CCSD students miss first day, wait in winding lines due to proof of residence issues
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - It was the first day of school for the hundreds of thousands of Clark County School District students, but for some bright-eyed students ready to learn, their experience was far from what they imagined.
The district recently made changes to the shared housing process through which a family’s proof of residence is verified, particularly when they live in a residence without the parents’ name on the title or lease. An example of this would be when the student lives with a grandparent or aunt and uncle, and they still need to have their enrollment approved for the appropriate zoned school.
In past years, the process was different, said Veronica Newhouse-Brown, a CCSD mother. Typically, she said, “You do it at the school. You bring a bill, you sign a paper, that was it.”
This year, the district is no longer accepting residential affidavits for shared housing applications. They can only be provided by the Office of Shared Housing, located at 4204 Channel 10 Drive in Las Vegas.
The changes caused confusion and frustration for many families, as they spent the day lined up in the triple-digit temperatures to try and figure out what barred their children from being let into school on their first day.
“We’ve been here over an hour,” said Newhouse-Brown. “And this is actually my second time coming because I had to go back and get my mom. Because we are at her address, they need the person who owns the home to be here to prove that we really live there.”
“The lines were going around the building and everything! And that was just to get checked in, to even find out we were supposed to get this paperwork,” said Shanna Turner, a CCSD parent.
FOX5 asked Superintendent Jesus Jara about this on Monday, and he said that the administration has done their due diligence in warning people of the changes.
“Parents always wait to register,” Jara said. “We have centralized it, we’ve been communicating. And that’s why that entire division was working Saturday and Sunday, making phone calls to make sure that we get our kids in school... there was a change in process for verification purposes.”
But some families told us that by the time they were made aware of the changes and applied, by Monday, they still had not received a response from the Office of Shared Housing, approving their application.
“Two weeks ago, I applied, but I haven’t received anything! So I’m here to try and see what’s going on,” said Lukas Rios, a CCSD parent.
“They told me I had to wait for housing to email me, and I never got anything from housing, and it was probably was two weeks before school started,” said Newhouse-Brown.
Many parents in line did not speak English, and many had their students translate for them, like one 7-year-old who told FOX5, “We went to the principal’s office, we got the note, and it was too late. Some kids went in.”
She was among the students who expressed disappointment in being unable to join their peers Monday.
“It was kind of frustrating,” said another elementary student. “It makes me nervous, cause everybody else already knows everyone. It’s scary.”
Jara said that principals have been made aware of the change and are asking parents to be patient with the new process.
“With everything that is new, there is going to be some delays and bottleneck, but we are deploying staff there as well, to make sure that we expedite it,” said Jara.
In the meantime, many shared housing families continue to wait with their fingers crossed, hoping their child can get approved to start school.
“So can she can start as soon as possible,” said Rios.
Turner said she is hoping this does not negatively impact her child’s attendance record.
FOX5 will continue digging into why the confusion happened to so many families.
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