have about 50 new students joining the North Summit School District this year.      

"You know, you disperse 50 kids among a district, and that doesn't really do much as far as affecting class sizes," Holmes said. "Sometimes we do have classes that seem to whenever we get new students, they're the classes that get them, and so they get more, and our smaller classes remain small."

Holmes said North Summit has a full-time resource officer stationed in the district, but considering the tragic events in Texas last spring, a new security position has been added to the district staff this year.

 "We'll have a resource officer and a security officer, obviously for the dreadful day that we hope never comes, but also just to get eyes on other safety issues that we should be dealing with," Holmes said. And we don't want to go to the point where it becomes disruptive to education, but we also realize that there are some things that we can improve on safety-wise."

Holmes said the district would bring mental health counselors into the schools three days a week compared to two days a week last year.

"There were several days last year where we would get to the end of the day, and the list hadn't been fully completed, and so some kids weren't able to be seen that week," Holmes said. "And we don't want that to happen." 

Holmes said COVID-19 persists in the community but believes classroom sanitization efforts, air purifiers in every classroom, and the common practice of staying home when you're sick will keep students healthy.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.