Arena Day kicks off school
August 15, 2019 | View PDF
With the upcoming school year nearing, Richland Junior High held their annual Arena Day event last Thursday at the Richland Activities Center.
Arena Day is a one-stop shop for students entering the seventh and eighth grades. Upon arrival, each student receives a checklist that has six different stations on it, everything that the students need to complete before they are ready for the first day of classes.
It was a packed house as students were separated alphabetically and staggered their arrival times to alleviate the wait time.
Emergency contact forms were first on the list, followed by the internet consent form. This form allows the students to work on computers using the internet, with the parents authorizing their children to utilize the technology. Principal Rosa Romero was there assisting the students who were trying to find the right lines as they got their checklists completed. Romero is a busy woman at this time, doing double duty as the principal of Richland Junior High as well as serving as interim superintendent of the Richland School District, after the resignation of Dago Garcia in late May.
For the second year, every student will receive a free lunch for the entire school year. This is due to the Community Eligibility Provision program that allows all students in the school to receive a breakfast and lunch free of charge. With the high rate of poverty in the district, it is more efficient to make the meals free rather than do the recordkeeping required to separate paid versus free.
Richland Nutritional Supervisor Mason Hollingsworth applied for the program last year and was approved, giving the students the free meals. No action is required by parents, with no forms needed to fill out.
According to Hollingsworth, this program alleviates a lot of concern when it comes to providing a nutritious lunch for children. "Having a free lunch is a relief for the parents. Knowing that our kids will get a healthy lunch every day really helps out, especially with all of the other expenses that come through the whole year," said Monica Juarez, who has a seventh grader attending Richland.
Another major stop at the event was the clothing station. T-shirts, sweat shirts, lanyards and sweat jackets were available with the Trojan logos on them. Part of the one-stop-shop event was the photo station. Professional photographers had studios set up at the gym to take the students' pictures that will be used for their IDs. Before leaving, the students received their schedules and books in preparation for their first day of school, Wednesday, Aug. 14.