The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees met last week to approve upgrading all site phone systems to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) using CC Communications.
This will be done at a cost not to exceed $180,000 and is consistent with upgrades already made at the district office and Churchill County High School.
“I’m very glad we’re moving forward on this,” said Phyllys Dowd, Business Services Director, adding this district efficiency has been needed for some time and will also decrease the monthly phone bill.
Every site will be on the same phone system, from maintenance and transportation to every office and room being reachable by an extension number — instead of involving transfers, emails or paper messages as well as less teaching interruption. There will still be a landline in each school in case the power goes out.
“It will be a vast improvement,” Dowd said.
The board approved food service provider Chartwells’ agreement amendment to increase each meal cost by five cents; breakfast counts as two meals and lunch a single meal, so the cost will come to $1.11 for breakfast and $2.22 for lunch. Trustee Clay Hendrix confirmed with Dowd that the district is still dollars ahead when compared to CCSD doing lunches itself.
A new permanent Food Services director was hired recently and will be coming from Medford, Ore., where he was in charge of Meals on Wheels in the area and managed 132 employees plus volunteers.
Dowd reported on the capital projects fund balance and said the district is “sitting in a really good spot.” Dr. Sandra Sheldon, superintendent of schools, added new technology has been budgeted for and includes more Chromebooks, smartboard updates and more. With funding confirmed, Dowd said the money exists to cover all the new budget’s priorities. Trustee Phil Pinder later requested a future agenda item to discuss bumping the 7 percent site budget increases to 10.
The board received updated information on a transportation office remodel and will obtain bids for a special board meeting on July 12 to approve a bid and move forward with the project. The remodel would involve more room and better air-conditioned spaces.
Trustee Carmen Schank presented a review of the agenda-setting process and the handling of board member agenda requests (policy 8341.0). No action was taken, but the trustees discussed the open, visible and transparent culture the present board tries to possess so all agenda item requests are thoroughly considered.
Schank expressed wanting to ensure future boards’ internal operations minimize alliances and continue to foster respect, trust and effectiveness.
Trustee Kathryn Whitaker advised legislation isn’t always the answer in a democratic environment.
Trustee Matt Hyde reminded that the elected board also elects their own president and vice president.
“I hope if I was nominated that you would respect and trust that I would do what’s right,” he said, adding he would help a fellow trustee’s agenda item along as well hope for the same in return.
Board members rotate through the agenda-setting committee before each meeting.
Trustee Tricia Strasdin, who said she was comfortable with current operations, had researched what some other boards do and one of those trustees said “good boards have good processes” and also always think about the district’s mission and vision. She added other districts can seem more rigid and provide less access, “so I’m pretty grateful.”
Presented by Hendrix, the board also considered the policy-related responsibilities of the board as a whole as well as the functioning of the board policy committee. The trustees decided to hopefully streamline committee time by electing a chair (Whitaker).
The board also decided to aim to improve effectiveness by having the committee review and evaluate policies with current procedures and laws but have substantive changes move through the board, including having expert staff recommendations to direct the board.
The district also discussed the following:
Schank commended the lower violent act rates especially at the high school.
Sheldon reported administrators have been engaged in professional development.
The board talked about the internal and external employee application and interview process to ensure fairness.
The board accepted the renewal proposal from the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool including a premium reduction and cyber risk assessments.
The next meeting will be June 28 at 6 p.m. in the Old High School auditorium (“The Pit”).