LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Balancing student success with safety is what's on top of mind for parents and trustees as the Clark County School District school board discusses a hybrid learning plan to bring kids back into the classroom.
More than seven months since students have stayed home to learn and some parents say they aren’t seeing the results of online learning.
“They’ve really struggled with distance education. I have a GATE student that is really disengaged," said Suzette LaGrange-Miranda.
She says she has two kids in CCSD schools and would like to have them back in the classroom under a hybrid plan and believes it would help with their mental health and academic progress.
“I think they thrive and learn better with their teachers. We’re blessed with amazing teachers in the school district,” LaGrange-Miranda said.
Amy Harris also has two kids in elementary school. She also says they have struggled with distance learning and think the hybrid plan is the best moving forward.
“The benefits of them at least being in school part of the time is really outweighing the risk of putting them in and I am more than willing to put my kids in school,” she said.
Yolanda Washington understands the anxiety of other parents, having to look after five kids in CCSD schools.
“Being able to get a break from the kids is a dream come true, but at the same time, you want to be safe with your children. You don’t want to send your children out of the home just to get a break,” she said.
She says she’s not yet comfortable with getting her kids back in the classroom and wouldn’t until there’s an effective vaccine. Washington says the risks outweigh any potential benefits.
“You bring the COVID back into the home and not only could it affect the child, but it could affect the whole household, so it’s really scary,” she said.
“I have questions about the plan, and I am sure that I am not the only one," said Trustee-elect Lisa Guzman, giving her thoughts on CCSD’s proposed hybrid learning plan.
Guzman says she’s skeptical of the plan so far after hearing concerns from teachers and some parents.
“When they do reopen, are they going to close again? How does that work? Are they going to turn a blind eye?” Guzman said.
She also feels the rising number of COVID-19 cases and positivity rates in Clark County may make a hybrid plan tough to roll out.
“I don’t want kids to catch COVID. I’m all about the kids and I’m really worried. Really worried," said Trustee-elect Katie Williams.
She says she believes getting kids back in the classroom outweighs the potential risks.
“I look at student mental health as a huge factor as to why I don’t want the school shut down," Williams said.
She also says the concerns of child abuse at homes and student suicides need to be addressed. Williams believes distance learning stunts students' success and the hybrid plan is just the beginning.
“So, this is a step in the right direction. I do want the schools open. I would like to see a more conducive plan as to getting them open sooner,” she said.
Williams says she’s fine with giving teachers and parents an option for distance learning if they don’t feel comfortable yet going back in the classroom.
“I don’t think we should ever discredit those concerns, but I do think we have to look at a bigger picture and understand what’s really important here is to get our kids back in school,” she said.
13 Action News reached out to Evelyn Garcia Morales, the third trustee-elect, but she was not available to talk Thursday.
If the hybrid method plan is approved, all teachers and possibly a few students would return to school on Dec. 1 with more students coming back to class in January.