CCSD School Board Continues to Delay Reopening Vote


Antonio Mosby

On November 12, the CCSD School Board planned to vote on whether or not students should return to in-person learning for the second semester of the school year.

Trustees did not have the chance to vote on the proposal to bring students back in early January because Superintendent Jesus Jara and School Board President Lola Brooks both decided to delay the vote.

Online learning through the district has been employed due to the risk of COVID-19 in schools. Jara said that the timing is not right to bring people back to school because of rising cases throughout Nevada.

Jara receives a weekly briefing on the pandemic from the Southern Nevada Health District. The data has shown that the test positivity rate is increasing at a significant rate. In fact, earlier last week, Governor Steve Sisolak required that Nevadans stay home to slow the spread of the virus.

“I’m never going to put staff and students in harm’s way,” explained Jara.

Dr. Fermin Leguen, the chief health officer of the Southern Nevada Health District, told trustees last month that the virus positivity rate should not be the only factor to consider when discussing a possible return. Other important factors to consider are the mental health of students at home and away from classmates, families struggling financially because parents have to stay home, and language barriers.

President Brooks sympathizes with families suffering without the essential school services they need to help their children.

“This decision is too important to rush,” she said.

Trustee Linda Young said that coming up with a plan to safely return more than 300,000 students and 40,000 employees is not a mission that can be resolved easily. With disagreement from both teacher unions and staff, being patient is the best decision.

“I appreciate the fact we took a little bit of time to pause,” she explained.

Wright believes the community is not containing the coronavirus and that she has a responsibility to schools safely.

“People are not wearing masks. People are not staying home,” she said.

Trustee Chris Garvey was the only board member who openly expressed frustration due to delaying the vote.

“I’m a little disappointed we’re not going to be making any decision tonight as a board,” Garvey said. “We have committed all of our children to be in isolation for the rest of the year.”