LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County School District students and faculty return to the classroom Wednesday. The district took a five-day “pause,” citing extreme staffing shortages due to COVID-19.
District officials say they wanted their students and staff to rest and recover over that five day weekend.
As students and staff return, there will still be many empty seats. Nurses with the district contacted thousands of employees and parents during the pause to make sure they’re clear to come back today.
Out of more than 4,000 calls to parents, nurses cleared less than half of those students to return to the classroom.
Out of about 1,400 employee calls, more than 300 were told to stay home.
Vicki Kreidel, a second-grade teacher with the district and president of the National Education Association of Southern Nevada, says she is happy the district was paying attention to the rising case numbers, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds.
“I’m having a return of some of the anxiety that I had at the beginning when we first shut down schools,” Kreidel added.
Now, as CCSD looks to keep schools open and avoid another pause, they are introducing a test-to-stay option.
Here’s how it works: If you’re exposed to COVID-19 on campus, you can take a COVID test every other day to avoid a five-day quarantine.
If your results are negative and you don’t have any symptoms, you’re cleared to stay on campus.
If you test positive or develop symptoms, you’ll be sent home to isolate for five days.
CCSD leadership says they are prepared for mass testing.
Kreidel says she has some questions about how the process will work.
“If COVID could impact our staffing so badly that we had to take a pause, how are we going to keep the staff available to do all this testing. That’s my big concern,” Kreidel said.
Kreidel also had concerns about what happens if there is a backlog of test results and if the district is using rapid tests- she wonders if the results will be accurate.
The test-to-stay program does not apply to after-school activities.