LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The first week of full time in person learning at Clark County School District elementary schools wrapped up Friday.

"The kids are excited. The parents are excited. It’s a renewed energy. I can see it," Marion Earl Elementary School Principal Belinda Schauer said.

57% of students returned to campus at the elementary school, and Schauer said they can still take more back.

The state only allows classrooms to reach 75% capacity. Most classrooms at Marion Earl can still fit between 15 to 25 students under those guidelines.

"We can virtually bring back every fourth and fifth grade student,” Schauer said. “The other classes are a little more, so we can’t bring every student back.”

The wait list is triggered when the state mandated 75% capacity is reached. Any parents that originally chose to have their child distance learning has to contact the school and request a change. Schauer said priority will be based on when parents make that request. Her school has not had to use the wait list.

"In the event we have a flood of calls, we keep a timestamp to ensure a fair process," the principal said.

There are other schools where students are left waiting for a spot to open up. PTA president Rebecca Garcia said she's hearing this is happening more with elementary schools, likely because is a stronger desire to return to the classroom five days a week.

"it's hard to understand how the process is working, because there's no clear understanding of how many kids are waitlisted district wide and why it’s been an issue,” Garcia said.

A parent of two students at Goynes Elementary School in North Las Vegas Told FOX5 one of her daughters was able to return this week, but her other child was on the wait list. After the mother continued to push for her daughter, who is in special education, to return she was notified Thursday that next week her daughter could begin in person learning.

Less than half of secondary education students have chosen to return for in person learning this spring. Superintendent Jesus Jara previously stated that secondary education students will remain in a hybrid model for the remainder of this school year.

Garcia said many high schools and middle schools have classes where only a few students are in person.

"Even if you can't expand to all kids 4 days a week, why can't kids who have the highest need be given the opportunity to be back four days a week?” Garcia said. “With such low numbers, why is the district not pushing as much as they can that those kids that need to be in the classroom the most have the opportunity."

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Students in Pre-Kindergarten through third grade that were enrolled in a cohort had priority to attend face-to-face instruction five days a week. Students in grades four and five that indicated in a fall survey that they wanted to return in person were given priority too.

Schauer said regardless of how many students have returned for face-to-face instruction, her school’s attendance still remains slightly over 97%.


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