A community forum held Thursday night presented more than two hours of information on the school district and its mission.
Experts discussed seven topics at three different stations. Attendees were placed into groups and given a wealth of information with 40 minutes set for each station. At the end of each station five minutes was allotted for questions from the residents.
School board President Ron Evans and Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon opened the forum, and Sheldon spoke about the mission statement.
“Everyone is always learning,” said Sheldon. “We will provide all students access to the best educational services. Effective teaching and learning requires cooperation and teamwork among parents, school district employees, and students to achieve maximum potential. Learning occurs at different speeds and can be measured in various ways. Safety, character, achievement and potential are important factors to consider when designing and delivering instructions.”
The groups included the following:
Kimi Melendy, director of Educational Services and Lisa Bliss, assessment coordinator, presented Academic Achievement/ Assessment.
They discussed how the district will align with the standards of Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) by next year. NSPF is incorporating performance on multiple measures of achievement: proficiency, growth and growth to standards, gaps in student group growth and growth to standard and college — and career — readiness indicators that, in addition to graduation rate, also include dropout rate and scores on national college — readiness assessments.
“The Nevada Academic Content Standards (NACS), also know as, Common Core which was adapted in 2010 is the road map for the students,” Melendy said.
She said that the curriculum is the process of taking and developing products, planning and teaching of course of studies that ensure students have what they need to become college and career ready.
Since adapting the NACS Melendy said math has been a great challenge for our students. She said they are working with teachers to develop strategies to help improve students performances to meet standards.
Melendy said educators use the academic growth and achievement data provided by Measurement of Academic Process testing to implement instruction focused specifically on students’ needs.
Michelle Richardson, who conducts technology professional development for the teachers, led the technology workshop.
She covered topics such as technology infrastructure within the district, technology use in the classrooms, and how Smart Boards are being used in the smart labs. She said high school, eight grade and elementary students have access to Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) resources and almost all classrooms within the district have a Smart Board.
Phyllys Dowd, director of business services, talked about budget/fiscal.
She said CCSD uses 13 different funds and discussed where the money for the district comes from and where it is spent.
“Salaries are 22 million and benefits are another 10 million, so between the two of them that’s 86 percent of our budget,” said Dowd.
Sue Chambers, director of federal programs, gave information on parent and community involvement.
She said having parents as supporters in their children’s lives as well as fellow students lives is important.
Chambers said CCSD utilizes six standards to include welcoming families to the school, create a family friendly atmosphere, provide opportunities for parents and family to volunteer at the school, respect all families and cultures at the school, remove economical obstacles for students to participate in school activities and ensure accessible programing for students with special needs.
Maintenance director Brian Byrd discussed facilities.
Residents received an overview of what all has been done with the bond money for school maintenance.
He said there are three main funds to maintain the renovation expenses to include the bond fund, the roll over bond and the capital projects.
He discussed the upgrades and repairs at at Northside Early Learning Center, Lahontan, Numa, and E.C. Best elementary, schools the middle school and the high school. “We’ve improved all of the schools and will continue to improve them until they’re finished, said Byrd.
Steve Russell, director of Transportation, discussed safety.
He said a safety plan was adopted to ensure the safety of employees, students and community members when visiting school properties.
“We’ve come up with the four E’s of security educate, engineering, enforcement and evaluation,” said Russell.
Russell said the district has developed the ‘See Something Say Something’ program. The program allows the students to notify a specific individual who will investigate the claim.
Engineering has occurred at Northside with the one entry-point access door. Parents have to be buzzed into NELC by one of three people.
Enforcement is holding people accountable for what they have done, said Russell. The final E is evaluation.
“We want to know how the district is doing and how we can improve it,” said Russell. The input from the parents, teachers, students and the community is greatly valued and asked for, he added.
Most responses from residents who participated in the forum have been positive.
Jennifer Christie, mother of three said, “I’m new to Fallon, but the level of commitment the school district shows towards improving the education our children are receiving is impressive. Community involvement is vital to successful education. I applaud the Churchill County School District’s efforts.”
“I have grand children coming through the school system and found this forum to be very informative. I feel reassured that my grand children are safe,” said resident Barbara Lewis.
Sheldon was pleased with the turn out and said the forum was a success.
“I think that our goal was to get a diverse group of people tonight so we could get our message out to them, for them to relay to their friends and family to create a networking web. I feel we have accomplished that.”