LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School Board plans to consider reopening schools at Thursday’s meeting. This comes as secondary students in the Washoe County School District prepare to start a hybrid schedule next week, where they attend campus part time.
“If we’re not planning to reopen right now, it may be too late for this school year,” said Brad Marianno, assistant professor of educational policy at UNLV.
He tracks reopening plans at districts nationwide.
“About 46% of the large school district around the country have moved past this phase of distance learning and are now in some phase of reopening,” Marianno revealed. “So, that leaves about 54% that are still with us in virtual learning.”
He not only studies the data, but personally knows the challenges of distance education. His 8-year-old daughter attends the Clark County School District (CCSD).
“She got flustered with a writing assignment and decided that it was better to quit second grade instead to continue” Marianno shared.
But he supports CCSD starting to take initiative. Documents posted ahead of Thursday’s board meeting show district staff recommend small groups of students voluntarily returning to campus. How many students may depend on the school.
This is a plan originally presented to the board as a first step when transitioning to hybrid learning.
“Many urban school systems around the country started this phase a few months ago,” said Marianno, “and so we may be behind schedule, I guess you could say.”
Rebecca Garcia is president of the Nevada Parent Teacher Association.
“I think there’s a lot of questions,” she said.
Garcia notes several parts of the recommendation are concerning, including not having a timeline for a return to class, not specifying which grade levels would return and not making transportation available.
“Are we going to be able to reach the most vulnerable kids?” she questioned. “The kids who need support the most.”
These are worries as families wait to see what happens next.
The proposed plan suggests various factors, including the state’s high number of COVID-19 cases, academic challenges and isolation effects, shaped the recommendation. CCSD trustees can still consider a hybrid schedule at Thursday’s meeting.