Churchill County High School math students grab first-place awards for northern Nevada

Victoria Purrell's fifth-grade class does a Google Hangout with fifth-graders in Arcadia, Calif., figuring out the other's location by answering questions about geography, weather, the economy, food and attractions.

Victoria Purrell's fifth-grade class does a Google Hangout with fifth-graders in Arcadia, Calif., figuring out the other's location by answering questions about geography, weather, the economy, food and attractions.

The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees met Wednesday and recognized high school students who competed in the Northern Nevada Math Contest in Reno on Jan. 28.

Churchill County High School students included Ian Blodgett, Shelby Chitren, Thomas Jamieson, Alex Perazzo and John Solomon. Competing against several high schools, the students came away with first place wins in Algebra 1, Algebra 2, team and comprehensive higher math competitions.

One student said Blodgett and Perazzo specifically deserved another shoutout: Perazzo scored a 17 in one competition with the next highest score being 14 — far surpassing the competition.

CCHS teachers Steve Johnson and Lynn Strasdin and their students presented information about the science program. Johnson’s honors biochemistry students had studied bacteria and showed how different surfaces and cleaners compare in addition to exposure from person-to-person.

For example, they tested toilet handles, doorknobs, light switches, Chromebooks, a dog, even an insulin pump. Then they tested how hand washing, hand sanitizer and Johnson’s “magic soap,” compare in decontamination.

Two of Strasdin’s physics students used the school’s wind tunnel to learn how a wing works and create the ideal wing. They also used the NASA website and visited Naval Air Station Fallon, including touring around aircraft with a pilot instructor, to learn about aviation vocabulary, supersonic speeds and more.

CCHS Principal Kevin Lords presented the Greenwave Plan for Success proposal, which is to provide students with a solid foundation for a successful life through college and career readiness.

The plan is to offer a class program with a dedicated teacher, focusing on study skills, tutoring opportunities, scholarships and financial aid, special education and how to best navigate for student achievement.

Lords said the whole idea is both the students and parents needs to be in agreement, this is where the student needs to be.

“We talk about, this is the program and we want you to work — then you’re going to be successful,” Lords said, adding it’s not going to be a burner class for students that doesn’t mean much.

The board moved to have the proposal placed on the consent agenda so the school can move forward with planning.

Educational Services’ Patty Fleming discussed the Nevada Administrator Performance Framework tool and its use in evaluations. She emphasized how the goals consistently align with the educator framework.

Dr. Sandra Sheldon, superintendent of schools, said more evaluation information will be available in March (instead of January), leading to a tight timeline for incorporating student evaluations.

Early retirement was granted unanimously for six employees after the board reviewed the policy and discussed the pros and cons of losing experienced people including setting precedent, finding replacements, hiring costs and receiving government funding. Sheldon said the costs are pretty much a wash in her experience.

The board met in a closed negotiations session with unrepresented central office personnel (Lisa Bliss, Phyllys Dowd, Kimi Melendy and Derild Parsons) in conjunction with contract renewal.

It was decided that a 5-percent salary increase would begin March 1. Trustee Tricia Strasdin said the board wanted to share the logic behind their decision, involving looking at numbers for some of the highest-paid teachers and the lowest paid administrator.

During public comment periods, teacher Becky Dodd and others expressed deep concern that instructors have not received a raise in over 10 years. She had prepared an example annual budget for a family of four along with the current teacher salary schedule and explanations.

“I want you to realize the importance of raising wages for your staff,” Dodd said. “I think it’s pitiful that teachers qualify for Free-and-Reduced-Lunch as long as they do.”

The following was also discussed:

Notice is given to families when sex education curriculum materials can be reviewed including an open house prior to the course.

Trustee Clay Hendrix remarked he was glad to see the substitute teacher list appears to be growing.

Lords gave a report for Ted Ott, agriculture mechanics instructor, on plans for the Rio Vista hay field through 2018. Lords and Ott will follow up later about growing seasons and grant money.

The Community Wave newsletter was launched featuring numerous school articles about the different sites. For instance, readers learned the high school cafeteria now features round tables. Sheldon said they create more of a gathering place for students and is easier for custodial as well.

The next school board meeting will be Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. in the Old High School auditorium (“The Pit”).


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