Carson City supes, school board cover growth, safety

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The Carson City School District Board of Trustees and Board of Supervisors held a joint meeting Thursday to discuss city growth, safety and health programs at the schools, and services available for students at the city’s public library.

Sheriff Ken Furlong gave presentations on the school resource officer program and its efforts to deescalate potentially dangerous situations in the school.

The program’s officers responded to 1,474 incidents at the city’s schools in calendar year 2016, none of which ended in disaster, Furlong said.

“We have been very, very successful,” he said.

Furlong and Richard Stokes, superintendent, Carson City School District, discussed social media and how it’s used to keep students and parents informed.

“We have a system that allows us to contact families in our community through texts, emails, robocalls, a variety of ways we can reach out,” Stokes said.

Supervisor Brad Bonkowski asked how a message to parents is crafted to inform but not panic them in the case of an incident.

“That’s a tough one,” Furlong said.

“That’s the core of the challenge.”

Stokes said the school district is in the process of hiring a public information officer to, among other things, help with that task.

“It’s becoming more and more necessary,” he said.

Lee Plemel, the city’s Community Development director, and Andrew Feuling, the school district’s director of fiscal services, gave an update on projected growth in the city.

“Development has come back to Carson City,” Plemel said.

He talked about the bigger planned developments, including Schulz Ranch and Lompa Ranch, which could add up to 1,000 housing units in 10 years.

Feuling said the school district completed its master plan and made recommendations to the board last September.

Those recommendations include removing portable buildings at the city’s schools and replacing them with brick and mortar.

At Mark Twain Elementary School, for example, four portable structures will be replaced with a new wing that will add at least 10 classrooms.

A new wing will also be added to Fremont Elementary, which has the same footprint as Mark Twain, Feuling said.

Feuling said he couldn’t predict when the city might need to build a new elementary school and it may depend on growth everywhere and not just in one area, such as Lompa Ranch.

Carson City Health and Human Services staff talked about the department’s flu vaccine program at schools, which gave 2,000 vaccinations this year, and its efforts to work with parents to ensure all students have routine vaccinations.

Library staff talked about the mobile makerspace van, which provides a flexible space for science, technology, engineering and math activities through partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, the city’s after school Kids Club and Carson City Juvenile Probation.

On the only action item, the supervisors voted to authorize the mayor to sign The Leaders Library Card Challenge Commitment Letter in support of the initiative to provide a library card to all enrolled students.

The library applied and was accepted to present at the 2017 Video Round Table during the American Library Association’s annual conference.

The presentation will be on the Carson High School freshman Public Service Announcement project.


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