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The Clark County School District, as of 2005, is the fifth largest school district in the United States.It serves all of Clark County, Nevada, including the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, and Mesquite; plus the census-designated places of Laughlin, Blue Diamond, Logandale, Bunkerville, Goodsprings, Indian Springs, Mount Charleston, Moapa, Searchlight, and Sandy Valley. The district is divided into 7 Regions and, in addition to the general schools, it also operates 25 Alternative Schools and Programs. The district has limited involvement with charter schools and, with the exception of providing some bus service, does not have any involvement with the private schools in the county.


The Clark County School District began in 1956 when the Nevada Legislature mandated consolidation of all state school districts into 17 county school districts. This change meant that 14 separate school districts in Clark County would become part of the new Clark County School District.

R. Guild Gray stated before a Board of School Trustees meeting on February 1, 1956 that the district would be larger than political subdivision in the state of Nevada. R. Guild Gray, who was superintendent at the time of the former Clark County School Dist. No. 2, believed the district would be larger than the state highway department with 1,300 employees and an annual budget of $7,250,000.

Prior to 1956, each of the individual school districts in the county ran independent of each other, serving their respective cities and/or CDPs.

When the district began in 1956, enrollment was just over 20,000 and Clark County had about 103,000 residents. The district would continue to face challenges in the coming years. Funding was its biggest challenge and had been for many years as it contends with explosive population growth.

Due to the large number of families moving into the Las Vegas area, the school district saw tremendous growth in student enrollment from the 1990s through 2007. Several bond issues were approved by the voters to help the district deal with this growth. This has resulted in many new schools being constructed. In some years, as many as 16 schools have opened.

This resulted in a very high demand for teachers to staff the classrooms. As a result, the district had to be creative in finding teachers to hire including recruiting of teachers from other states and other countries.

Since 2008, the statewide recession has impacted the Clark County School District. The District has seen a reduction in the number of students, and is facing budgetary shortfalls .

To reduce construction costs, most schools are being built to standard designs. These designs are adapted to the various sites to deal with different topographies and site sizes. While most elementary schools are single story building, the district has built some demonstration schools using two story plans so that smaller sites could be used allowing schools to be located in built up areas that do not have space for a traditional single story design.

Many of the schools built during the 1970s and 1980s were built in circular designs. An example of this design is the one story, 9-month middle school, B. Mahlon Brown Junior High School in Henderson. These schools are usually with one directional hallways with several different "wings" with each hosting different subjects (e.i. 100's Language Arts, 200's Mathematics, 300's Science, etc.).

In order to deal with the rapid increase in students, some of the district elementary schools were on a 12 month schedule. At these schools, the student body is divided into 5 tracks. Four of the tracks are in school and the 5th is on a break. This allows the school to hold 33% more students without overcrowding. Tracks are assigned and some preference is given to families with children in middle or high school to be assigned to the track that most closely matches those schedules. Starting with the 2010-2011 school, all schools will be on a 9 month schedule.

The district also will add portable classrooms which are modular buildings at many schools to provide additional space for classes. These are not desirable solution since they usually reduce the outdoor play areas and parking.

The district has contracted with Edison Schools to operate several schools in an effort to improvement performance at these selected schools.


The College of Southern Nevada (the third largest community college in the United States by enrollment) is the main higher education facility in the city. Other institutions include the University of Nevada School of Medicine, with a campus in the city, and the for-profit private school Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Many educational opportunities exist around the city. These include University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Nevada State College run by the Nevada System of Higher Education, Desert Research Institute, The International Academy of Design & Technology Las Vegas, Touro University Nevada and the University of Southern Nevada.






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