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Clark County schools’ 5-year plan aims for broad proficiency gains

The Clark County School District aims to boost proficiency in English, math and science, increase access to advanced courses and decrease racial disparities in discipline over the next five years.

Those goals are outlined in a draft of Superintendent Jesus Jara’s five-year strategic plan, titled “Focus 2024.”

The plan, obtained by the Review-Journal from a source, mirrors some goals in former Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky’s “Pledge of Achievement,” including closing achievement gaps and boosting college and career readiness.

But Jara said his plan will have accountability to achieve results on the same issues the district has been struggling with for years.

“I don’t want to speak for the previous superintendent, but I’ll tell you my plan will have a business plan with specific executives that will be held accountable for their results,” he said.

“Focus 2024” also tackles other issues, including reducing the chronic absenteeism rate from 28 percent to 16 percent.

It also focuses on safety, a key issue in a school year that has had 11 reported firearm confiscations from students and one fatal shooting at a high school. The plan is aimed at increasing the percentage of students who report feeling safe at school by better supporting students with “wraparound services” such as social workers.

A district spokeswoman said the draft obtained by the Review-Journal has undergone significant changes, particularly pertaining to strategy. Jara is expected to present the plan to the School Board at a retreat on Friday.

Transportation — a perennial struggle with bus driver vacancies and the source of a flood of parental complaints — would aim to achieve a 98 percent on-time performance, in part by reducing the driver absence rate to less than 8 percent.

The strategic plan also envisions increasing the public’s understanding of district finances by providing a detailed breakdown of the $2.4 billion operating budget. The district also will review its current public financial tool, Open Book, to search of areas of improvement.

And in an effort to boost low employee morale — another issue that has recently been in the spotlight — the district aims to recognize 8,000 employees for good work by 2024.

“This community, by far, is unmatched in supporting public education,” Jara told a packed crowd of parents, teachers and others at his fourth town hall meeting about the plan, held Monday in Henderson. “We just need a plan.”

The plan builds upon a number of initiatives already in place to address some of these issues.

The district implemented a random search procedure and launched its own K-9 unit to search for weapons on campus.

It has also launched a School Justice Partnership program aimed at blocking the school-to-prison pipeline at a time when African-American students serve a disproportionate share of suspensions, expulsions and referrals to behavioral school.

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at apak-harvey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

CCSD Strategic Plan draft by on Scribd

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