CCSD receives Common Core test scores

The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees met Thursday to discuss the third year of Common Core test scores, teacher evaluation and other district updates.

Lisa Bliss, Data & Assessment coordinator, reviewed the 2015-2016 school year test results, which are for grades 3-8 in mathematics and English language arts. Students are on average 45 percent proficient in English language arts and 27 percent proficient in math. (See graph for a more detailed illustration.)

The district outscored the state as well as California in grades 7 and 8 English language arts in addition to scoring on par with Connecticut. The county also outscored the state in grade 8 math.

“We’re looking forward to a much more successful and smoother ’16 and ’17,” Bliss said, explaining how they knew test scores would be lower initially before students adjusted to the new standards. “But we agreed as a state that’s the way we would go.”

Nevada fully transitioned to the Nevada Academic Content Standards (NACS) and the aligned Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests in the 2014-2015 school year. Testing also includes the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress.

Nevada declared a statewide testing irregularity for 2014-2015 but last year, test administration went better, yet Nevada still experienced technical difficulties that may have impacted test results.

Dr. Sandra Sheldon, superintendent of schools, is also hoping for significant gains since the past hasn’t been fair and equitable.

Testing will continue in winter and spring to see how the district progresses.

Educational Services’ Patty Fleming gave a report on the new teacher evaluation system including student learning goals. This year, 20 percent of teacher evaluation comes from student outcomes — next year it will be 40 percent.

Trustee Carmen Schank asked Fleming how the teachers like it.

“It’s a tough struggle, to be honest,” Fleming said. “It’s high stakes. They’re taking it very seriously and professionally.”

Also on the trustees’ agenda, Dr. Sandra Sheldon, superintendent of schools, informed the Board about the former Acorn Tree property (510 W. Williams Ave.) potentially becoming a medical marijuana dispensary. Dispensaries are not allowed to be within 1,000 feet of a school; the property’s circle goes through CCSD’s West End Complex.

Sheldon attended a meeting with the city to testify against the dispensary moving into that property. Yet proponents for the move-in are moving forward, saying it’s not a traditional school building since it’s mainly for online learning and the circle doesn’t touch the library portion.

Keith Boone, principal of E.C. Best Elementary School, gave an update on their math and literacy programs as well as introduced CrossFit professional Sean Sweeney, who has been volunteering at the school.

Sweeney puts on bimonthly sessions for the students to help them be excited about exercise and to sweat a little, he said. Sweeney is a Churchill County High School alumnus and ranked No. 1 in the Southwest and No. 30 in the world.

Brian Byrd, director of Maintenance, updated the Board on scheduled winter projects, from outside underground utilities coming along this week to the music room being completed in early January. Playground equipment has been delivered with installation rolling out in the next couple weeks. Multi-purpose room flooring and new corridor lighting is also being worked on.

The next meeting will be Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Old High School auditorium.


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