LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — COVID-19 severely impacted the Clark County School District (CCSD), forcing all students to start distance education last March. But for the first time in a year, all grade levels finally returned to campuses.
Centennial High School rolled out the red carpet for its students, with cheerleaders welcoming them back.
“I’ve been online for so long,” said sophomore Luke Anderson. “I just can’t wait to meet my teachers for real, actually.”
He’s part of CCSD’s final transition group in reopening school buildings. Grades four, five, seven, eight, 10 and 11 joined their peers, who returned last month.
“I was really excited to see my friends, meet my teachers and all that stuff,” said Anderson.
Middle and high schools continue to offer the hybrid model, with students in class two days, then learning remotely the remainder of the week. Elementary schools, however, now allow in-person instruction five days a week.
“I am excited for him to go back five days a week, just because he gets the interaction with the kids,” said parent Celeste Tran.
She expects the new schedule to benefit her Kindergarten son.
“It helps a lot, knowing that he’s getting the instruction that he needs,” Tran said, “and I don’t have to constantly, you know, make sure he is doing it at home.”
District data shows it’s the popular option. More than 77,000 elementary students chose it, compared to roughly 60,000 remaining in distance education.
Requests continue to come in for in-person learning, causing schools to create wait lists.
“I have no idea if or when it is he’s going to go back,” shared parent Stephanie Henry.
She tells 8 News Now she’s fourth on the list at Harris Elementary School. Henry says her first-grade son needs help after falling behind:
“He needs to go back to be able to get into … the extra tutoring, the extra programs that they have.”
The question remains if she will get a slot, leaving her and others to continue with remote learning.
“I didn’t even know that our school even has a waiting list,” Henry said. “Every communication that I’ve seen so far from the school indicated that we didn’t have some, over pile of kids trying to go back.”
Schools must still follow health and safety guidelines, which is causing the wait lists. All increased classroom capacity to 75% Tuesday and are maintaining three feet of social distancing between students.