Vista Ridge Academy’s new school year began on Monday, August 20, with an increased enrollment of 13 percent— for a total of 85 students. The school has seen a 51 percent increase over the last two school years; the 2016-2017 school year had 56 students.
Students, parents and teachers came to school excited and nervous. Sandy Hodgson, who serves as both the principal and fifth and sixth grade teacher, greeted students and parents at the door as they arrived. “It’s so exciting to see the kids coming in, renewing old friendships and making new ones,” said Hodgson.
Second graders expressed their excitement about being back in school. “I got some more friends, a moose on my locker, and Mrs. Sanchez is a great teacher,” one said. Another agreed saying “I like reading books, to play with my teacher, and to go outside and yell.”
As parents dropped their children off, there were goodbye waves, hugs, and tears, after which parents could attend the annual Boo-Hoo and Yahoo Breakfast where they could both cry and rejoice about their kids being back in school, followed by a school-wide prayer session. After teachers and staff were introduced, Monica Wernick, school board chair, kicked off the year with a prayer of thanks.
Last spring, the school started purchasing new technology for the classrooms and computer lab. This school year, the seventh and eighth grade students will each receive a brand new laptop. Teacher Andrew Jones is excited to have this new technology in his classroom. “I’m looking forward to using the new technology we’ve acquired to help students get excited about learning,” Jones said.
Many great events planned for this school year commence on Friday, August 24, with students participating in the Field Day, organized by Marit Guild, the art, physical education, and technology teacher. Back to School Night is scheduled for Tuesday, August 28, and students are looking forward to having a new playground installed in mid-September.
Marsha Bartulec is the Vice Principal for Administration at Vista Ridge Academy.