First day of school ‘smoother’ than last year in Clark County

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 7:12 AM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Students are back in the classroom at the Clark County School District. The first day of the 2022-23 school year exposed teacher shortages but brought improvements to transportation and a sense of normalcy.

“Completely night and day different from where we were 12 months ago,” Liberty High School principal Derek Bellow said.

Bellow said students came onto campus with more confidence, Monday. Last year there were multiple classes of students entering a school for the first time, and a senior class that hadn’t been at the school since their sophomore year. At the same time many wondered if distance learning would return.

“A lot of time spent certainly in the first number of months last year getting every one back to the speed of face-to-face instruction,” Bellow said. “It’s completely different this year.”

Showing up to school was a better ride for most students than the 2021 school year. Last August there were more than 250 bus driver vacancies. This year it’s down to about 80.

Many school have different start times. The majority of buses arrived on time.

“This year it felt like it was a smoother return to school,” Nevada PTA president Rebecca Garcia said.

Garcia, who runs the Facebook page CCSD Parents said transportation and less unknown to start the school year made for an overall better start to the year, but many schools still facing serious teacher and support staff shortages weren’t completely ready for day one.

“There are still too many classrooms that are being covered by subs or teachers that might not be licensed in that particular field. We just have too many vacancies,” Garcia said.

Not all students were able to get to the classroom, Monday. Some were turned away due to issues over proof of residency. It led to long lines and frustrated parents. It impacted families with shared housing.

“The question comes back to why are we making it harder to register our most vulnerable kids?” Garcia said. “That just shouldn’t be the kids we’re putting up additional barriers to get registered.”

Although there is no vaccine or mask mandate, there are still quarantine rules and guidance in place when someone tests positive for COVID-19.