District to reorganize schools into 13 'performance zones'

Clark County School District Deputy Superintendent Pedro Martinez unveiled plans Thursday to reorganize the Clark County School District into 13 "performance zones" with an additional "autonomous zone" to reward high-performing schools with greater independence.

Each zone is a grouping of two to three neighboring high schools and their feeder middle schools and elementary schools. They will be set up to encourage more collaboration between schools.

In the past, "we did not have high school principals talking to middle school principals," Martinez said.

Performance zones will also be organized based on the need of schools. If the schools are struggling, they might be in a zone with fewer schools to allow for more attention from an academic manager and additional support from the district.

If the schools are high-performing, they will be given more latitude and might be autonomous, or declared in­dependent of a performance zone.

In September, the district plans to announce which schools have been declared "autonomous" based on a new growth model for tracking student achievement.

The zones are organized into three areas, which will be supervised by an associate superintendent. Splitting the district into smaller zones is an approach previous superintendents also have taken -- Carlos Garcia divided the district into five regions and Walt Rulffes split the district into four areas.

Martinez said the new system is intended to reduce duplication of programs and the fragmentation of resources.

School attendance zones will remain the same. There will still be three ombudsmen for each area to respond to parents' complaints.

The reorganization will be detailed at a news conference this morning .

At Thursday's School Board meeting, teacher Angie Sullivan asked about cost.

Martinez responded there will be the same number of positions with fewer dollars spent. The new system will have three associate superintendents and 15 academic managers compared to the old system where there were five associate superintendents and 13 academic managers.