The resumption of school in Nevada in August may vary from district to district, Gov. Steve Sisolak said Friday, but solutions like social distancing will likely not be possible in the Clark County School District.
“Some of our classrooms in the Clark County School District … there’s no way you can social space in those classrooms,” Sisolak said at an online web teleconference hosted by the Vegas Chamber. “You just have too many kids in order to be able to do that.”
Sisolak said CCSD may have to come up with alternate plans, such as extending the school day, or staggering schedules so students come to school buildings only a few days per week.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert will ultimately determine whether schools continue distance education, Sisolak said. Ebert has been meeting with district superintendents regularly, he added.
Regardless of the solution, Sisolak said it’s critical that learning continues.
“If we have home schooling, distance ed, the kids have to learn something,” he said. “You can’t just be home schooled and nothing happens for a year. We’ve got to make sure there is some good coming out of it and children get the benefit as well.”
Other issues have come up around reopening schools as well, he said, such as how to continue athletics while asking spectators in the stands to follow social distancing guidelines and accommodating teachers who may be in high-risk groups due to their age or underlying health conditions.
Sisolak said he expects a decision on the fall semester, which begins on Aug. 10 in Clark County, will have to be made in the next two months.
CCSD recently asked parents, teachers, students and other community members to fill out a “Reopening Our Schools” community survey that asks respondents whether they’d support reopening options like a full-time return to classes, a blended learning environment or full-time distance education.
It also asks respondents to rank the importance of possible preventative measures, like COVID-19 vaccine availability, enhanced cleaning in the schools staggering schedules and limiting classroom seating.