Christine Kuklica

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August 19, 2014
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Concerned teachers address school board

The Churchill County School District’s first day of school was Monday but at Thursday’s school board meeting, a group of teachers voiced their complaints about conflicts that will disrupt teachers and students.

Coleen Meihack, a teacher at`E. C. Best Elementary School, said she is concerned about the upcoming school year.

“There was a position that was riffed in spring, a computer teacher … there is concern that there wasn’t a whole lot of thought put into that and I understand about the crunch,” Meihack said. “I sympathize about your job and the important decisions you all have to make and they’re not always very popular. The position that was cut will have a direct negative impact, I think, on E. C. Best.”

Meihack proceeded to address the trustees stating students are going to be disappointed when one of their favorite teachers doesn’t show up for school.

“I don’t see anything but problems with this particular schedule and it’s something that I would like to get out and to you to really think about it,” Meihack said. “The schedule change impacts the whole school at E. C. Best and most of Lahontan (elementary), so two schools will be impacted by this. Not only the teachers but number one, the students.”

The programs are getting watered down, Meihack said.

“For example, a class will be completed at 9:20 a.m. and then another class will be scheduled to come in at 9:20 a.m.. There’s no passing time for most of the classes during the day, which I guess that means we won’t get to go to the restroom since our classes will be back to back to back.”

Karen Wilhelm, a computer teacher for the district, said she has been working for the district for 21 years.

“I really enjoy teaching, it’s my dream job and this year it’s going to be challenging going back and forth from E. C. Best to Lahontan,” Wilhelm said. “Those schools are wonderful schools and the staff is terrific. My main concern is the students. The students are going to suffer because of the change and not being able to provide them with the computer skills that they really do need for our world today.”

Wilhelm said she isn’t concerned about commuting to the two schools. She stressed that her main concern is the students.

“I have a whole list of skills that should be taught, from first grade all the way to fifth grade,” Wilhelm said. “I have pages of things that I need to teach them, they need to know these things and I feel like I won’t be able to do that … I feel like the kids are going to suffer and that’s my main concern.”

Wilhelm said with the programs feeling watered down, she does not believe she’ll be able to do all that she needs to do. She said if the district could find some money for a part-time computer tech, she believes that would solve the problem with scheduling and providing quality education for children in Churchill County.

Although the board could not do anything about the issue, the women hope the trustees will look into finding a solution for the problem.

Other items the trustees approved or discussed include the following:

Approved a change order not to exceed the amount of $9,029.97 to Ferguson Construction for unforeseen conditions on the Churchill County High School restroom renovation project.

Approved a change order not to exceed the amount of $94,525.00 to Building Solutions, Inc. for unforeseen conditions on the E.C. Best Elementary School long building and library renovation project.

Approved a change order not to exceed the amount of $57,052.21 to Ferguson Construction for unforeseen conditions on the Northside Early Learning Center classroom renovation project.

Approved a change order not to exceed the amount of $6,627.722 to Ferguson Construction for unforeseen conditions on the Numa Elementary School main entrance remodel project.

Approved award of contract with Van Woert Bigotti Architects of Reno in the amount of $480,000 for design services for an auxiliary gymnasium at Churchill County High School.

No bids were made on CCHS construction house located at 462 Discovery Drive.

Approved to have a budget meeting the first part of January every year.

No motion to discuss policy regarding consecutive year declining ending fund balances.

Motion made and supported to keep the Gifted and Talented Education Program (GATE) program in its current format.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 19, 2014 06:19PM Published Aug 19, 2014 06:19PM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.