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Private vs. public school reopening plans

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 00:42:52-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — While CCSD students will begin classes at home next month, those going to private schools will start their year in the classroom.

“We have purchased social distancing spots. These have all been measured out at 6 feet apart.”

There will be many changes when Word of Life Christian Academy welcomes kids back to school next month. Principal Kelly Marchello highlighting the measures the school is taking like spreading out desks and having a plastic barrier at a teacher’s desk.

“We did our very best to follow all of the social distancing. Facemasks and handwashing,” she said.

There are temperature checks at the entrance and hand sanitizing stations. There’s even some out of the box thinking to keep younger kids from touching each other.

“We will have times during the class where they’ll do freeze dancing to get some wiggles out,” Marchello said.

She says a significant majority of parents wanted their kids back in the classroom. About 5 to 10 percent decided to go with distance learning. With only 240 kids in the entire school, Marchello says the school could make it work.

RELATED STORY: Here's how some Clark County private schools are handling reopening

“We just believe that children need to be in school and that they deserve an excellent education,” she said.

Meanwhile, CCSD schools begin the year with full-time distance education after considering a hybrid option blending online learning with time in the classroom.

“I do feel our board of trustees and our superintendent and other decision-makers made a good decision to keep schools in the online format this year.”

RELATED STORY: All CCSD students will distance learn full-time to start school year amid COVID-19 concerns

Elizabeth Campbell is a Spanish teacher at West Career and Technical Academy.

She says it’s a big calculated risk for teachers and students at c-c-s-d schools to be back on campus citing rising COVID-19 case numbers.

“The risk right now with COVID is too great for both students and for staff,” she said.

Part of her feeling stems from the difficulty of social distancing with the number of students at CCSD schools.

“You really have to think just the number of students we have in buildings and in elementary school, it can be 600," she said.

Campbell says she and other teachers want to be back in the classroom but says the safety of everyone remains a priority.

“We all want to be back in the classroom. If it were a possibility at this point, I would love to be teaching live classes and I know my friends would as well but at this point because our numbers are so high in Las Vegas and the logistics of operating a school, it just doesn’t seem possible,” she said.

The first day of school at Word of Life Christian Academy is August 10. The first day of classes for CCSD students will be on August 24.