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Time for students to go back to school

What’s old is new in some schools as the 2017-18 year starts up.

Tuesday, Sept. 5, was the first day of school for Hood River County School District and Horizon Christian School.

Hood River and Wy’east middle schools and Cascade Locks School saw extensive remodeling over the summer and major upgrades in student technology: each student will be issued an iPad for instructional use throughout each day.

Tod Hilstad, the district information technology manager, spent the summer on this and other technology upgrades. “His efforts have been phenomenal, it’s for the kids and learning,” said HRMS Principal Brent Emmons.

At Thursday’s district staff assembly, Superintendent Dan Goldman acknowledged Hilstad for his long hours all summer, but Hilstad credited his team, the school principals and staff, and contractor Kirby Naglehout Construction.

“The challenge with IT is you have to learn it faster and quicker than everyone else, and then build it,” Hilstad said.

Construction may be done, but the building continues in Hood River County schools.

In last week’s all-staff back-to-school assembly at Hood River Valley High School, Goldman exhorted staff to work to create individual relationships with all students, and to take a stand for social justice and empathy in the wake of violence such as seen in Charlottesville last month.

He pointed out drama teacher Rachel Harry, 2017 Emmy Education award winner as a mentor who has fosters a challenging learning environment that inspires compassion, collaboration and respect among students.

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