Schools Info

Two More CCSD Schools Recognized as Nationally Certified Magnet Schools

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The Clark County School District (CCSD) continues to be recognized for having some of the best Magnet Schools in the country as they excel and are honored for their efforts by the national Magnet Schools of America (MSA) organization.

“Earlier this year, our schools received 26 awards from Magnet Schools of America, and now in addition to those honors, I am pleased to announce that two more of our schools have been named Nationally Certified Magnet Schools,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “Our Magnet Schools continue to excel and provide the best choice for students in Clark County. This is what making CCSD number one for kids means, providing options for our students so they can achieve their goals and their desired outcomes.”

The two new nationally certified schools are K.O. Knudson Academy of Creative Arts and Technology and Jim Bridger STEAM Academy. Those schools join seven other CCSD schools in achieving nationally certified status from the MSA.

“This is a huge honor for the schools that serve as a national model for what a successful Magnet School should look like,” said CCSD Magnet Schools and Career and Technical Academies Director Gia Moore. “We are very proud of the success of our programs and we are continuing to serve as a model for other schools and districts around the nation. This has been made possible by the support of our Board of School Trustees, administration and the staff and students at each of the schools.”

CCSD added four new schools to its lineup of Magnet Schools for the 2018-19 school year. It now has 40 schools with Magnet programs. The MSA nationally certified program began last year and of the 76 schools nationwide who have achieved this status, nine of those are CCSD schools.

“The certification process recognizes the highest quality schools in public education. Nationally certified Magnet Schools illustrate and emulate rigorous theme-based curriculum, ensure diverse settings in which students thrive and are prepared for college and career,” said Kelly Bucherie, Director for Magnet School Leadership, Magnet Schools of America.

The national certification process is based on the Standards of Excellence and the five pillars of Magnet Schools: diversity, innovative curriculum and professional development, academic excellence, high-quality instructional systems, and family and community partnerships. Together, these qualities define the common elements of exemplary magnet programs.

To become nationally certified, each school submitted a detailed application and participated in a rigorous evaluation conducted by the National Institute for Magnet School Leadership.

The application process required the school to submit evidence demonstrating how it meets each of the multiple indicators within the Standards of Excellence. This included providing specific examples of how the school is promoting school diversity, closing the achievement gap, integrating a theme-based curriculum throughout the school day, and encouraging parent and community involvement.

To learn more about the Magnet and Career and Technical Education programs in the Clark County School District, visit

CCSD Kicks Off New School Year

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Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet event where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome, via red carpet. As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the event also included a surprise for Principal Alaina Criner: Local philanthropist Robert Ellis presented the school with a $10,000 donation, adding Kelly to his roster of adopted schools.

Crestwood Elementary School celebrated the opening of its new 22-classroom building to replace portable classrooms on the campus. The principal and assistant principal dressed up in butterfly attire in connection with the school’s motivational theme based on the “butterfly effect.” A total of 19 CCSD schools will open new classroom additions for the 2018-19 school year to alleviate overcrowding.

Dennis Ortwein Elementary School’s namesake sang a song and officiated at the ribbon-cutting for one of the district’s four new schools that opened in the 2018-19 school year.

An event at Chaparral High School highlighted the partnership of CCSD and JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) of Nevada. At Chaparral, combined efforts have increased the school’s graduation rate and improved student’s job readiness skills.

As KTNV reported, Roger D. Gehring Academy of Science and Technology, one of three new Magnet Schools, put the spotlight on its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program. The school’s new name was unveiled during a special ceremony.

At Becker Middle School, students learned about SafeVoice, a statewide, anonymous reporting system that can be used by students, parents and others to report threats to the safety or well-being of students.

Gov. Brian Sandoval was among the special guests as Tesla representatives and education leaders from across the state gathered at Cimarron-Memorial High School to reveal new robotics opportunities that will be available to a number of students, teachers and organizations throughout the state in the new school year. As the Nevada Independent reported, “Last month, Tesla unveiled $1.5 million in grant money as part of the electric carmaker’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in Nevada.” KLAS also reported on the Cimarron-Memorial event.

Members of the Board of School Trustees, as well as Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara, took part in many of the day’s events.

Nominate a School Counselor for Nevada State School Counselor of the Year

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Nevada School Counselors Association seeks to recognize a Nevada school counselor who follows best practices in his/her comprehensive school-counseling program.

Nominate a school counselor that is deserving of being recognized as the Nevada State School Counselor of the year. Not only will they be recognized in Nevada, but will have the opportunity to be recognized by ASCA in Washington, D.C. with fellow School Counselors of the Year recipients from across the country.

Nominations are due by Aug. 22, 2018.

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremonies Held for Three New CCSD Elementary Schools

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Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held at three new CCSD schools on Friday:

Robert and Sandy Ellis Elementary School
Kenneth Divich Elementary School
Shirley A. Barber Elementary School

A fourth new school, Dennis Ortwein Elementary School, also will open for 2018-19, with a ribbon-cutting set for Monday.

The addition of these four new schools brings the total number of CCSD schools to 360 for the 2018-19 school year.

Congratulations to the 2018 Summer Commencement Graduates!

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CCSD hosted its 2018 Summer Commencement ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of approximately 400 students from 38 CCSD high schools throughout the valley, who remained dedicated to earning a high school diploma.

The students wore their cap and gowns representing their school’s colors, creating a 2018 summer class full of school pride from all over the district. The students participating in the ceremony chose to work through the summer to complete needed course credits and earn their diploma.

Centennial High School Student Daniel Grimm Publishes His First Book

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Centennial High School student Daniel J. Grimm has published “Team Triassic… Beginnings,” the first of a six-book series from Balboa Press that follows the adventures of Las Vegas teens who appear normal, but they are unique genetic hybrids who can morph into dinosaurs. With his grandmother serving as collaborator and editor, Grimm writes daily, while juggling the demands of high school and his active participation in school plays and community theater.

CCSD Continues to See Gains in Advanced Placement Pass Rate

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An increased effort to have Clark County School District (CCSD) students take and pass Advanced Placement (AP) courses is paying off, according to preliminary data from the 2017-18 school year.

Districtwide, there were more than 24,600 AP exams administered to 14,064 students during the 2017-18 school year. The pass rate was 49.5 percent, which is an increase of 2.3 percent from the 2016-17 school year.

In addition to the increase in the pass rate, the district also saw increased pass rates among all of its subgroups. The gains from 2016-17 to 2017-18 by subgroups consisted of:

  • American Indian or Alaska native – 2.4 percent increase
  • Black or African-American – 2.8 percent increase
  • Hispanic or Latino – 1.6 percent increase
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander – 6.6 percent increase
  • Two or more races, non-Hispanic – 3.0 percent increase
  • Low-income/fee reductions – 2.7 percent increase


“I am pleased to see that CCSD students are accepting the challenge of taking college-level courses and passing their Advanced Placement exams,” said Superintendent Jesus F. Jara. “We are especially encouraged to see the gains in the pass rate by our underrepresented students. Our students are accelerating in college-level material, and this means more students are graduating college and career ready.”