Grantee Corner  |  Clark County School District

Two female students sit at laptops and wear headphones
Roger D. Gehring Academy of Science and Technology fourth grade students use blended learning during reading instruction

A female student leans over a desk with a notebook and a paper plate of mealworms on it
Roger D. Gehring Academy of Science and Technology second grade students investigate mealworms

A female student and a male student wearing goggles look at the inside of a computer
Roger D. Gehring Academy of Science and Technology students explore the internal parts of a computer

Male students gather around two small robots on the floor moving blocks
Lied STEM Academy students conduct a team robotics competition in the classroom

Three women stand in front of a staircase
CCSD’s MSAP Team: Nancy West, Gia Moore, Rachel Reid

Headshot of Gia Moore
Gia Moore, CCSD Project Director

Established in 1956, Clark County School District (CCSD) is now the fifth largest school district in the country, serving more than 320,000 students—nearly 75 percent of all students in Nevada. The district has 358 schools, which include 11 elementary, 12 middle, and 17 high school magnet programs. CCSD is a majority minority student district.

The CCSD magnet program began in 1993, when the district opened three magnet schools to attract children of varied socioeconomic backgrounds, races and ethnicities, and academic achievement levels. During the 25 years since, CCSD magnet schools have, on average, outperformed traditional public schools, and have grown in number from 3 to 45. Because of the magnet programs’ success, the demand for magnet schools has continually exceeded the availability. CCSD is able to better meet that demand thanks to its new Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant. 

CCSD’s MSAP project includes two middle schools and one elementary school, all of which have a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instructional focus; each school has a specific theme within STEM. Schools engage in professional development partnerships with Project Lead the Way, Buck Institute, and the CCSD Blended-Learning Department to help the MSAP schools build strong foundations. Other community partners, including Desert Research Institute; Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance; and the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology, work with family and community stakeholders by serving on advisory boards, providing expert guidance on curriculum, mentoring students, and offering students real-world opportunities and experiences related to the magnet themes.

Another partner, the Roger D. Gehring Academy of Science and Technology (Gehring), helps the schools engage students in an academically rigorous curriculum. Gehring’s nationally known Project Lead the Way Launch program empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mind-set through compelling activities, projects, and problems that build on one another and relate to the world around them. Gehring students participate in interdisciplinary, hands-on projects in school-created community gardens, tortoise habitat, science and engineering labs, and technology and media rooms. One-to-one technology provides a blended and personalized learning experience that extends far beyond the walls of the classroom.

Students attending Lied STEM Academy actively engage in regular interdisciplinary projects designed with a STEM focus and a foundation in Project Lead the Way. All Lied STEM Academy students are introduced to robotics, architecture, computer science, a second language, and a visual/performing art. Students can further develop and enhance their skills in areas of interest and showcase their accomplishments through capstone projects that connect their learning to community issues.

Students in the i3 Learn Academy at Mike O’Callaghan Middle School are immersed in STEM activities and lessons in a flexible, technology-rich, blended-learning environment that enables personalized learning. Students begin with an exploration course in computer science, video game technology, web design, and video production. At the end of sixth grade, students select a focus area and can develop their chosen interest in grades seven and eight. As students advance through the program, they can choose electives that advance their knowledge in all core areas and their chosen area of study.

Gia Moore, CCSD’s MSAP Project Director, has been an educator in the District since 2003. She has devoted her career to magnet education as a teacher and as a building and central office administrator. She has been the Director of the Magnet Schools and Career and Technical Academies since 2014, and she serves as the Region VIII Director for Magnet Schools of America. Her team includes Rachel Reid, Coordinator, and Nancy West, Project Facilitator, who support Moore on the design and implementation of the CCSD MSAP project.