September 21, 2022

Moapa Valley community seeks greater autonomy for school maintenance

MOAPA VALLEY, Nev. (KTNV) — Air conditioning outages at schools in the Moapa Valley north of Las Vegas have upset parents. They say hot classrooms don’t create an environment conducive to learning.

“The last two days it’s been ‘My room is hot!’ and he seems to be concentrating on the fact that his room was warm.”

That’s the report parent Taylor Schumacher heard from his kindergarten son about his class at Perkins Elementary School in Moapa. It’s a problem that has also plagued Lyon Middle School in nearby Overton. Schumacher says area parents are frustrated with the Clark County School District’s slow response to broken air conditioners. Some ask why distance learning could not be done while repairs are underway.

“We have these Chromebooks, and we all have them. Why didn’t we have a choice? Why doesn’t the superintendent say these schools don’t keep up with the valley heat,” Schumacher said.

In a statement, the SDCC told Channel 13 in part:

“When issues arise, district staff work to resolve equipment and facility operation issues as quickly as possible. When issues arise, staff monitor temperatures inside buildings in accordance with established protocols to ensure the safety of students and staff.”

“If the teachers are hot and the parents call us, the principal must have enough authority or autonomy to make good judgments.”

Kenneth Paul, former principal of Lyon Middle School, says the remoteness of district central offices in Las Vegas can tie the hands of rural school administrators hungry for answers. He cites the example of a site engineer waiting for parts to arrive from Las Vegas.

“I can’t tell you how many times as principal I’ve said, go to the local hardware store, get what you need, and we’ll use whatever regular school funds we can use for this type of purchase. ” he said.

Paul says that while the district is in charge of maintenance like air conditioning units in schools in Moapa, he suggests transferring control of some decisions and operations to rural schools, a change that could lead to faster results. .

“I think that would be the thing that would help address the inefficiencies,” he said.

Schumacher agrees with Paul.

“I think principals should be able to make decisions for their schools and I think parents should be able to have their say,” she said.

parents say as some repairs were made to broken air conditioning units at schools in the Moapa Valley. Still, many plan to share their frustrations at the next school board meeting.