First Day Of School in “Sin City”

My twins started second grade today.  With twin sister in one classroom and twin brother in a special education classroom, I’m confident I’ve done everything possible to make sure this school year is a good one.

I know that must sound like a given for most, but I have more challenges than just making sure they have the supplies they need and are in the right classroom.

Las Vegas is home to the fifth largest school district in the country and the second worst.  Out of 50 states, Clark County School District ranks 49.  And if that weren’t enough of a challenge for this parent, Nevada is one of two states in the country with no school for the blind.  Not too helpful if your son happens to be- blind.

I don’t want to sound like I’m just complaining.  We obviously made the choice to live in Las Vegas even if there have been numerous times I wanted to flee the state.

Basically, you have three choices as a parent of a school-aged child in Southern Nevada if you don’t want to home school.  And, I don’t want to home school.

First, you can send your children to private school.  Our girls attended private for preschool and kindergarten, and many like us agreed that the extra $7,000 to $10,000 per child a year was well worth it.

Now, with my husband being in an industry that has been hit the hardest with the recession, the additional $15,000-$20,000  per year isn’t our smartest move.  There is one private school on the furthest side of town that we would consider the financial stretch to be worth it, but we’re not sure the logistical stretch combined to be our best option.

A second choice would be to move.  When I found out there were no services for children who are blind and no school for the blind in Las Vegas I told my husband we were moving to another state like Phoenix or Utah.  Kevin, being a fourth-generation Nevadan and business owner said, “no, we’re going to stay and build one.”    That’s when Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation was born.  More on that to come.

And last, parents can choose to weather the Clark County School District.  And what a storm it was last year.  But out of that storm came a light, and that light was called “zone variance request approval”.  Because Connor was transferred to a more appropriate classroom in a school just a few miles away (after a long and heated battle with the school district), I was able to get his sisters transferred along with him.

And from what I can see this morning, that light is shining on smooth waters.


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  1. The Most Powerful Force In American Schools Today | Toni Spilsbury - October 10, 2012

    […] This year’s good fortune doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a taste of the fear and unpleasantness that can come when dealing with the school district as I wrote about last year in, “First Day of School in Sin City”. […]

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