Schools and city promote collaboration
November 14, 2013
Melding the strategic plans of Carson City government and the city's school district won unanimous support from their governing boards and supporters in attendance Wednesday night.
A joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors and the school district Board of Trustees provided a forum not only for passage of the resolution to collaborate and forge forward with greater fusion in community and school working relationships, but also to showcase the $10 million Race to the Top grant progress and partnership efforts of various kinds.
"It takes a community to do all these things, and it takes a partnership," said Mayor Robert Crowell as the session began.
"Without education our children will not succeed," said Lynette Conrad, school board president.
Ben Contine, community engagement coordinator for the district's Race to the Top team, acted as an informal master of ceremonies for presentations that preceded the board voting. He prefaced them with this remark: "We have two amazing strategic plans that we intend to meld this evening."
The initial presentation included Leann Morris from the district, Tammy Westergard, Carson City interim library director, and Jonathon Begley of Dream It, Do It, a manufacturing education and training program.
Morris focused primarily on digital age education and ways the local district is providing a curriculum making mobile 1-to-1 technology work for pupils at schools.
"We take the walls down and the world is really our classroom," she said.
Westergard followed that with an explanation of the library's technological toolbox to link school, community and home aspects for young persons' daily lives.
Begley talked of his program backed by local manufacturers, praising local progress toward engaging students in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"This is something that's already happening in Carson City," Begley said. He also praised local involvement in Nevada Manufacturing Day recently, which included 1,200 people.
A team from the district took over next, with teacher Allen Gosselin leading a presentation on Race to the Top activities that are aimed at infusing excellence through all classrooms. He said it will remove mystery and promote mastery in education, as well as work toward collaboration involving instructors, students, parents and all involved.
Gosselin also said the five goals of the district's plan and the nine of the city's are well aligned, something with which both boards obviously agreed as they took up the resolution. It called for collaboration and the adoption by each board of the other's plan. The only addition was one suggested by Supervisor John McKenna, who called for language about safety and security.
The boards also agreed to meet again in May.
After the formal board action, public comment lauding the resolution came from several people. Among them was Rob Hooper of the Northern Nevada Development Authority, who said the western region in which Carson City must compete is projected to grow 33 percent by 2040 and to create 2.8 million new jobs. He said work force development will help the city compete well.