The everyday barriers facing K-12 students in Southern Nevada make it impossible to guarantee every child will be able to adapt to distance learning through the coronavirus crisis, warned the head of Clark County School District Monday.
CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara made the sobering comments to School Board trustees during an emergency meeting Monday morning. He said efforts to continue education during the state-mandated closures — scheduled to last until April 16 — are already in effect and will continue. However, the challenges related to technology and additional resources needed by students make it all but impossible to “guarantee” that students will be able to learn.
One-third of the district’s 320,000 students would be unable to access an online classroom from their homes, said Jara. Many lack a home computer or the internet.
Many students in the district require special accommodations because they are English Language Learners or have Individualized Education Plans. Those present additional barriers.
On Friday, Gov. Steve Sisolak issued an executive order directing all school districts and independent charter schools to submit plans for how they will guarantee education through distance learning by Monday. Sixteen of the state’s 17 school districts — and all of its independent charters — submitted plans and have been approved.
CCSD is the lone holdout.
It also represents the majority of K-12 students in the state.
Jara said he wants to change the wording of their commitment to state the district will make every attempt but may not be able to, given the significant technological challenges faced by students and their families. The district is exploring other low-tech options, including printing out weekly packets for students to complete.