LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Clark County School District will be providing a free, expanded summer school program at each of their schools starting in June, according to an email sent to teachers Thursday.

The Summer Acceleration Program, an optional program for prekindergarten through grade 12 students and teachers, is slated to operate five days a week, June 1 through June 30 for six-hour instructional days, according to the email.

“Summer opportunities will be provided at no cost for our students to accelerate their learning, support their social-emotional well-being, and promote their engagement with peers and adult educators,” wrote the district in a Google Doc survey sent out to teachers.

It will be provided in addition to CCSD’s traditional summer programs Extended School Year (ESY) and Secondary Summer School, at select high schools, according to the email.

“There are various opportunities for our licensed educators to work,” the district wrote.

Participating teachers will be compensated at their contracted hourly rate of pay, according to the email. On a typical year, teachers working in the summer would be paid a flat rate of $22 per hour. This is often lower than the amount teachers typically make during the schoolyear, particularly teachers with several years of experience.

The program will likely be made possible by Senate Bill 173, or “The Back On Track Act,” a bill that FOX5 previously told you about, which aims to curb pandemic-related “learning loss.”

The bill is currently gaining momentum in the legislature after lawmakers unanimously passed it out of the Senate on Wednesday.

If signed into law, it would allow districts across the state to apply for federal support from the American Rescue Plan to fund schooling for all students.

Second grade teacher Vicki Kreidel, who is also the president of NEA of Southern Nevada, said she supports the opportunity, as long as it remains an optional program.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Kreidel. “I volunteered to teach it.”

CCSD generic classroom

The email did not indicate if the summer program will be offered in person or virtually, but Kreidel said she’s hoping it’ll be her chance to get back into her classroom after a year of strictly distance learning.

“We’re going to be able to focus on the things that bring joy to the kids.”

To monitor interest, principals are currently collecting survey results from teachers until April 22.

On March 29, FOX5 conducted an informal social media survey on Facebook and Twitter, and of the several hundred CCSD parents who responded, roughly 60% said they would sign their child up for free, enhanced summer school if it was offered with bussing.

Kreidel said she is excited to get back in her classroom, after doing distance learning all year.

"A lot of educators I know, their partner or their spouse lost their job. So I think it's a good opportunity for people who have the time, who really want to use some extra money," said Kreidel.
 
She said many teachers need a break this summer, however, and added that it's important that the opportunity is optional for CCSD teachers.
 
"If it's volunteer, and people are doing it because they wanted to, I think it's a good thing," said Kreidel.
 
CCSD parent Rebecca Garcia, who is also the Nevada PTA president, said she plans to put two of her children in the free, expanded summer school.
 
"I think it's really important to give kids that additional catch-up time, but also the socialization," said Garcia.
 
But not all parents feel it's worth depriving kids of a much-needed break. Facebook user Dana Elizabeth wrote, "My kid needs it, but we need mental health more."
 
That's why Garcia feels it's imperative that administrators make the summer program interactive, social, and hands-on. After talking to school leaders, she said she's confident they'll take this opportunity to provide extracurriculars, clubs, and other types of dynamic learning.
 
"Just kind of talking to educators -- as well as talking to some administrators who have already kind of gotten their thinking caps on about what they're gonna do for their schools -- um, that, to me was really reassuring," said Garcia.

FOX5 reached out to CCSD’s communications office for confirmation of details, but they have yet to respond. 

A CCSD parent showed us an email from their principal saying transportation, meals, and the Safekey program will be provided during the summer offering. The principal's email also said students will not need to attend the entire month of summer school, and can pick and choose certain weeks.
 

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