Home>702Times>Unexpected Teacher Shortages Prompt Cancellations at Two Clark County School District Campuses

Clark County School District Administration building. (Photo: Flickr)

Unexpected Teacher Shortages Prompt Cancellations at Two Clark County School District Campuses

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, September 8, 2023 11:45 am

LAS VEGAS – Two Clark County School District (CCSD) campuses had to cancel classes on Friday due to unforeseen teacher shortages, which came as a surprise. Sewell Elementary School located in Henderson and Givens Elementary School situated in Summerlin had to send notifications to parents, announcing the temporary closures.

The exact cause of these staffing issues remains unclear, but they mark the fourth instance within the past week where certain campuses have faced similar problems. Earlier in the week, Gibson Elementary School in Henderson had to close its doors, while Southeast Career Technical Academy and Monaco Middle School each experienced one day where some students were relocated to larger areas on campus to manage the situation.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reached out to the school district to gather information about the number of employee absences and the availability of substitute teachers for the affected schools. However, as of now, there has been no response from the district.

The district released a statement earlier this week regarding the Gibson closure, emphasizing that CCSD students should not be used as bargaining leverage by the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) or its members. Union officials have also clarified that the recent staffing shortages are unrelated to any union actions amid contentious collective bargaining.

Both messages sent to parents on Friday at Sewell and Givens urged them not to send their children to campus for the day, explaining that there was an unexpected shortage of licensed staff and teachers, necessitating the decision to cancel school. The messages expressed gratitude for understanding and apologized for the inconvenience.

It’s important to note that there will be no school on Monday for all district students due to a staff development day. To address the immediate childcare needs of affected families, the city of Las Vegas is providing childcare services at the Veterans Memorial Community Center, where approximately 20 children were already in attendance as of 10 a.m. Meanwhile, the city of Henderson is offering its “Battle Born Kids” program at the Silver Springs Recreation Center for parents requiring childcare due to these unexpected school closures.

The teacher shortage issue is not new for the district, with over 1,000 positions listed on its hiring website. In recent years, staffing shortages have led to school closures or the consolidation of classes in larger spaces, such as auditoriums, creating challenges for both educators and students. One notable instance was the “five-day pause” in January 2022 when all CCSD campuses experienced closures due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and severe staffing shortages.

Credits: Review Journal

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