SPARKS, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- It has been nearly one year since the tragic shooting at Sparks Middle School. Washoe County School District officials said students and staff are continuing to recover from the incident.
The District is getting a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which will directly support Sparks Middle School. It will be used to hire additional employees who will focus on helping students and staff at the school. "I think that tragedy will always kind of linger, however, I noticed the energy here is a different level," said WCSD Area 5 Superintendent Chad Hicks.
Students and staff are continuing to heal after last year’s fatal shooting on campus, but officials said the new school year is off to a great start. "So far everything is going very well, kids are excited, staff seems to be very excited, things are going very well, lots of positive energy here," said Hicks.
To help with continuing recovery efforts, a nearly $700,000 grant is giving the school additional employees. "We'll have 18 months of service for all of us," said Principal Stacey Ting-Senini. "We have a school police officer that was granted, a school psychologist, a school counselor, and additional trauma therapy are just a few of the things that we've been granted."
Ting-Senini said the grant is critical to help with the recovery process at Sparks Middle School. She said funding was determined based on need. "Last year we surveyed our families, our staff, and our students and asked what would make them feel physically safe, as well as emotionally safe, and the number one thing was a school police officer on campus, as well as having therapeutic services for students and families and staff on campus."
The grant will also provide a long-term substitute, so teachers can access mental health care. It will also help with recover costs for building repair overtime.