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Discussions continue on Clark County School District reopening plans

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 10:14:18-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The plan for Clark County School District to allow students to get back into the classroom this fall is now in the works. Just how it will happen is under discussion.

What school will look like next year at CCSD remains to be seen. Whatever plan moves forward will be shaped by a group of teachers, parents, and other stakeholders.

“We were tasked with informing the district on what the pros and cons could be in some of the options that were outlined.”

Brenda Pearson is a member of CCEA and sat on the committee providing feedback on reopening schools in the district. She says seven reopening plans were presented. They varied on details such as staggered schedules for students to be in the classroom or do distance learning.

“Skipping weeks altogether so for example, some students going the first and the third week or the second and the fourth week,” Pearson said.

Pearson says the discussions had one clear objective that was essential in every plan.

“The key was really around the safety of the students and the employees,” she said.

Pearson says she wants to reassure parents work is being done to bring back a sense of normalcy to schools.

“The community is doing everything we can to ensure that learning continues, and everybody is safe,” she said.

For the CCEA, any return will require robust COVID-19 testing.

“You’re not going to find one casino on the Strip that doesn’t have a testing program for their employees, as well as for the public.”

CCEA executive director John Vellardita says the health and safety of teachers and students are on his mind. This comes after Gov . Steve Sisolak authorized school facilities to reopen for summer school and other activities. He says there should be a way to consistently test the 40,000 employees in the district.

“You would want to fix dates where employees begin to get tested, and so we now know there’s the capacity now to be able to test all 40,000 employees,” he said.

Vellardita says there are teachers who have underlying health conditions and want to make sure any risks are minimized.

“There’s a certain population of employees that have high-risk factors in their health that are more susceptible,” he said.

Vellardita says such a testing effort will require funding, and says the federal funding is one way to making it happen.

“There have been federal dollars to do precisely that and it’s really about accessing those dollars so we can implement this program.”

CCSD says in a statement it is aware of the governor’s new directive and have presented the information to the board of trustees for any further action.

The first day of school for CCSD remains scheduled for Aug. 10.