‘Solid but not ideal’: Superintendent Jara talks CCSD reopening plan

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School District continues navigating how to reopen schools. Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara says it’s not ideal, but it has to fit into what the state wants.

The district is proposing a hybrid model that consists of two days a week in the classroom and three days of online learning.

Students not comfortable returning during the pandemic will have the option to learn from home.

8 News Now spoke with Jara about the plan and uncertainties.

“It’s not what I want, but under the guidelines we were given, this is what we have to do,” said Jara. He noted the state requires a blended and distance education plan.

The current proposal complies with the directive and provides options.

“This plan gives us and allows us to transform or pivot from one to the other for school and different things, depending on what the health of the community looks like,” said Jara.

While considering health, the district must also focus on logistics. That includes routing buses and where to place the roughly 320,000 students in cohorts.

“We have to start moving forward,” stated Jara, “we’ve been on this for months.”

But the Clark County Education Association disagrees with the reopening plan. The Teacher’s Union revealed in a release that it wants families to have a choice between either a five-day schedule or at home.

“Ideally, that’s what I like to go. Unfortunately, with our class sizes and our building space, we can’t do that,” Jara explained.

CCEA also requested testing of all CCSD staff and funding to address the digital divide. The district estimates 33% of students don’t have internet access.

Jara calls it a community issue.

“I was on the phone this morning. We had an 8 o’clock with COX Communications and finding ways to partner with them to help us solve this issue for our families,” recounted Jara.

The district plans to send a survey to families soon. It will ask which cohort is preferable for students and any connectivity issues at home.

The CCSD Board of Trustees plans to vote on the proposal this Thursday.

Jara wants to remind the community the State still needs to reopen schools. That decision has not been made yet, but President Trump claimed he will put pressure on governors.

“We’re very much going to be putting pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools,” said Trump. “It’s very important to our country. It’s very important for the well-being of the student and the parents.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued preliminary guidance for schools with social distancing and mask wearing guidelines, but officials emphasize a need for all involved to follow them.

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