Students and staff at three Clark County schools returned to class this week knowing they are under the microscope. The schools were named as targets of the district's "turnaround school" campaign. The schools have a year to improve and despite the odds, they can make the grade.
"It did change, the education got better," said Mojave High School senior Pedro Reyes. "Teachers actually help a lot. They actually help you a lot more than any other school did. I like that a lot."
Reyes said changes began after Mojave High School became a turnaround school back in 2011. It led to more resources from the school district.
"No longer are we going to tolerate any mediocrity at these schools," said Clark County School District spokesperson Amanda Fulkerson. "It's time every student in our district has the exact same opportunities when it comes to their education."
Next school year, Cimarron-Memorial High School, Sunrise Mountain High School and Elizabeth Wilhelm Elementary School will undergo big changes. The turnaround model calls for removing principals and reassigning 10 new teachers at the elementary level and 12 new teachers at the high school level. Principal Antonio Rael led the turnaround process at Mojave High School.
"Mojave is a drastically different place than it was a year and a half ago," said Mojave High School Principal Antonio Rael. "Certainly from a student behavior standpoint and an achievement standpoint, graduation standpoint, things are moving in the right direction."
Rael said the schools can expect to look and most importantly feel different with new direction and new leadership. Cimarron-Memorial High School senior Kenyawni Cheney thinks the turnaround model may be the structure her school needs.
"Everybody does what they want," said Cheney. "There is no control. It's outrageous."
No employees who leave the three schools will lose their jobs. They will be reassigned to other school sites.
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