LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara testified before the U.S. House's Committee on Education on Wednesday.
Jara spoke about how COVID-19 has impacted students and staff as well as how the district reopened to hundreds of thousands of students.
Jara is the leader of the country's fifth-largest school district, which is why he was chosen as one of four witnesses to testify.
The hearing was held to highlight best practices for reopening schools safely.
It's no secret reopening has been a challenge for both students and staff. We've seen protests, fired-up parents and staff in school board meetings, and a big toll on mental health with 18 CCSD students taking their own lives.
At Tuesday's hearing, Dr. Jara shared the district's phased reopening plan.
Several parents were upset with the district for staying in distance learning as long as it did, but the option to reopen came with some pushback as well.
Second-grade teacher Vicki Kreidel worried some schools wouldn't be safe enough to reopen, but she's feeling better now.
“We're in a much better situation with the vaccinations and knowing the protocols and what we're doing with distance learning. But hopefully, we won't have to go back. That's my hope,” Kreidel said.
CCSD reports more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases so far for the 2020-2021 school year. More than 1,200 of those cases were reported this month.
According to the CCSD job postings, the school district is short more than 650 teachers. It’s also had trouble filling bus driver and crossing guard roles. Some left their jobs after vaccines were mandated for CCSD employees.