LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From thousands of police responses to violent acts by students last year to navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and a teacher shortage Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara has had a lot on his plate and the district has just days left to successfully prepare for a new school year.
As kids prep to head back to class and the Coronavirus pandemic becomes less prevalent In our daily lives CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara says Covid Safety is still front and center in his mind.
"It's not in the back of my mind. I'll tell you what, it's not," Jara said.
He says while safety measures will be in place when school opens education will take priority.
Consistency is key and that's why Jara wants to ensure every classroom is filled.
Most vacancies are in largely low-income areas like the northeast and Jara says his licensed central staff will step into the classroom if necessary.
"That's where our central team will be going because those schools that have a high number of vacancies is where, I would say, that we have our children that need it the most," Jara Explained.
The district has raised pay but staff will need to feel safe to retain and recruit talent.
A difficult task following a violent school year.
The district has responded by investing in infrastructure establishing a single entry and exit point at schools and deploying a "panic button pilot program" at nine schools around the valley.
On whether teachers, students, and parents should expect to feel much safer on day one after all these changes Dr. Jara says, "Would I expect them to make a difference? We're working as fast as we can on our schools but the first level and the first line of defense is the parents. Talk to your kids."
Jara says if the board approves their plan for panic buttons in every school they could roll the system out to a new school every two days with high schools getting priority.