CCSD looking for hundreds of teachers - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

CCSD looking for hundreds of teachers

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The countdown is on for the Clark County School District. The agency is tasked to hire nearly 800 teachers for positions across the Valley by Aug. 20.

Meg Nigro, executive director of Recruitment and Development at CCSD, says their efforts are focused on areas on the East Coast.

"We're really focusing on those areas that don't have as much of a welcoming climate or don't have as many tax breaks as we do," Nigro said. 

Nigro said she and her team have been working weekends to make sure CCSD has enough qualified teachers to start the school year. It's a large undertaking and it could mean the district's long-term substitutes will be teaching this fall.

"We have hundreds of subs that do have bachelor's degrees that are going through our alternate route to licensure program. So they are learning to be a teacher, teaching during the day and then once eligible for hire, we can hire them without any discontinuation with the kids," Nigro said.

A shortage of teachers isn't a new problem. Last fall, Scott Driver said he was one of 1,800 recruits hired. Driver is starting his second year as a 7th grade science teacher in the district. He says as a new teacher, in a new city, having great mentors made him decide to stay another year.

Driver said he is concerned about the kids.

"The students aren't getting consistency and if you're always having to teach new teachers, students aren't getting the education they deserve," he said.

Nigro said CCSD is making some great gains and has a long-term plan to help get Nevada's schools out of last place. But for the short term, it's about finding quality educators. The task to find such a large number of candidates is becoming more complicated in the West.

"There aren't enough candidates. In the past when we were growing and other districts were laying off, that's not happening anymore," Nigro said. 

Once the new additions are here, Nigro said the focus will shift to teacher retention. Ensuring Clark County's great teachers decide to make the Valley their permanent home.

Driver said he and his wife have plans to stick around because of the friendship and mentorship he received from day one. But he says the teachers need help from parents.

"It's not just teachers doing everything. It's got to be that teacher/parent cohesion that really helps students," Driver said. 

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