This year Clark County School District implemented an ambitious plan to turnaround five of its worst performing schools. The schools are Western, Chaparral and Mojave high schools and Hancock and Elizondo elementary schools. The plan included radical changes in the classroom and curriculum as well as the replacement of many teachers, administrators and staff. Has it succeeded? We talk with two principals from turnaround schools about their first year and the challenges they face.
Western High School is one of Clark County School District's five turnaround schools. Western High is mostly Hispanic and located in a working class neighborhood with many English language learners. For years the school has struggled with academic achievement. With increased federal funding this year Principal, Neddy Alvarez wants the school's engineering and technology programs to be emphasized, but, it's a tough road for Alvarez and her students where dropout rates have been a problem.
Mojave High School is one of five Clark County campuses designated as a "turnaround school." This means a large part of the teaching and administrative staff was replaced over the summer and an entirely new curriculum is now in place. Antonio Rael, the new principal at Mojave jumped at the opportunity to lead one of Clark County's poorest performing schools saying it's an opportunity to make serious changes in the district. Antonio Rael joins us to talk about how his turnaround efforts are doing.