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Nevada’s oldest private school has grown with the ever-changing city over the last half-century.
A lot has changed in Las Vegas since Helen and Jack Daseler founded the Las Vegas Day School in 1961 and commenced classes during the 1961-62 school year.
A lot has changed at the school—Nevada’s first private school—as well. The pair founded the school based on a desire to “run a no-nonsense school that gets down to teachers teaching and children learning without following every new-fangled idea that comes out in education.” The curriculum focused on a challenging program of the Three Rs (reading, writing, and arithmetic), strong study habits, and discipline.
The inaugural day of school was attended by 17 preschool, kindergarten, first, and second graders—two of whom were the Daselers’ own boys—in a pair of rented rooms. Two Volkswagen buses filled the role of school buses, and the Daselers themselves picked up their students in the morning, taught all day, took the children back home, and returned to the school to sweep the floors, wash the chalkboards, and prepare lessons for the next day.
In the 1980s, the Daselers’ sons—Frank, Jack, and Neil—guided major expansion of the school, eventually reaching 500 students, from kindergarten to eighth grade, and 50 faculty members. Ground broke for a new campus in 2001, and in 2009 the new facility was completed.
Today, following the 2011-12 school year and the institution’s 50th year of operation, more than 900 students and 150 faculty members fill the classrooms and offices of the state-of-the-art, 17-acre campus, which includes a dedicated pre-school, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten wing, 20 elementary classrooms, a middle school building, library, and music, art, and computer rooms.
Future plans at Las Vegas Day School include a new artificial-turf football and soccer field and a new indoor athletics facility with basketball and volleyball courts and a weight room.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Las Vegas Day School
3275 Red Rock St., Las Vegas, NV 89146