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Some hope for CCSD schools reopening with small groups

Supt. Jara aims for late Feb., early March
kids classroom
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 23:49:10-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It may only be a month or so before some Clark County School District students get back in the classroom.

Thursday, the Board of Trustees approved a plan allowing small groups of students to return to the classroom by invitation from the principal.

It’s been about 10 months since CCSD students were in a classroom. Some parents are worried about a full year of distance learning.

“If things don’t open in the fall, what are we going to do? Are we going to pull from the district? Are we going to look at other schools?” Amy Harris said. She has a first and a third grader and says it’s been a challenge doing school at home.

RELATED STORY: CCSD trustees pass plan to invite small groups of students back to classrooms

“I’m probably having to do 90% of the navigation for him and all of that,” she said.

That may soon change.

Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara says he’s aiming for late February to early March for the groups of students to return. He says the district is working on prioritizing vaccines for educators.

“Those are some of the things we’re looking at to make sure we have a safe learning environment for the adults and for our children,” he said.

Some parents are taking a wait and see approach to send their kids back with the vaccine on the horizon, while others just don’t feel comfortable having their kids in the classroom until the pandemic calms down.

Harris says after seeing months of decisions being pushed back, she’s hopeful there’s a path forward for her.

RELATED STORY: Clark County School District reports a rise in failing grades amid distance learning

“There’s a point where we have to act and make a decision. That was months ago and here we are and I’m glad it’s finally coming,” Harris said.

CCSD is already making plans to vaccinate teachers. Supt. Jara says he has reached out to local health officials.

“We’re hoping sometime by the end of this month that we can start having our teachers vaccinated,” he said.

Vicki Kreidel, a second-grade teacher at Heard Elementary School, says she has an appointment at the end of January and believes it’s key to keep teachers back on campus.

“I’m telling you a lot of teachers won’t go back until they get their two vaccines, and we’re so close,” she said.

Supt. Jara says Pre-K to third-grade teachers will be prioritized. Kreidel says it’s a good start.

“If they could prioritize us right now, then in March or so when the rates improve, we’ll be ready,” she said.

Kreidel does have some concerns on how principals will determine which teachers will come back to teach the small groups of students, fearing some may be forced back.

“My fear is some schools will take advantage and pull the groups in ways that I don’t believe the superintendent necessarily intended,” she said.

For Ryan Fromoltz, an English teacher from Las Vegas High School, the details remain vague to him, especially since older students require different teachers for different subjects.

He says this makes them different from elementary schools.

“It would take schools to require subs for these teachers to do small groups or make it in a way that doesn’t interfere with the teaching hours,” he said.