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Teachers relieved to hear CCSD distance learning recommendation

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 01:49:02-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Instead of going back to the classroom next month, it’s looking like students will once again be learning from home. The Clark County School Board of Trustees is meeting discussing the possibility of full-time distance education for the start of the school year. If approved, this would scrap the district’s initial hybrid reopening plan.

No kids on campus, and 100% distance learning to start next school year. That’s the latest recommendation from CCSD staff to the Board of Trustees.

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

“They’re doing what many consider the responsible thing and even there’s a lot of dissent, I think this is the right at this time.”

Jeremiah Riesenbeck is a teacher at Centennial High School. He says safety was on his mind when the previously proposed hybrid plan was being pushed forward.

“Just with myself, I have many underlying conditions and I know many of my fellow colleagues, they’re not young,” he said.

A poll conducted by the Clark County Education Association shows about 74% of its members believe the district should start with only distance learning. Executive Director John Vellardita says safety was the union’s number one concern. He believes how the virus is contained dictates any discussion of returning to the classroom.

“I think with the escalation of COVID-19, that’s what’s determining the course of direction that we’re all going in right now,” he said.

In a statement CCSD staff chose to move to distance learning saying in part:

“As the health and safety of our students, families, and staff remains our top priority, and due to the continuous increases of COVID-19 positive cases, the distance education option is currently the most responsible course of action.”

Foothill High School teacher Jenn Ice supports starting with distance education. She does however understand the difficulties of online learning, especially for parents still adjusting to the new normal.

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

“We’re going to need as much parental involvement as possible to work as a team to find that balance,” she said.

Ice says she wants to eventually see classroom instruction but says distance education is the best choice for everyone until the virus can be controlled locally.

“I think we just have to go with the flow and do the best that we can with the situation,” she said.

Currently, teachers and staff on Aug. 10 will begin training and development, and students will begin classes two weeks later on the 24th.