Nevada Ed-Watch 11/13/20

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.


Clark County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The CCSD Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees

Click here to find your Trustee District

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Thursdays) at 5 pm. While all meetings are typically held at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121, all meetings are now held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings and agendas

Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar

Can community members engage at Trustee Meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Community members can sign up to speak after the agenda has been posted– by calling the Board Office at (702) 799-1072 at least 3 hours before the scheduled meeting, or signing up in-person at the beginning of the meeting. Prior to each agenda item being voted on, speakers can share their perspective after the Board’s discussion and prior to the vote.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, and rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

  • Click here and here to view public comment submitted between October 16 and November 12
  • Click here to view public comment submitted between October 23 and November 9
  • Click here to view public comment submitted between November 9 and 10 
  • Click here to view public comment submitted between November 10 and 11
  • Click here and here to view public comment submitted on November 11
  • Click here and here to view public comment submitted between November 11 and November 12 
  • Click here to view public comment on non-agenda items 

Trustees Approved Consent Agenda 

Highlights:

  • Approval of Memorandum of Agreement to continue random drug and alcohol testing for student athletes. 
  • Approval of request to contract with the Las Vegas Natural History Museum to provide opportunities for students and families to engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities. 
  • Approval to continue the contract with dental providers for services to identified students.
  • Approval of professional service agreement for respiratory protection training and fit testing services. 

Trustees Approve Employment for General Counsel

Trustees approved the employment of P. Luke Puschnig to serve as the Clark County School District General Counsel. The Trustees expressed their gratitude for the outgoing General Counsel, Eleissa Lavelle, for her service and assistance to the district. 

Click here to see the employment agreement.

Trustees Provided Input on Hybrid Model Transition Plan

Trustees heard a presentation on a plan that transitions students to the hybrid instructional model for most schools, with a phased-in timeline for students, and possible transition to full-time face-to-face instruction for certain schools. The transition plan also details schools and specific strategies for COVID-19 spread prevention and mental health support. The plan meets all guidelines provided by the Nevada Department of Education (NDE). The consideration of the plan comes after the October 23 meeting, where Trustees heard a presentation on COVID-19 positivity rates from Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Director of the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), who shared SNHD’s support for reopening schools in the near future. The District is working to translate the plan into Spanish. 

Cohorts: The hybrid plan requires students to be divided into three cohorts, two of which would alternate between face-to-face instruction and distance education throughout the week and engage in distance learning on Wednesdays, and one cohort would engage in full-time distance learning. Families will have the option to enroll their child in the hybrid model or full-time distance learning.

Timeline: The recommended transition timeline would end staff telecommuting by December and invite small groups of students on a voluntary basis to participate in mental and/or emotional health supports and interventions, academic screenings, and campus orientation for students new to campus. The hybrid instruction would begin on January 4 for students in certain grade levels and on January 11 for remaining students. 

Health and safety: To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the transition plan includes the promotion of healthy behaviors through education of prevention practices, implementation of mask coverings and sanitizing protocols, and requirement of social distancing. The transition plan includes enhanced sanitation and cleaning practices and HVAC strategies to ensure a clean and safe learning environment. The district also plans to employ free, voluntary COVID-19 testing for employees and outlines a response plan to exposure or confirmed COVID-19 cases.  School buses and drivers will adhere to safety guidelines in Nevada’s Phase 2 restrictions with limited bus capacity to 50 percent. School buses will also ensure external airflow, one entrance and exit, disinfecting between routes, and nightly disinfecting schedule. 

Mental health support: The district plans to utilize multidisciplinary leadership teams who will work to identify and see students in person, assess their needs, and tailor tiered intervention strategies. 

Due to recent data on spikes of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southern Nevada, most Trustees expressed concerns with approving a transition plan at this time. Trustees discussed the feasibility reality of the recommended timeline and the possibility of removing dates and maintaining the sequence of events. Superintendent Jesus Jara reaffirmed that the timeline is flexible and specific dates will be a management decision. Other Trustee concerns included staffing capabilities, unresolved distance learning issues, enforcement of new health and safety protocols, and the need to address distance learning issues before moving forward with a plan to transition to in-person instruction. Trustees offered the below suggestions to be included in an updated plan: 

  • Information on how the model adjusts to a higher number of COVID-19 cases and how to pivot from hybrid learning to distance learning if needed
  • Information on the amount of PPE provided to staff
  • Information on the financial impact 
  • Evaluation of any education loss and risks, specifically for ELL students 
  • Number of ventilation systems that have been serviced 
  • Elaboration on teacher school lunch monitoring 
  • Information on the District’s work with bargaining units

Trustees will reevaluate the reopening plan at a future meeting. 

This item was initially posted for possible action, however was pulled from consideration for action during the meeting.

Click here to see the presentation.
Click here to see the plan. 

Click here to read about this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal
Click here to read about this in the Las Vegas Sun
Click here to read about this in the Reno Gazette-Journal
Click here to read about this in a story from 8 News Now Las Vegas

Trustees Approved Memorandum of Agreement for Voluntary Testing

The Board approved an agreement between the Clark County School District and the Teachers Health Trust, a Nevada trust established by the Clark County Education Association, to provide free, voluntary COVID-19 testing for District employees through the Task Force Initiative for Educators Safety and Screening for COVID-19 (TIES) program. The program will bear no cost to the District or employees. Statewide, the testing program will expend up to $13.2 million of grant funds for testing and monitoring from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Click here to see supporting documentation.


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