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Clark County School District adds 2 campuses to turnaround program

Two more underperforming Clark County schools have been given the “turnaround” tag, meaning those campuses will receive extra money and undergo significant staff changes to improve student performance.

Kelly and Fitzgerald elementary schools grew the list from 19 to 21 for the turnaround program, which began in 2012. That includes five schools that were added to the list in February, the Clark County School District announced Tuesday.

Turnaround schools get new principals who are are given “kickstarter” money. An elementary school will receive about $250,000 and a high school about $500,000.

In the past, principals have used that money to pay for teachers to spend extra time instructing students outside of scheduled classes or for teachers to collaborate with each other to learn effective teaching techniques.

The schools will also see an influx of instructional coaches to work with teachers.

Schools are chosen for the turnaround zone after thorough internal and external reviews, which includes interviews with every licensed staff member.

Three schools that were in the district’s “Turnaround Zone” have shown enough of an increase in student achievement and graduation rates to leave the zone next school year.

Those schools are Hancock Elementary School, Chaparral High School and Western High School.

Before this year, 13 of the 14 schools that have been in the program have shown marked improvement, district officials have said.

The five schools that were added to the zone earlier this year due to decreased student achievement — Hickey, Lowman, Priest and Vegas Verdes elementary schools and Desert Pines High School — will see changes starting in the fall.

Officials said that the two schools will remain “connected to the Prime Six historical foundation and philosophy, school components and general Prime Six community.”

Assistant Chief Student Achievement Officer Jeff Geihs said in a statement of Kelly and Fitzgerald: “We look forward to seeing the academic impact the Turnaround Zone model will have not just for students, but also for their parents, families and the community.”

Contact Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5512. Find him on Twitter: @fjmccabe

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