Updated September 6, 2023 - 5:00 pm
Monaco Middle School reported having an “unexpected number” of teachers absent Wednesday — the third consecutive school day a Clark County School District campus has issued such an announcement.
Teachers union officials say the absences aren’t linked to any union actions associated with contentious collective bargaining.
In a message to parents, the east valley school wrote that “the majority” of teachers were on campus and “we are working to continue the instructional day with minimal disruption.”
“We were able to cover many of the classes impacted, however, in an effort to ensure student safety and adult supervision, students in specific classes are being relocated to larger areas of the campus to continue instructional activities.”
Affected students were notified of where to go each class period, according to the announcement.
On Friday, Southeast Career Technical Academy also moved some students to large areas on campus because of unexpected teacher absences. And on Tuesday, Gibson Elementary School in Henderson canceled classes because of staffing shortages.
It’s unclear what’s spurring the absences.
The district is facing a teacher shortage, with more than 1,000 positions listed on its hiring website.
The district said Tuesday it was concerned about the licensed employee attendance rate and disruption to students’ education at Gibson Elementary, saying that students shouldn’t be used as “bargaining leverage” by the Clark County Education Association or its members.
Teacher contract negotiations are underway between the district and teachers union.
CCEA Executive Director John Vellardita said Wednesday that the district’s reference in its statement to the union is “nonsense.”
He said the union learned of what occurred at Gibson Elementary when everyone else did and it was not something CCEA sanctioned or approved.
Some schools have high vacancy rates and it doesn’t take many absences to put a school in a “really challenging spot,” Vellardita said, when there aren’t enough substitutes either.
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