Carson City boards look at school growth

The Carson City Board of Supervisors and the School District Board of Trustees took a look ahead to when more schools may be needed to serve Carson City’s growing population.

The two boards held a joint meeting Thursday to hear about projected growth, the school district’s emergency response plan update, a new student information system and a mobile maker space operated by the city library.

A.J. Feuling, director of fiscal services, Carson City School District, said Al Seeliger, Bordewich Bray and Mark Twain elementary schools are now at capacity while Empire and Edith W. Fritsch elementary schools are nearly full. Fremont Elementary School has some room to grow.

Lee Plemel, community development director, showed a map of all residential projects currently in the pipeline or in some conceptual phase, which spans more than a decade of construction.

Based on those estimates, Feuling projected the student population growth in the following school-based zones: 136 in Bordewich Bray, 201 in Fritsch, 15 in Mark Twain, 591 in Fremont, 21 in Empire, and 184 in Seeliger.

The big jump in the Fremont zone is due to the Lompa Ranch development, which could add 1,800 new units in the next 10 years to 20 years.

Feuling said student growth would include all age groups, but about 46 percent of the city’s total student population are elementary school age children.

And the optimal elementary school size is between 600 and 650 students, he said.

Carson City’s students population was 7,405 in 2010 and he estimates it could grow to between 7,772 and 8,931 in 2020, 8,710 and 10,008 in 2030 and 10,050 and 11,548 by 2040.

Ann Wiswell, risk manager, CCSD, and Stacey Belt, deputy emergency manager with the city, discussed ongoing work to update the school district’s emergency response plan.

The plan covers emergencies such as hazardous materials and mass shootings and in 2015 new Nevada laws added 17 new requirements for schools.

A development committee with representatives from school administration, teaching staff, parents, law enforcement and others have been working over the last six months to update the plan.

The state Department of Education has adopted the Federal Emergency Management Agency guide for high quality plans which is available online.

Janice Arthur-Towns, CCSD IT director, gave an overview of Infinite Campus, a student information system that allows students and parents to access grades, assignments, status of graduation progress and other information electronically.

The Nevada Department of Education purchased a statewide license and training on it is available at the library and Tech Café at the School District Professional Development Center.

Sena Loyd, library director, talked about a mobile maker space to be operated by the library starting in August.

The unit will be equipped with a 3-D printer, prototyping laser, coding and stop motion animation software.

Loyd said it will make two to three training stops a week, working with 15 to 20 students in one to two hour sessions.

The library is partnering with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, the Parks and Recreation department’s after-school Kids Klub and juvenile probation.

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