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School district unveils plan to boost campus safety

The Clark County School District has unveiled a plan to help with school safety, which is bringing a new position to Boulder City High School.

At the board meeting Tuesday, June 27, Superintendent Jesus Jara said the district will be creating two employee positions: a student success coordinator and a student success project facilitator. They will focus on students’ behavior issues, discipline and teacher evaluations.

The announcement follows the district’s recent decision to eliminate all 170 dean positions at middle and high schools to help close an estimated $17 million budget deficit for the upcoming school year. Deans handle matters including discipline, attendance and teacher evaluations.

“Our dean was eliminated, but Boulder City High School is receiving an additional administrative position, (a) student success coordinator,” Principal Amy Wagner said.

The coordinator will oversee teachers and address bullying concerns.

The other position, a student success project facilitator, is a licensed position that will provide preventative help and intervention for students and help finding the cause of behavior issues.

“The tough decision to eliminate the dean positions resulted in a $17 million savings in the district’s general fund,” wrote Bryan Callahan, public information specialist for the school district, in an email. “To address concerns about the impacts of the cut, the district has created the positions as an option for schools. Each school has the choice to add the positions and fund the salaries through their strategic budgets.”

According to Callahan, through this reorganization there is an additional $25 million to $30 million in rollover money for the schools that is not part of the district’s general fund.

“That money is the result of savings realized at each school by not filling vacant teaching positions in the 2018-19 school year,” he said.

Wagner said nothing from the school will need to be cut to pay for the new position.

According to the job posting for the student success coordinator position, its salary range is $66,418-$89,001 plus benefits. Callahan said the salary range for a secondary school dean was $72,900-$114,000 plus benefits.

The district also plans to increase the number of resource officers at high schools from one to two and add four K-9 officers throughout the district to detect firearms.

Wagner said she did not know yet if the high school would be getting another resource officer.

The high school was the only school in town affected by the elimination, as Garrett Junior High School does not have a dean.

On June 20, the Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-Technical Employees, which represents the deans, filed a lawsuit in District Court alleging the School Board violated state open meeting laws, rendering the decision null and void.

Despite the lawsuit, Jara and the board are moving forward with the new security measures. Also, the board is waiting for the total amount of safety funding from the state that could help schools.

To help offset its budget deficit, the district also plans to cut approximately $7.4 million from the central office; $1 million from the college, career, equity and school choice division; $6 million from the curriculum, instruction and assessment unit; and $300,000 in legal services.

Las Vegas Review-Journal Reporter Amelia Pak-Harvey contributed to this story.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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