LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- There is less than two weeks until local students head back to class, but preparing for that first day takes a lot of preparation.
News 3's Denise Rosch spent the day at one elementary school where teachers are already hard at work.
“Let's put this over here,” said Special Education Teach Nettie Fitzgerald who is busy preparing her classroom.
It's a routine Nettie Fitzgerald has down pat.
After more than a dozen years teaching Special Ed, setting up a classroom is second nature. But arranging all that stuff takes time.
“By nature I think a teacher has to be a pack rat, because you just never know when you're going to use something else and I'm not crazy about being that way but it's part of the profession I think,” Fitzgerald said.
At Helen Smith Elementary, Fitzgerald isn't the only teacher getting a jump on the new year.
Out in the fifth-grade portable is teacher Tim Skrzydlewski, also known as "Mr. S." He has been back two weeks even though he doesn't have to be at the school until August 21.
“I don't want to be rushing and sinking before the year even starts, I want to be on top of things rather than feel like I'm in quicksand from day one,” Skrzydlewski said.
And every year that means buying more supplies.
While the district provides the basics like pencils and paper, making a room livable, takes a bit more and money that teachers kick in on their own.
“Anything you want to use for kids, folders, notebooks, binders that's coming out of your pocket, it's not being supplied,” Skrzydlewski said.
The out-of-pocket cost is generally in the $100 and up range, Skrzydlewski added.
“Definitely more than that,” he said.
When it comes to hiring, this school is fortunate and is already at full staff. But principal Robert Hinchliffe says there's still plenty to do for administration, opening a school after three long months isn't easy.
“Making sure teachers have what they need, making sure the school is clean, the custodians have what they need to make the school clean,” Hinchliffe said.
And all the while helping parents register their kids.
“Every day, every minute, they're coming in especially the kindergartners,” Hinchliffe said.
It's the hustle bustle that happens every year before the first bell rings and there is a certain excitement about the year ahead:
“I even think about what I'm going to wear on the first day, all that stuff,” Fitzgerald said. "I wouldn't be caught dead not being ready."