CCSD is Ready to Succeed

Below is a preview of Nevada Succeeds’ 4-part vision for improving the Clark County School District:

The Clark County School District, led by its Board of Trustees, has the opportunity and capacity to become an exemplary school district for our country. In order for CCSD to raise student achievement to the highest levels, we believe that the community must come to agreement on what success means and how it can be realized. It is with this intention that the leaders of various groups committed to improving student achievement have come together as a coalition of interested citizens to offer the following vision, goals, and measurable outcomes for your consideration.

We come to you as partners, not antagonists, in this process. This vision is meant to complement the vision of Superintendent Skorkowsky and the Board of Trustees in moving student achievement forward in CCSD. We aim to work with you at every step of the process to help you in implementing this vision for success in CCSD.

Knowing that the most significant predictors of student achievement are parental involvement, teacher quality, and principal effectiveness, and that literacy is the foundation for all academic success, we have created goals that identify literacy as the lynchpin that connects student achievement for all 312,000 of CCSD’s students to 357 strong principal leaders, 18,000 great teacher practitioners, and the cultural support necessary for parental/community engagement that will lead to student success.

Goal 1 – Literacy First for all 312,000 CCSD Students!

Academic English acquisition is absolutely necessary for every child. It is the obligation of CCSD to teach every child to read by the end of 3rd grade. The district should do everything possible to encourage parents to begin reading to their kids from a young age in order to prepare them to enter the school system. Once in the school system, each school must instruct its teachers to come up with a data-driven individualized plan to ensure that every student is reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade. By achieving reading proficiency by 3rd grade, all students will have the necessary foundation to succeed in all academic subjects.

This goal will be measured by tracked individual student progress on the CRT/SBAC Exams in grades 3-8. Before 3rd grade, we will use results from the core phonics test along with the Discovery assessments that are already given by CCSD.

Goal 2 – 357 Strong Principal Leaders

Successful schools have great leaders who inspire their teachers on a daily basis, engage parents and the community, and can connect with students. CCSD Principals should view themselves as the owners of their schools. CCSD must develop a hiring, training and retaining strategy that will result in every CCSD school being led by a great principal. This “principal pipeline” should ideally be developed locally and reflect the student population. It should also strive to recruit visionary academic zone leaders from the principal ranks that know quality academic instruction and provide leadership support and development for their principals. Great academic zone leaders and principals will use data constantly to improve the quality of their schools.

For this program to be successful, the principal pipeline must be developed to meet the needs of CCSD along with the implementation of flexible budgets so each principal can make the proper financial decisions for their building. Once these measures are taken into account, principals will be evaluated using the school performance framework and other qualitative educator effectiveness measures.

Goal 3 – 18,000 Great Teacher Practitioners

Teachers are the heart of the education system. Currently, our system is not structured to allow all teachers to thrive. CCSD must develop a hiring, training and retaining system that ensures that every child is in front of a great teacher at all times. An excellent system will be built around high expectations of every teacher from their first year to their last. This system will support all teachers in their daily progress towards becoming great teachers.  Professional development would be embedded in the system for timely access to relevant methods, information and support. Finally, an excellent system would provide incentives (both financial and autonomous) for great teachers to stay in the classroom and a work environment that facilitates great teaching.

The implementation of the mentorship system at CCSD will be key for the success of all new and developing teachers. As the Teacher Performance Framework is put into place, that system will be used to evaluate teachers to ensure that all teachers are improving student achievement on an annual basis.

Goal 4 – A Culture of Success

For our schools to be excellent, there must be a culture of ownership, promise, and success. This culture of success must be established by our community with high expectations. Strong principal leaders will engage families and community partners to create a school environment where people from all backgrounds are welcome. There will be high expectations for every student and a culture that values data to track the progress of every student to meet those high expectations. Additionally, every employee in CCSD, including central office staff, will be evaluated in terms of how they directly contribute to student achievement.

This cultural shift will be measured by; high school graduation rates; applications and admissions to 4-year colleges without remediation, the number of students taking and passing AP exams, the number of students taking and scoring well on the SAT and ACT, and the number of students showing substantial progress from year to year on SBAC. The mindset of attending college and being ready for the workforce will be key for all students in CCSD at every grade level.
By putting literacy first, ensuring that all schools have strong principal leaders filled with great teacher practitioners, and establishing a culture of success, CCSD will be ready to succeed. Through our measurable goals, we can track the implementation and corresponding results in student achievement in the coming years.