LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Just three days before the start of school and the yellow buses were already rolling around town. But today there weren't kids on the bus, but teachers from 14 schools across the valley getting a little extra funding.
The back-to-school orientation sounded more like a pep rally as teachers prepared to take part of what could be a historic academic program in Clark County.
The program is focused on kids in schools with high percentages of English Language Learners, called “zoom schools.” these 14 Clark County schools will be expanding kindergarten to full-day with smaller classes, opening reading skills centers, and offering free pre-k programs.
Angela Hamilton is a pre-k teacher at Paradise Elementary who will have many students who don't speak English.
“The thing that they need is language,” Hamilton said. “They need vocabulary, so I’m hoping, when they come out of pre-k, I’m hoping they are going to be able to have a conversation in English.
But the program isn’t cheap. The school district has 40 million dollars to split 14 ways for the project. But according to Danielle Miller, the academic manager for the zoom schools, the program could have benefits that go way beyond the classroom.
“I think that's going to bring more businesses in here,” Miller said. “I think it will give us the chance to really have a workforce that can make a difference.”