Thousands of students return to school in Alpine School District

Aug 17, 2022, 12:45 PM | Updated: 1:17 pm

OREM, Utah — The state’s largest school district—Alpine—was among many to open its doors Wednesday, welcoming tens of thousands of students back to the classroom. And one high school worked to make sure each student was seen.

More than an hour before Orem High School’s morning bell rang at 7:45 a.m, Carter Van Buren and his fellow student council members were on campus, blowing up a giant tiger head that would serve as the entrance for students’ first day back to school.

Around 7:20 a.m., students began trickling in, greeted by music and two lines of student body officers and cheerleaders who were high-fiving, cheering, and welcoming each student who passed.

Among the loud voices was Carter’s, who greeted many students by name and shouted “Good morning!” and “Welcome back!” to every group of students who passed through the tiger tunnel.

It’s a big year for seniors like Carter, who serves as the student body president.

“I’m really excited just to go head first and get right back into it,” he said.

Back to finishing off a high school career that—like most seniors across the state—has been plagued by interruptions during the global pandemic.

“The hope this time is just to get back into some normalcy,” he said. “And just kind of be here and have a schedule and just go at it.”

Orem High School cheerleaders getting ready to welcome their fellow students.

About 1,200 students will attend Orem high, just a handful of the 85,000 students Alpine School District expects at its 93 schools this year. The district has about 9,000 staff members, including 4,500 teachers.

They are still looking to fill positions like school bus drivers and cafeteria workers.

“I send my kids here because the teachers love my kids,” said parent Alisa Hardman.

Hardman said it’s a bittersweet time as her youngest daughter enters her senior year at Orem High School.

She also serves as the PTSA president. She said she’s seen many parents “checked out” recently and hopes they will want to get involved in their children’s education this year.

“Mainly, it’s just a chance for parents to feel like this is their school. Their place. That they belong, and they have a voice.”

Finding your voice also happens to be part of the school’s theme this year: Hear us roar. Find your voice.

“We think it’s a perfect theme,” Carter said. “To make everyone feel included, everyone, feel welcomed, and everyone just has a place here at Orem high.”

It’s a message Carter hopes all students will receive from the start and remember all year long.

“We have a lot planned. It’s going to be awesome.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Back to School

A school classroom with chairs and desks...
Brooke Williams

Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms

Cleaner air improves student performance, decreases COVID transmission and school absenteeism. New project provides air purifiers for classrooms in Utah.
11 days ago
Deanie Wimmer

Chronic Absenteeism leads to rise in F grades in most of Utah’s largest school districts

Schools all over Utah are dealing with the problem of chronic absenteeism. Educators are seeing thousands of absences, and as a result, failing grades.
12 days ago
Box Elder High School (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

In excessive heat, some districts without A/C move to half days to spare students

With record-breaking, three-digit temperatures and older schools without air conditioning, two districts and one additional high school have announced changes to a half-day schedule to accommodate students.
23 days ago
Shara Park

Taylorsville High Wellness Center sees more students in need of basic items

Taylorsville High created a wellness center to give kids a break, however over the course of the year staff saw an increasing need for basic supplies like food, clothing, and hygiene products.
24 days ago
A teacher starts to reset up her classrooms at Freedom Preparatory Academy as they begin to prepare...
COLLIN BINKLEY, AP Education Writer

Reading, math scores fell sharply during pandemic, data show

A new national study finds math and reading scores for America's 9-year-old students fell sharply during the pandemic, underscoring the impact of two years of learning disruptions.
24 days ago
Lauren Steinbrecher

Tooele High releases students after broken AC causes uncomfortable class temps

The Tooele County School District was forced to release all students at Tooele High School Wednesday, after a broken air conditioning system led to classroom temperatures too high to work in.
25 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Thousands of students return to school in Alpine School District