Clark County School District discussing later start times for high school students
School start times for Las Vegas high school students could be changing soon.
Remember back to when you were in school? Starting the school day later, and was always OUR suggestion, but no one listened! Well it might be happening here in Clark County – at least on one end of the school day.
School now starts at 7:20 a.m. Students, and some parents say it’ just too early. The American Academy of Pediatrics says, 8:30 a.m. is the best time for middle and high school students to give the right amount of sleep needed.
California was the first state to go with later school start times but other states like Alaska, New York, New Jersey and Tennessee are looking to follow.
Those in favor of a later start time say academic performance improves, along with better health, when kids get enough sleep. On the other hand, educators who are opposed to the later start time say there’s counterproductive domino effect of students sleeping later if they start later.
The majority of the board was in favor of the time change. Tim Hughes, a board member, said, “I’m not sure if mandating certain times makes sense but are there ways to incentivize the system? You should have multiple options, parents can’t afford transportation.”
During the meeting, members discussed the possible need for more bus drivers and teachers if the time change were to happen.
Vice President of the board Mark Newburn said the change of time really could be a good idea. “… I have calculus at 7 a.m. at Rancho High School and it was not a good experience.”
Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara attended the board meeting and told the board that the research is “very clear” but questions the logistics to make it a possibility for the nation’s fifth-largest school district.
Jara said, “When you think about it, it makes sense, but what do we do with our elementary schools? Who do we delay, who do we start earlier?”
The board plans to hold a future workshop to receive feedback and ideas from the state’s school superintendents along with the community to understand priorities for families.
What are your thoughts on this as a parent? As a student?
Next up – can we discus that national four day work week? I need to run for office…
Las Vegas Says "NO" To Puppy Mills!
On Tuesday The Clark County Commission unanimously approved an ordinance designed to reduce demand for puppy mills, which force captive dogs to produce multiple litters a year, for as long as a decade, often in horrible conditions that jeopardize the health of the mother and her babies.
Commissioner Michael Naft sponsored the ordinance, which will allow pet stores in unincorporated Clark County to sell only animals received from shelters and rescue organizations.
“Clark County is generally accustomed to being the leader on issues in the state,” Naft said, adding that in this case, the county is following the lead of some 400 municipalities that have adopted similar bans, including North Las Vegas and Reno. Pet store sales remain legal in Henderson and the City of Las Vegas, which approved a ban but repealed it in 2017. “I invite my colleagues in these cities yet to act, to consider a similar policy,” Naft said after the meeting.
The ordinance is intended to help stem overcrowding in shelters. Southern Nevada, like much of the nation, is in the midst of an animal overpopulation crisis. The Animal Foundation, is struggling to keep its doors open, yet you currently have to make an appointment to turn in a stray dog. As of the time of the Commission meeting, the next appointment is six weeks away.”
Speakers during the public comment portion of the meeting complained that pet stores are allowed to sell animals that have not been sterilized, further contributing to overpopulation. Rescues and shelters are prohibited from releasing animals that have not been spayed or neutered.
Naft said the ordinance is the “humane thing to do and the fiscally responsible thing to do,” noting the County spends $2.6 million a year on the Animal Foundation, the municipal shelter, and $3.7 million a year on its Animal Control Department. ”I think we need to, from a policy perspective, make sure that we’re not both funding the problem and funding the solution here.”
Pet store owners and their supporters suggest that shelter dogs are dangerous rejects and that only stores can provide healthy, purebred puppies, a notion dispelled by animal activists.
“Animal shelters, contrary to what the pet stores say, are not just filled with pitbulls and chihuahuas,” Lori Heeren, executive director of the Nevada Society for the Protection of Animals, told commissioners. “In the last month, NSPCA has taken in purebred Alaskan Huskies, German Shepherds, an English bulldog, a Maltese Scottish Terrier, a Chinese shar pei, a Doberman Pinscher, even a pug puppy and a French bulldog puppy – all given up by their owners. Sometimes these owners even give us the receipt from this puppy to show its value and usually the reason for surrendering the puppy is because they were not ready for it.”
“I understand that this will affect families’ livelihoods,” Heeren said of the ordinance. “But your pet store puppies are ending up in our shelter, and after pet stores have collected their checks, our small nonprofit has to fundraise to pay for them.”
“We need to unify instead of dividing and eliminating sources,” said pet store owner Joe Shamore, who argued that pet stores can’t be profitable without selling animals.
About 70% of U.S. households have at least one pet. Spending on pet products and services reached $123.6 billion last year – $1,480 per dog and $902 per cat, according to the American Pet Care Association. Large retailers such as PetSmart and Petco do not sell dogs and cats but work with rescues to find homes.
Naft thanked former Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, who attempted to pass a similar ordinance six years ago.
Something needed to be done, and I hope this new ordinance helps!
Here are just a handful of Animal rescue/adoption agencies in Las Vegas.