Incline High School had a similar bumpy start to the 2021/22 school year but is now on track to go full speed ahead. Its students had their first day back to school this past August 27, but it ended up being a bit of a lackluster start.
“It was on a Friday, the weirdest day to go back,” says IHS Principal Tierney Cahill. “We had a high energy motivator coming into to pump up the kids and we prepared for this wild, positive day and then it just didn’t happen,” she explains. The following week, IHS resumed school for two days but even then, it was kind of torturous.
“We were not planning to close because of the smoke with our new HVAC and filtration system, but we just never knew when they [the WCSD] was going to call it,” Cahill adds, so when they did call it that week then everyone involved was understandably frustrated. The high school had at least one teacher who had to evacuate his home in South Shore and crashed at his sister’s house in Reno, but still came to school every day.
But now that’s all in the past. IHS was able to give students its first full week back to school after Labor Day and now students and teachers are back to doing normal things, and maybe sometimes getting in trouble as teenagers often do. School sports and activities are back- they had their first soccer and football games September 10th and are planning homecoming week for this week (of September 20).
“It’s been great for everyone’s mental health,” Cahill says. The high school is hosting its Back-to-School night this Wednesday (September 22) and just brought in Harvard University’s Dr. Douglas Reeves who talked to teachers about how to implement creative solutions for leadership to improve students’ education.
As far as Covid goes, Principal Cahill says that trying to continue to mitigate the pandemic has also been rough but necessary.
“It’s why we get to be in school right now, because we’re wearing masks,” she says.
She admits that it’s spreading so fast right now, it’s so contagious, and that there’s an underlying fear that it could shut the school down.
“We don’t want to go back to a hybrid model, in person education is the best way to learn so we need people to comply [with current mask mandates and guidelines],” Cahill says. They are monitoring it closely, though, and are hoping to continue on with planned events.
“Getting vaccinated is a personal decision, but the bottom line is that if students wear their masks properly then they get to stay in school,” she adds.
With that, they are forging ahead with what they have planned, getting excited for the upcoming Homecoming Week parade to be held this Friday, September 24.
“We will parade through Incline on Friday at 2pm; anyone with a classic car is invited to participate,” Cahill says.
IHS also wants to partner with nonprofits and local businesses in the spring to help students with internships.
“Our goal is to be the number one school in the nation. Our motto is that we believe that every child deserves a ridiculously excellent education,” says Principal Cahill. She also credits people like Dave and Cheryl Duffield (along with the booster club parents) for providing the school with a tremendous level of support.
“How could anyone not get a ridiculously good education without this kind of support?” Cahill smiles.