LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — On Wednesday, the school district and teacher's union announced the first step to bring Las Vegas area students and educators back to face-to-face instruction, possibly as early as next year.
The Clark County School District and the Clark County Education Association have reached a tentative memorandum of agreement with a potential return to face-to-face instruction in 2021.
“I think this is a smart agreement. I think it reflects on what’s going on nationally. We have to take this kind of approach to see what works and to be able to modify and change to see what things aren’t working," John Vellardita, CCEA executive director said.
The intent of the MOA is to attempt to eliminate, or at least minimize, the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social-emotional and physical well-being of CCSD students, according to the district.
.@SuptJaraCCSD: As we continue to— CCSD (@ClarkCountySch) December 16, 2020
navigate this pandemic, timelines may change but putting this MOA together in partnership with @CCEANV is the first step in providing an opportunity for face-to-face instruction for our students and staff.
CCSD says it will continue to follow stay-at-home guidelines outlined by the governor and employees whose job responsibilities allow it will continue telecommuting until at least Jan. 15.
"The board is aware of the concerns educators and families have about returning to school campuses," said Board of School Trustees President Lola Brooks. "In January, Superintendent Jara and his staff will present the Board with a transition plan, which may include some form of potential face-to-face instruction. An agreement with our educators is a necessary step before a constructive conversation can be held and I appreciate the willingness and progress of all parties involved."
Supt. Jesus Jara and district staff will present elements of the MOA and a proposal for a phased transition to potential face-to-face instruction to the Board of School Trustees at a meeting on Jan. 14, 2021.
“This agreement with the Clark County Education Association lays the groundwork for reopening our schools to potential face-to-face instruction in the new year,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “This pandemic has taken a toll on the emotional and educational needs of our children and it is time for us as a community to rally around this opportunity to return our students and educators to the classroom.”
“CCEA believes reaching this agreement is a step in the right direction for our students and front line educators. Given the challenges with COVID-19, there is no perfect path to reopen. However, through collaborating with CCSD we think this agreement allows us to jointly determine the best steps to take for our students to achieve an education,” said CCEA President Marie Neisess.
The MOA includes safety protocols and standards based on guidance from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and the CDC including:
- Daily symptom screening
- Monthly COVID-19 testing
- COVID-19 contact tracing
- Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all employees
- Strict and thorough classroom and building sanitation
The agreement will be presented to the CCSD Board of Trustees on January 14 for approval.