Say goodbye to those lazy days of summer. School’s back in session, kids.
More than 320,000 Clark County children are flooding into 356 schools — six of them new — for the start of the 2017-18 academic year.
The new schools, which add 6,000 seats to the district’s capacity, will help alleviate overcrowding in the nation’s fifth-largest school district. But new schools aren’t the only changes this year.
Before we get to those, police are reminding commuters to slow down and watch out for children on the roads. The district runs 1,600 bus routes a day, so you’ll want to be especially cautious around those big yellow buses. Parents also should remind their kids to look both ways and cross in designated areas.
Now, without further ado, here are some new initiatives and key figures to know:
— Schools will operate under an empowerment model for the first time this year, after a 2015 state law mandating a reorganization was solidified during the last legislative session. While many are optimistic the model may lift student achievement, concerns linger.
— Looking for a job? The district is still looking for 400 teachers, with 140 of those in the special education department. That’s despite hiring more than 80 special education teachers from the Philippines.
— As students bury their heads in their books, district officials still have their heads in the books, too, working to close a $45 million budget deficit. It’s unclear right now whether closing the deficit will mean cutting teachers.
— The new year ushers in a new year of accountability as well. A new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, is a change from the previous nationwide mandate. Nevada plans to become the fastest-improving state in the nation by focusing on raising ACT scores and graduation rates and adding resources for English language learners. Nevada was among the first states to have its plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
— In the next few weeks,…