For Struggling Schools, New Year Brings More Money

Aug 10, 2015

A parent helps her son find his classroom at Libby Booth Elementary School in Reno.
Credit Julia Ritchey

Summer break is officially over for the 63,000 students returning to Washoe County Schools on Monday. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey visited one of the state’s newly designated Victory Schools, which will receive extra money this year.

Kids shuffled to class as the tardy bell signaled the start of another school year for Libby Booth Elementary.

Booth is one of four so-called Victory Schools set to receive additional funds to help its low-income student body. Nearly all of Booth’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch. 

“We have a really high need, it’s really highly impacted," says Yuen Fong, the new principal at Booth.

“A lot of these kids come from an environment that they lack either a breakfast or school supplies, but we’re here to help them with that.” 

He says the extra money means he can hire more teachers and tutors to give students one-on-one instruction time.

This comes as welcome news to parents like Danyel Palmer, whose son, Charles, is entering the third grade. 

“Now that there’s a new principal, vice principal, new teachers, new curriculum, I’m excited to see if it’s going to make a difference," she says.

In addition to Victory Schools, a separate pot of money will go to fifteen schools under the state’s Zoom program. This program aims to increase literacy among students struggling to learn English.