Vegas teachers offered retention bonuses amid COVID-19 spike

January 14, 2022 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Schools in Las Vegas are responding to staffing shortages by offering retention bonuses of up to $2,000 for full-time employees who remain at work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Clark County School District board members also were briefed Thursday about a “test to stay” program that administrators plan to implement next Wednesday. That’s when in-person classes resume after a five-day “pause” that has schools closed Friday and Tuesday to bracket the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Of nearly 19,000 licensed staff members in Clark County, the nation’s fifth-largest school district, about 11.4% were absent at one point last week, or more than 2,100.

In Reno, a high school became the first to shut its doors Friday and temporarily return to distance learning.

Hug High planned to resume in-person learning on Tuesday, but district officials warned remote teaching may have to be implemented at other schools on a spot basis if hundreds of teachers continue to call out sick. More than 350 teachers were absent at one point this week.

In Carson City, administrators cancelled school Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with plans to resume classes on Tuesday.