LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Final preparations continue to welcome lower elementary school students back into buildings on March 1. Clark County School District (CCSD) Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara toured Goolsby Elementary School Tuesday to see their classroom setups.
“We are ready to welcome our babies back to start transitioning to face-to-face instruction,” said Jara.
He and Principal Danny Eichelberger walked around the campus, going into classrooms and talking with teachers about coming back and preparing for students.
The school has quite a new look.
“This is very different obviously,” said Eichelberger.
Preparations include spacing desks, spray painting where students will stand outside for pick up and drop off, as well as wrapping playground equipment in caution tape.
While all schools follow a district guideline, certain specifics may be different in each building.
“We are not shying away and giving school leaders the autonomy to do different things,” said Jara.
Eichelberger explained, “Our lunches will be in the lunchroom, and our Pre-K and Kindergarten will be in the atrium, so they’ll get fresh air.”
He says most families want to come back.
“I think in second grade, we have about 80% of the students returning,” Eichelberger shared.
A majority of educators are coming back, as well.
“I really cannot express my enthusiasm,” said first-grade teacher Jennifer Shenkberger. “I am thrilled.”
She’s adjusting her teaching style, not only helping students in the classroom, but also online.
“We have a cart with a Chromebook on it that’s to follow us around,” Shenkberger explained. So, if I want to take my little livestreaming kiddos and bring them around the classroom, I can.”
Jara says he wants to start slow and steady before more grade levels return to buildings. But he adds his team is working on a possible update, following Gov. Steve Sisolak announcing new guidelines last week for reopening schools.
“Those are some of the things that we’re planning. I don’t have a timeline,” said Jara. “We are moving fast to make sure we follow the CDC guidelines and the Southern Nevada Health District. We’ll be sharing that with the board shortly.”
He adds the biggest priority right now is ensuring the health and safety protocols prevent the spread of COVID-19 in lower elementary schools.
“The mitigating strategies that will protect our kids and my teachers and my employees, that’s my number one success,” Jara said.
He noted he plans to visit other elementary schools in the valley this week to see their preparations and setup before Monday.