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CCSD battles overcrowding, teacher vacancies on first day of school

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CCSD battles overcrowding, teacher vacancies on first day of school

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Aug 25, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Classrooms were packed for the first day of school in the Clark County School District.

The district estimates enrollment for the upcoming school year will hit 320,000 students, which would be a record, said chief of staff Kirsten Searer.

Students at ten schools began year round schooling on Monday to help ease overcrowded classrooms; 13 schools in the district are now year round. 

The district said its elementary schools are roughly 17 percent over capacity. The biggest growth is taking place in the southwest part of the valley.

"If I had the money, I would be building elementary schools right and left right now just so that I could eliminate the overcrowded areas," said superintendent Pat Skorkowsky.

Skorkowsky said the school board will likely look at unique options in September to free up space, including blended learning. The concept allows students to take some classes on a computer from home.

"I think anything's on the table right now," Skorkowsky said.

The board of trustees are also likely to consider a bond measure for 2016 to build new schools. 

"If the growth continues, sooner or later we're going to need to build more schools," said trustee Carolyn Edwards. 

The district also needs to hire at least 550 new teachers for the current school year. Long-term substitutes who underwent special training are covering many of those classrooms.

The district had about 170 open teacher positions around this time last year. Searer said about 150 teachers retired in August, adding to the shortage.

"We're still hiring teachers so we're still going to continue to try and fill every position in the district," Skorkowsky said.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.