Contact Information
Las Vegas Day School
3275 Red Rock Street
Las Vegas, NV 89146

tel: (702) 362-1180
fax: (702) 876-3294

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Las Vegas Day School
Las Vegas Day School (LVDS) was founded by Jack and Helen Daseler in 1961 and was the first nonsectarian, nondenominational elementary school established in the state of Nevada.

The school was started with 27 students in a rented facility and functioned as a one-room schoolhouse for the first year. The next year construction of a permanent facility began on five acres of land located at Jones Boulevard and Desert Inn Road. At that time Desert Inn Road was merely dirt, and the area was so undeveloped that there was literally nothing within miles of the school. As the kindergarten through eighth-grade program grew, buildings were added to accommodate the increasing enrollment, eventually settling at 210 students. In 1980, under the direction of the Daseler sons—Neil, Jack and Frank—the school began to enlarge to meet the needs of the community. In the ensuing years the school grew to an enrollment of 500 students in Grades K–8 and a staff of 50.

In 2001, the school started the first phase of completing its new campus master plan on five acres directly behind the original school. The plan included the LVDS Kinderschool facility for preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten and four elementary classrooms for each grade level as well as music, art and computer rooms and a beautiful modern library. Completing the campus master plan, the state-of-the-art middle school building opened in August 2009. The new school was built entirely off Red Rock Street with the original facility being demolished in June 2009 to make way for an additional playground area and parking. Today the school facility comprises 120,000 square feet on 17 acres with an enrollment of 900 students and a faculty and staff of 150.

Las Vegas Day School is proud to have touched the lives of thousands of children in the Las Vegas community. Today the school is educating numerous second-generation children whose parents attended the school. Las Vegas Day School stands in honor of Jack and Helen Daseler’s perseverance, hard work and lifelong dedication to education, but more importantly as a legacy of quality education for future generations to follow.
Private Schools Information
Co-ed
Enrollment
Grade
Student Teacher Ratio
Year Founded
Co-ed
850
PS - 8
1961
470
South/Southwest
591
None
Tuition Range - Elementary
$ 12,500 - $ 15,000
Tuition Range - Middle School
$ 12,500 - $ 15,000
Tuition Range -High School
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Press Release
Las Vegas Day School was founded by Helen and Jack Daseler in 1961 and was the first non-sectarian, non-denominational elementary school established in the State of Nevada.

One wonders what things were like starting a private school fifty years ago in Las Vegas. At that time there were 60,000 people in our community, Jones Blvd. was a two lane highway, Desert Inn Road was dirt (you could shoot a rifle in any direction at that intersection in 1961 and not hit a thing), school rooms had chalkboards, teachers used hand crank fluid duplicators to make copies that kids loved to smell, and a TI-30 calculator was the technology of the day.

Fifty years ago the founder of Las Vegas Day School however had a vision of what he thought a school should be. Jack Daseler was a career educator who worked as a teacher in California and as a principal in Europe and finally a superintendent of the dependents schools in Germany, France and Turkey. At that time due to the large number of US military families who were stationed overseas, they had their own school system for children of enlisted personnel, better known as dependents. After years of being in public education, he decided to start a private school founded on a challenging 3R (reading, writing, arithmetic) program along with stressing study habits, and discipline. As Jack told everyone, “I want 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”.

Having grown up in California and wanting to be in the west, he contacted an old friend who was a United States Magistrate in Las Vegas to see whether or not there were any private schools in the area. As it turned out in 1961, there were no other private schools in the entire state of Nevada. While he was still in Europe, Jack sent money to his friend to run an ad in the Las Vegas papers to see who might be interested in a private school. Lo and behold! They received twenty inquiries from interested parents for a school that didn’t exist. So off to Las Vegas they went, Jack and Helen, and their children Neil, Jack and Frank ages six, four and two.

The school started with only seventeen preschool, kindergarten, and first and second graders, three of whom were the Daseler boys, in two rented rooms that were part of the Unitarian Fellowship building off of Bond Road which is now Tropicana Avenue. With two VW buses the Daselers picked up the children around the valley in the morning, taught all day, transported the children home and then returned in the afternoon to sweep the floors, wash the chalkboards, prepare the lessons and get ready for the next school day. The desks were purchased surplus from the Clark County School District for $2.50 each and repainted the color that each child wanted. Needless to say, a colorful look for potentially drab rented rooms.

The school began to show promise with the first year enrollment growing to twenty-seven students and forty additional students who were interested for the upcoming year. The rented buildings were not truly suited to be a school, so something had to change. Jack and Helen were lucky enough to have a family in school who owned five acres of land at Jones Blvd. and Desert Inn Road. They deeded it to them so that they could borrow money and build the school using the land as collateral. Jack was able to perform some real miracles in getting two buildings constructed during that summer, and the LVDS campus was born. There was no running water that far out in the valley, so a well was dug along with a septic tank. Without power to the area, a generator was used to provide electricity for the four classrooms. Power lines were installed within the next year as did ninety additional students. Applications for the following school year encouraged the addition of four more classrooms, and enrollment settled in at about two hundred students over the next few years.

The work, however, never seemed to stop for either of the Daselers. In those days Helen taught kindergarten and loved to remind everyone that everything you ever learned you learned in kindergarten. Jack migrated from teaching second grade to the middle school as the German teacher. In addition to teaching, Jack coached basketball; Helen took care of payroll, banking and all the bills. They drove buses when drivers didn’t show up, and even cleaned classrooms when the only custodian called in sick, (often I understand). As a young man Neil, the current Director of the school, too found himself with his father always up at school working on weekends: weeding, painting, cleaning, - whatever it took to make ends meet. He remembers his father meeting parents or even interviewing teachers in his sweaty work clothes. As Jack Daseler would always say, the school was both his work as well as his hobby.

In 1980, under the direction of sons: Neil, Jack and Frank, the school began to enlarge to meet the needs of the community. Over the ensuing years the school grew to an enrollment of five hundred students in grades K to 8 and a staff of fifty.

In 2001 the school started the first phase of its complete new campus master plan on five acres of land directly behind the original school. The plan included the LVDS Kinderschool facility for preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, twenty elementary classrooms, music, art and computer rooms as well as a beautiful modern library. The middle school building opened in August of 2009 completing the campus master plan. The new school was built entirely off Red Rock Street with the original facility being demolished in June of 2009 to make way for an additional playground area and parking. Today the state of the art school facility comprises 120,000 square feet on 17 acres with an enrollment of 920 students and a faculty and staff of 150 people. The school has plans for the future that include a new field house athletic facility with basketball and volleyball courts as well as a weight room. The project will also include a new artificial turf soccer and football field on the north end of the campus.

Family has always been the cornerstone of the school with the sons of Helen and Jack Daseler managing the school today. Eldest son Neil serves as the Director of the school but started as a math teacher thirty-six years ago. Brothers Jack and Frank both teach as well as handle administrative responsibilities. Third generation grandson Kyle joined the school a number of years ago and the family hopes to have more grandchildren follow in the footsteps of the school founders.

Las Vegas Day School can pride itself on touching the lives of thousands of children in the Las Vegas community. Today the school is educating numerous second-generation children whose parents attended the school. Las Vegas Day School stands in honor of Helen and Jack Daseler’s perseverance, hard work and lifelong dedication to education, but more importantly as a legacy of quality education for future generations to follow.