LAS VEGAS -- Superintendent Dwight D. Jones today said three of Clark County School District’s most populated elementary schools will shift to a year-round schedule next year.
At the start of the 2013-14 school year in August, Robert L. Forbuss Elementary School, Carolyn S. Reedom Elementary School and William V. Wright Elementary School will move to a year-round schedule to ease overcrowding.
The nation’s fifth-largest school district saw an overall increase in enrollment this year. The three schools selected to convert to a year-round calendar were designed to house approximately 800 students each. Current enrollment at each school has ballooned to nearly 1,300 due to expanding housing developments in the surrounding communities.
Superintendent Jones acknowledged the decision was difficult but believes it is in the best interest of the families and communities impacted. District officials conducted extensive outreach to all three schools, including town hall forums and time for public comment at school board meetings.
“After hearing the concerns of the community and factoring those into our decision, going year-round at Forbuss, Reedom and Wright Elementary Schools is the best solution at the current time,” Jones said. “The majority of the parents who spoke out love their schools and want their kids to stay there. This decision also minimizes the impact that future rezoning will have on families throughout the District."
Jones continued, “Students thrive best when they’re in stable educational environments. We wanted to take great care not to move mass amounts of students from the only school they may have attended to a new environment.”
With growth in the southwest part of the valley expected to continue, the District had no choice but to act. Forthcoming housing developments in the area are expected to add additional students to all three schools in the coming years. If the three schools did not switch to a year-round model, the District would have undertaken a massive rezoning effort due to the failure of the Question 2 ballot initiative in the last election that would have provided money for the construction of new schools and renovation of older schools.
Superintendent Jones does not believe the three schools will be on year-round schedules indefinitely.
"We certainly recognize this is a short-term fix and we look forward to having a conversation with the community on a long-term solution to the growth we are seeing in the Southwest and in other areas around the county, he said."
The Board of School Trustees will take a look at rezoning at the next school board meeting Wednesday, March 6.