Crowding forces 10 Clark County schools into year-round schedules

Students at 10 Clark County public schools will be forced into year-round schedules starting this fall as a result of crowding at those campuses, according to an announcement Thursday by Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky.

“With these schools, there’s no other relief in sight,” Skorkowsky said.

The schools abandoning the nine-month schedule in 2014-15 are Clyde Cox, Craig, Dearing, Fine, Lake, Ries, Ronzone, Roundy, Woolley and Wynn elementary schools, joining Forbuss, Reedom and Wright elementary schools, which went year round in 2013-14, also because of crowding.

These 10 schools are an average of 56 percent over capacity and use an average of 16 portable classrooms at each school. Wynn Elementary School is the worst off with 18 portables and about 900 students, which is about 88 percent more students than the school was made to handle on a nine-month calendar.

Year-round scheduling gives schools the ability to accommodate about 20 percent more students by splitting them between five different tracks. Students still receive 180 days of instruction, with one track of students always on break. But it costs each school $308,000 more a year in operational costs.

The total annual increase in costs for these schools is $3.08 million. This money will come from the district’s operating budget, meaning cuts will have to occur elsewhere, Skorkowsky said.

These schools aren’t the first to make the year-round switch because of recent crowding, and they won’t be the last, Skorkowsky said.

“I can almost guarantee we’ll be back at the same place next year,” said Skorkowsky, noting the addition of 900 new elementary school students to the district since the beginning of January.

That’s enough students to fill an entire elementary school and exceed its capacity, he said.

Along with letters sent to parents of the 10 schools on Thursday revealing the change, the district also sent letters to 29 other schools saying they’re off the year-round hook for 2014-15. However, they’re under review to make the switch to year-round schedules in 2015-16.

These 29 elementary schools are Beckley, Bonner, Bozarth, Cahlan, Cambeiro, Cortez, Detwiler, Diaz, Elizondo, Givens, Harmon, Herron, Hewetson, Long, Lunt, Martinez, Paradise, Petersen, Schorr, Sewell, Tanaka, Tate, Thorpe, Treem, Twitchell, Vanderburg, Wallin, Warren and Tom Williams.

Crowding has become so severe at the district’s 217 elementary schools that officials have said they have few options besides the short-term fixes of redrawing attendance boundaries and using year-round schedules, Skorkowsky said.

Elementary schools were an average of 10 percent over their student capacities when the district put three schools on year-round schedules at the beginning of 2013-14. As of Nov. 18, elementary schools are on average 13 percent over capacity.

The district would have to build 23 new elementary schools to draw down all elementary schools to their capacities, School Board member Stavan Corbett said.

But building new elementary schools costs $25 million apiece, which the district doesn’t have due to voter’s denying a $669 million property tax increase in 2012, district officials have said. The School Board is considering going back to voters in 2014 or 2016.

Contact reporter Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279.


School Percent of Student Capacity Number of Portables

Clyde Cox 169 16

Craig 151 19

Dearing 160 16

Fine 126 10

Lake 161 20

Ries 133 10

Ronzone 179 20

Roundy 122 10

Woolley 167 16

Wynn 188 18

Source: Clark County School District