Nevada Ed-Watch 3/23/20

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 5pm at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

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.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Emergency Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Trustees Approved a Limited Grant of Authority for the District Superintendent

The approved limited Grant of Authority permits Superintendent Jara to approve contracts and purchase items that are essential to the operation of the District during COVID-19 school closures. 

The following items were approved during this meeting:

  1. Veritas Hardware and Software products and services
  2. Elevator inspection services
  3. Renewal of Eide Bailly as CCSD’s external independent financial auditing firm for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020
  4. Review of annual reports for Vegas PBS 
  5. Submission of proposals to the Oversight Panel for School Facilities 
  6. Payment to counsel for the CCSD v. Las Vegas Review-Journal case
  7. Payment of change orders and contracts associated with CCSD construction

Trustees Discussed Distance Learning Plans During COVID-19 Closures

Trustees approved a memo to submit to the Nevada Department of Education, which states that the District is making  best efforts to provide distance learning to students, in compliance with state mandates. Superintendent Jara shared updates on the District’s efforts to develop a Distance Learning Plan and offer students access to online learning. The Superintendent also discussed equity concerns related to a lack of internet access for all students. Additionally, 63% of Clark County School District students have access to an online device at home. 

The District’s Distance Learning Plan involves student learning packets that are available online, as well as printed packets available at food distribution sites. Trustees suggested using internet hotspots to access the internet. Trustees also suggested creating a system allowing students to check-out devices.

More discussion highlights regarding Distance Learning included:

  • Tracking virtual attendance among students
  • Measuring the impact of closures on the length of the school year
  • Ensuring on-time graduation for high school seniors
  • Partnering with internet service providers to offer unrestricted access for Clark County residents
  • Maintaining public transparency and consistency around communications between District administrators

District Staff Addressed Questions Asked by Members of the Community

Superintendent Jara and District staff members responded to the questions below that were submitted by members of the community. These questions will be compiled into an FAQ that will be available on the CCSD website.

  1. Are teachers required to call students? 
    Teachers are to make contact with students at least once a week (via e-mail, Google Hangouts, or a phone call), and document the engagement for attendance purposes. 
  2. How can students with no access to technology or the internet receive schoolwork?
    The district is exploring ways to ensure that all students have access to distance learning packets. Trustees also encourage community members to assist in printing and sharing resources with neighbors. 
  3. How will students earn credits towards graduation? 
    The Superintendent is reviewing a plan for credit earning for high school seniors, which will be provided to the public by Wednesday, March 25.
  4. When will a decision be made on reopening schools or remaining closed for an extended period of time? 
    Updates from Nevada’s Chief Medical Officer will be shared on a regular basis, as available.
  5. How will school events be executed? 
    The District is in the process of considering this. 
  6. What are the distance learning protocols and expectations for special education teachers?
    The District will review the guidance received by the state Department of Education to assist the most vulnerable children. Upon review, the information will be shared with District staff.
  7. What is the requirement for employees to log in and out every day? 
    All employees, including support staff, are required to log in and log out every day and communicate daily with their supervisors.
  8. What are the considerations for parents who are learning English to access resources? 
    The ELL department is working on developing solutions.
  9. Will charter schools follow the same guidelines for district distance learning?
     The district cannot enforce authority on charter school distance learning programs. [NOTE: charter school families can access information regarding distance learning offerings at individual school websites or through the State Public Charter School Authority].
  10. Have Nevada Academic Content Standards (NACS) been considered in the creation of the distance learning packets? How are parents being supported? 
    Yes, the packets are aligned to Nevada Academic Content Standards (NACS). Through Vegas PBS, a homework helpline will be available this week.
  11. Will the state waive licensing requirements for student teachers? 
    The District is working on this with the Nevada Department of Education.
  12. How do teachers without online services log in? 
    Contact the school leader and/or supervisor by phone.
  13. Will student packet work count against students? How will these packets be differentiated for AP and honors level students? 
    No, they will not count against students and will not be graded. The packets are aligned to the Nevada Academic Content Standards (NACS).
  14. What is being done for substitute teachers? 
    Substitutes in vacancy positions are being paid, but long-term substitutes are not receiving pay.
  15. Are teachers required to use personal cell phones to contact students? 
    Educators can contact students via email if they prefer. The District will explore Google Voice as a paid option.
  16. What do parents do if teachers have not yet contacted them? 
    Contact the school’s principal or a school administrator.
  17. Where are the weekly packets located on the CCSD website? 
    The packets are located on the landing page of the CCSD website
  18. Will outside contractors be allowed to work? 
    This is unknown at this time.

NOTE: Trustees announced that the next regular board meeting will take place on April 16th, 2020– following the cancellation of the March meeting.

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