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The Smith Center and The Rogers Foundation announced that nominations are now open for their fourth-annual Heart of Education Awards, recognizing outstanding educators in Clark County School District (CCSD). Anyone can nominate a CCSD teacher through January 18, 2019 at

This awards program honors CCSD teachers across all grades and curricula who go above and beyond for their students, such as launching valuable new programs and devoting time outside the classroom to support students in need.

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On Nov. 28, Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara recognized the principals of 62 Clark County schools (including two CSSD-sponsored charter schools) as part of the 2018-2019 Superintendent’s Honor Roll. Click here to see the list of schools and principal names.

At the celebration event, hosted by The Public Education Foundation, the principals each received a certificate of achievement, commemorative pink and a vinyl banner to display at their school site.

Please join the Superintendent in congratulating the leadership and staff at these schools for their accomplishments in receiving this special honor.

Student Farmers Market Set for Thursday, November 8

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Green our Planet will present its Biannual Student Farmers Market on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas. Billed as the largest student market in the U.S., this free event will feature 400 students from 40 schools in Southern Nevada. The market is held every fall and spring. Students run the market themselves, selling fruits and vegetables that are grown in school gardens.

Educators Invited to Take Part in Tech Innovator Symposium on November 3

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CUE-NV and the CCSD BlendED Team will present the Silver State Tech Innovator Symposium on Saturday, November 3, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Cimarron-Memorial High School. The theme is Enriching Digital Learning. Educators can register for the symposium at If you have any questions, call (702) 799-0063, ext. 4211, or email

Three CCSD Employee Associations Reach Tentative Agreements

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On Oct. 4, the Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of School Trustees and the leaders of three employee associations announced that employee compensation for the 2018-19 school year has been settled with three more of the district’s employee groups.

Once all of the agreements are ratified and approved by the Board of School Trustees, CCSD’s Human Resources department will provide eligible employees with more information on the process and timing for each group’s compensation.

“This unprecedented effort allows for CCSD and its employee groups to put aside ongoing compensation negotiations, stabilize CCSD’s budget for the 2018-19 school year, and unite CCSD and its employee groups as we approach a critical legislative session,” Board of Trustees President Deanna Wright said.

“One of my main priorities as superintendent is to improve working relationships with all employee groups. I’m excited to join with the School Board of Trustees as we partner with all our employee unions to discuss funding for CCSD during the 2019 Legislative session to increase student achievement,” Superintendent Jesus F. Jara said. “This announcement ensures that we can move toward the legislative session as one team, with one goal — and that is to make CCSD the number one choice for students.”

Members of the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) ratified their proposed contract earlier this month, paving the way for a historic three-year contract between CCSD and its teachers.

Other contracts that will soon go to employee groups for ratification include:

  • Education Support Employees Association (ESEA) agreement would settle compensation for the 2018-19 school year and would provide support staff professionals with a one-time 3 percent payment for a total cost of approximately $11 million.
  • Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-Technical Employees (CCASAPE) agreement would settle compensation for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years and would provide administrators with a one-time 3 percent payment for a total cost of approximately $4.1 million.
  • Police Administrator Association of the Clark County School District (PAA) agreement would settle contracts for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years by providing retroactive pay to the School Police administrators to align with increases provided to other CCSD administrators. It would also settle the 2017-18 and 2018-19 contracts by providing a one-time 3 percent payment to the seven School Police administrators for a total cost of approximately $390,000.

U.S. Department of Education Names Goolsby Elementary a National Blue Ribbon School

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Last week, the U.S. Department of Education designated John and Judy Goolsby Elementary School in the Clark County School District as a National Blue Ribbon School in the “Exemplary School Performance Category.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

The U.S. Department of Education selected only 349 schools in the country (including public and private) as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018. The award is based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Goolsby Elementary School, along with Roy Gomm Elementary School and Mount Rose K-8 School of Languages in the Washoe County School District, were identified by the Nevada Department of Education as being in the top 15 percent of state schools ranked by performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) reading and math scores.

The principal of Goolsby Elementary School, Kimberly Cunningham, said “our staff is so excited about this nomination. It shows the high levels of achievement that our students can reach. It takes a team of committed educators, parents, staff, and students to reach and achieve our goals.”

National Blue Ribbon Schools will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in November.

Fox 5’s Shining Star: See How Michael Thrower Gives Back to the Community

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Michael Thrower, a Clark County School District purchasing supervisor who also is a CCSD Police Services chaplain, recently was named a Fox 5 “Shining Star” for his volunteering that seeks to spiritually comfort those serving in law enforcement.

Thrower is founder of Adopt-A-Cop’s Nevada chapter, which assigns one prayer partner for every law enforcement officer in Nevada. “We want to bring them that comfort that could only be given to you by a spiritual life,” Thrower told Fox 5.

As the recipient as the Fox 5 Shining Star, which recognizes outstanding people in our community who go above and beyond, Thrower also receives $500 to continue his mission.

View the Fox 5 story profiling Thrower’s work with Adopt-A-Cop.

CCSD and Community Leaders Celebrate National School Lunch Week Oct. 15-19

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Clark County School District and other school districts across the country will celebrate National School Lunch Week from Oct. 15-19. National School Lunch Week is an opportunity to promote the importance of healthy, enjoyable meals in the education of students.

As part of CCSD’s observation of National School Lunch Week, the School District is inviting government, business and community leaders to eat lunch with CCSD students.

To get an appreciation of the magnitude of CCSD Food Service Department’s responsibility, the department served over 46 million meals to students in the previous school year.

And, to put this number into an everyday context, during the 2017-18 school year, the average daily meal counts were:

  •         96,382 breakfasts
  •         165,578 lunches
  •         1,735 suppers


The National School Lunch Program, the largest of the federal child nutrition programs, was signed into law in 1946 by President Harry Truman. The national School Nutrition Association estimates that 30 million students enjoy healthy lunches every school day in the country.

The availability of nutritious meals, especially for students who come from economically vulnerable backgrounds, is critical. For the 2017-18 school year, 63.84 percent of CCSD’s students qualified for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.

25 CCSD Schools Named Shining Stars

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Twenty-five Clark County School District (CCSD) schools have been recognized as Shining Stars Schools by the Nevada Department of Education (NDE).

A Shining Stars School is a high-performing school serving a high percentage of students in poverty. A high-performing school is one that achieved a 4- or 5-Star rating on the most recent Nevada School Performance Framework.

An elementary or middle school serving a high percentage of students in poverty has at least 75 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (FRL). For high schools, the cutoff is at least 50 percent of students eligible for FRL.

“One of our core beliefs is that all students can succeed, regardless of their background and challenges,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara.

“These Shining Stars Schools demonstrate to our community that, with the right supports and dedication to rigor, every child can thrive in our traditional public schools,” Dr. Jara said. “I hope the community joins me in celebrating the success of these schools, including their students, teachers, support professionals, and principals.”

One of the 25 CCSD Shining Stars Schools was Helen M. Smith Elementary School, whose school’s student population has 100 percent eligibility for FRL. In this year’s Nevada School Performance Framework assessment, the elementary School was designated a 5-Star School.

“We appreciate the ‘Shining Stars’ designation because it validates all of the hard work and the many sacrifices that the teachers and support professionals make to educate the students,” said Robert Hinchliffe, principal of Helen M. Smith Elementary School. “They are the individuals who made this happen and I am fortunate to get to work alongside them as they lead the students to success.”

Statewide Smarter Balanced assessment data for elementary and middle schools show that students qualifying for FRL have a proficiency rate approximately 10 percentage points below the average for all students. The majority of elementary and middle school Shining Stars outperformed the state average in math and reading, some by as much as 27 percentage points in math and 21 percentage points in English Language Arts.

This year’s CCSD Shining Stars Schools include 17 elementary schools, two middle schools and six high schools.

This is the third year that NDE has published a Shining Stars Schools list. Following is this year’s complete list of CCSD schools meriting this distinction:

CCSD Shining Stars – Elementary Schools

  • James H. Bilbray
  • Blue Diamond
  • Marion E. Cahlan
  • Crestwood
  • Ruben P. Diaz
  • Pat Diskin
  • Doris French
  • James I. Gibson
  • Addeliar D. Guy
  • Fay Herron
  • Mabel Hoggard Math and Science Magnet
  • Martha P. King
  • Estes McDoniel
  • Lewis E. Rowe
  • Helen Marie Smith
  • Joseph E. Thiriot
  • Louis Wiener Jr.


CCSD Shining Stars – Middle Schools

  • Indian Springs
  • Odyssey (CCSD sponsored charter school)


CCSD Shining Stars – High Schools

  • East Career and Technical Academy
  • Rancho
  • Sandy Valley
  • Southeast Career and Technical Academy
  • Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy
  • West Prep Academy