Friday, September 20, 2019

MOVING THE NEEDLE: At the halfway point, assessing our progress in Las Vegas education

December 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Community

At the halfway point, assessing our progress in Las Vegas education

BY DR. TIFFANY TYLER

Dr Tiffany Tyler

December marks a special time: the halfway point in the school calendar. It is a great time to reflect — and I encourage everyone in Las Vegas to consider all we have accomplished as a community and to check in on our intentions.

We can be proud to have elected new leadership at several levels of our education system — including a new superintendent and community college president. Moreover, we made the bold statement of voting in record numbers, which is a strong indication of engagement that can be followed by action.

As we approach the halfway point of the school calendar, we can see tangible examples of our community’s commitment to ensuring school safety, improving education outcomes and working across systems for the betterment of children and families. Tangible examples of this commitment include the Clark County School Justice Partnership, the Harbor, and a new level of transparency in school reporting.

With the advent of the Clark County School Justice Partnership, the Clark County School District, the Department of Juvenile Justice Services and others are working to end the “school to prison pipeline” in our community. Last month, the Department of Juvenile Justice Services celebrated the second anniversary of the Harbor — a youth assessment center that has provided free wraparound services to approximately 5,000 youth and families since its inception. Even more remarkably, the work has occurred with youth recidivism rate of less than 5%.

These efforts demonstrate that social transformation is possible when we link arms as a community to respond to big challenges. In this vein, I ask us to consider what more can be accomplished in the wake of several youth-involved shootings. Accordingly, let’s check in our intentions and ask whether we are realizing our vision for students and our community.

If we are not realizing that vision, may the new year begin with a fervent commitment to doing so. As we package gifts and place them under trees for the holiday season, let’s remember and commit to all the intangibles we can give to our students and our community — including gifts like hope, peace, love, compassion and empathy. And as we open those gifts, may we also commit to opening things like communication, access, and most importantly, our hearts.

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