When you think about what makes LVDS a great school what do you think of first? Obviously, there are a multitude of factors but first off would be our outstanding academic program. I thought, however, that it might be important to talk about how we also offer a completely well-rounded program and share some of the experiences we offer our students. Above and beyond the incredible number of clubs and sports that we have, you might not be aware of the numerous field trips, guest speakers, and plays that we arrange for our students. In respect to field trips, our philosophy is that we want our students to ultimately experience everything Las Vegas and Southern Nevada has to offer over the years they attend LVDS.
Beginning in Kinderschool we have CCFD firefighters come with their truck and equipment for Fire Safety, we bring in a horse and trailer for Farm Week, have a dentist for Dental Health, a physician to talk about bones and skeletal structure, an Interpretive Naturalist from Southern Nevada Conservancy, guest author visits and a variety of virtual field trips that provide an interactive experience using the Smartboard and video camera system available in all of our Kinderschool classrooms.
In elementary school students begin to experience off campus field trips to several museums including the Discovery Children’s Museum, Natural History Museum, Clark County Museum, and Lost City Museum. Points of interest include a visit to a fire station, Shark Reef, Red Rock Visitor’s Center, Springs Preserve, Hoover Dam, Hemenway Park, Eldorado Canyon Mine, Corn Creek, and the Planetarium. In respect to activities the students go to Calico Basin/Red Springs for a hike, a Mount Charleston hike, and cruise on the Desert Princess at Lake Mead. Culturally speaking we regularly take our students to The Smith Center for plays or to hear the Philharmonic and have The Rainbow Company perform shows on campus. Annually we have guest speakers from the US Forest Service, Regional Flood Control District, The Mob Museum, Spring Mountain Free Trappers, Mojave Max, Bureau of Lectures, Nevada Secretary of State and numerous author visits.
In middle school we have trips to the Renaissance Fair, Valley of Fire, National Atomic Testing Museum, YMCA, a courthouse tour in conjunction with a Mock Trial as well as plays at The Smith Center and Bishop Gorman High School. Students also experience guest speakers including motivational and wellness speakers. This year we are especially excited to have a return speaker, Mr. Stephen Nasser, who is an author and Holocaust survivor! We also do some very different field trips with our middle school students in the form of Quarter Reward Trips. These particular trips are completely recreational versus academic and are used as an incentive for good grades and citizenship. Quarter Reward Trips include places like Crystal Palace for roller skating, City National Arena for ice skating, Gravady, GameWorks, Flip N Out Xtreme, Glowzone, and Dave & Buster’s. Seventh and eighth grades also get to experience two out of town day trips to Disneyland and Universal Studios, with one in the fall and the other in the spring. Eighth graders culminate the year with a graduation celebration that includes a day at Wet’n’Wild.
All these activities, when taken in their entirety, help our graduates become more well-rounded academically with all the different educational opportunities they have had experienced in elementary and middle school. They are also significantly more knowledgeable with respect to everything our community has to offer. Indirectly the recreational activities in middle school help prepare them socially and emotionally for the independence that will come with high school. We are proud of everything we provide our students and will continue to always look to find ways to enhance their complete educational experience.