LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School District has released a 205-page plan for transitioning to a hybrid learning model ahead of the Board of Trustees’ Nov. 12 meeting. Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara and staff will present the plan for consideration.
“This plan follows the health and safety guidelines provided for schools but also gives our children the opportunity to address academic gaps and engage with their peers and adult educators,” said Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara in a district press release. “We must embrace this work with a relentless sense of urgency. Our children are depending on us.”
The plan combines in-person and at-home learning and outlines several aspects, including:
- Transition timeline
- Health and safety
- Facility preparation and maintenance
- School operations
- Food service
- Human Resources
Per the timeline, employees are slated to report to work locations on Dec. 1. There are some exceptions, though, including those locations that don’t allow for social distancing and individual employees who can seek accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
On Jan. 4, the model would go into effect for:
- Grades 11-12
- Grade 6
- Pre-K-Grade 2
- Self-contained programs in all grade levels
On Jan. 11, the following grade levels would also transition into the hybrid model:
- Grades 9-10
- Grades 7-8
- Grades 3-5
Students will be divided into three groups. Two are slated for a mix of in-person and at-home learning, and the third will partake in full-time distance education.
The proposed plan details capping classroom sizes to 50%. It also provides visual aids on how to space out desks to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Additionally, there will be no playground equipment, water fountains or field trips.
Some after-school activities would be approved, including non-contact or minimal-contact sports.
Social distancing and better air flow are recommended on school buses. Mask wearing and extra sanitation measures would also be required.
For the full report, view the file below.
Board of Trustees President Lola Brooks said, “The well being of our students is one of our highest priorities. The Board of School Trustees will consider multiple factors as we review the transition plan being proposed by staff. The Board appreciates all the time and energy staff continues to dedicate to this challenging task and recognizes the importance of a thorough plan to address health and safety concerns. The transition plan will be discussed in greater detail during our meeting on Nov. 12.”
Trustee Linda Cavazos Tweeted:
The Clark County Education Association (CCEA) issued a statement after the plan was released, saying:
CCEA’s position has not changed. We do not support any reopening without a robust safety program in place with testing, contact tracing and proper PPE as well as choice for educators to continue working remotely. The Trustees should not approve any plan that does not include those two key pieces.”Marie Neisess, CCEA President
The National Education Association of Southern Nevada (NEA) Tweeted a statement, opposing the return of teachers and students to the classroom at this time. It reads in part:
On Thursday November 12, 2020 the Clark County Board of Trustees will have a vote as to whether schools should re-open for in-person face-to-face instruction. NEA of Southern Nevada Stands in strong opposition to re-opening at this time.”NEA of Southern Nevada
Vicki Kreidel, president of NEA, said in the statement, “We must prioritize human lives, and re-opening schools for face-to-face instruction during the current spike would be putting other interests above the lives of our educators. Clark County is nowhere near the 5% positivity rate recommended by the WHO and CDC (a recommendation also adopted by the CCSD Trustees earlier this year). It would be dangerous and demoralizing to ignore those recommendations.”
On Tuesday, the Education Support Employees Association (ESEA) released a statement on the possibility of reopening:
The district says of note, the plan is not final and dates are subject to change, taking evolving health conditions and future information into consideration.
CCSD also says it will launch a COVID-19 positive cases dashboard. The resource will be accessible to students, parents, staff and the public.
8 News Now spoke to teachers and parents, who have differing opinions on the proposed plan.
“I would love to go back in the classroom,” said Kristan Nigro, a teacher at Schorr Elementary School.
But despite the mitigation measures detailed in the document, not everyone is convinced.
“I appreciate the plan, but at the same time, I’m definitely concerned,” said Nigro, “especially with the way that the numbers are getting out of control again.”
The mental health and academic progress of students is also a concern for many. CCSD noted an increased student suicide rate and falling grades.
Some parents say that needs to change.
“I would love for the kids to go back to school again in a very safe environment that’s safe and healthy and hygienic for them and the employees,” said parent Cameron Clark. “But nothing really beats face-to-face learning and being in the same room as the person you’re learning from.
It’s important to note that several charter and private schools in the Valley have been doing everything, from a hybrid model to full in-classroom learning, for months.
The Board of Trustees will vote on the district’s plan at their meeting Thursday night.