News | December 8, 2016

Sands Education Council Empowers Leaders in Clark County for Community Driven Schools

Group listening to presentation

Sands Education Council, a partnership comprised of Las Vegas Sands, The Public Education Foundation, Teach For America – Las Vegas Valley and Nevada Succeeds, announced at a press conference on November 30 its plan to aid in providing the necessary training to education leaders in preparation for the new reorganization of the Clark County School District (CCSD).

“The changes we will see will be big and small, but they will be extensive,” Pat Skorkowsky, Superintendent of the Clark County School District, said. “We will be successful because we have so many friends to help us through this transition. This is all about the students in the classroom, the teachers and the schools.”

Currently, there is a lack of funding in place to provide the necessary leadership training required. Given the immediate need, Las Vegas Sands announced it will fund the initial first phase of the training to The Public Education Foundation to serve as a catalyst for the Sands Education Council to provide CCSD with the essential training, avoiding any delays.

“This is a tremendous opportunity that has been in the making for a long time,” Stavan Corbett, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives of The Public Education Foundation, said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for professional development. We wanted something that could have the most impact because education is important to all of us in Nevada. Sands commitment in this is appreciated by so many.”

The reorganization will include the implementation of a site-based leadership school model, placing decision-making in the hands of the school’s teachers, parents, and principals, granting the school freedom to make decisions that were typically decided by CCSD’s central office. The model is designed to increase community engagement, efficiencies and student achievement. The Public Education Foundation, through its Leadership Institute, holds over a half decade of experience in developing the best and brightest district, school and community leaders.

“These are new ways of thinking where we can get the right message out there and focus on the students,” Katie Decker, 27 year veteran of CCSD and principal at Bracken, Long and Hollingsworth STEAM Academies, said. “There is a huge need for leadership development. It’s great to have a place they can learn.”

Sands Education Council identified training for the associate superintendents and principals as a crucial element. The objective of this training is to enable associate superintendents and principals to better recognize, develop and retain great teachers. As a result, local schools will be able to meet the needs of the community with the expectation that students in Clark County would get the very best education.

“I’m so thankful to Las Vegas Sands as I will be a direct recipient of the training,” Grant Hanevold, Assistant Chief Student Achievement Officer at CCSD, said. “There’s something really special that is about to happen. When you engage with students and the community to understand what they need, we can only become smarter together. This will ensure we have success in every school. I’m very optimistic about the future of CCSD.”

Sands Education Council is a public-private partnership of like-minded organizations focused on bringing awareness, continued attention and proposed solutions to challenges of teacher recruitment, development and retention faced by the Southern Nevada school system. Sands Education Council also works to address challenges facing the Clark County School District and to identify opportunities that bring about accountable, positive change, uniting best practices from the private business sector and the non-profit education sector to help improve education and make our community a better place to live.

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For interviews at the press conference, please watch the following: