Elementary school improvement teams present

The Churchill County School Board of Trustees met Wednesday and had the Elementary School Improvement Teams present their school performance plans, a project that is the result of the board retreat in January.

Lahontan Elementary Principal Gregg Malkovich and four teachers presented on topics such as learning goals, fiscal responsibility, principal walk-throughs, the “Being a Writer” program and promoting safe environments including the new “Buddy Bench” system through which students needing an invitation to play can take a seat — encouraging a buddy to reach out.

“I think that is awesome; I think that is thinking outside the box,” said Acting Clerk Matt Hyde of the bench idea.

E.C. Best Elementary Principal Keith Boone and six teachers discussed their school’s latest efforts including having student-voted student “Difference Makers,” organizing special events and meetings, math and English Language Arts collaboration, emphasis on the Tribes Learning Community, “Bulldog Bucks,” performing arts and the “Too Good for Drugs” program.

Numa Elementary Principal Shawn Purrell shared with four teachers how the school has been implementing “Being a Writer” also, to which one teacher said her students are loving it and groan when the time is up. The staff also covered parent and community partnerships, bullying and conflict resolution, “golden tickets” for prizes, the principal visiting students on birthdays and a “Stomp Out Bullying” writing competition.

A new Numa teacher spoke to how if she would have had these teachers with her in Clark County, she wouldn’t have left and also that what CCSD has going on here is “phenomenal.”

Clerk Carmen Schank thanked everyone for coming out and said she appreciated the effort put in, adding it had been one of her favorite meetings. The trustees also asked questions and encouraged areas to focus on.

The next board meeting will host the middle and high schools presenting their plans.

Business Services Director Phyllys Dowd gave a district funding update, noting funds that have come in are less than last school year; however, the amount was appropriately budgeted for. Board Vice President Kathryn Whitaker thanked Dowd for ensuring CCSD’s budget stays solvent.

The latest enrollment update provided there are 3,389 students in the district as of Sept. 20. There were 3,342 one month ago, 3,365 on the last day of school in May and 3,343 last year at this time. There were also 3,415 students enrolled two years ago following a four-year steady but somewhat slight decrease in enrollment.

During Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon’s update, four Churchill County FFA students gave a brief presentation to the board about what FFA means to them as they pursue their FFA careers and agricultural interests.

The board reviewed and approved the updated board governance document. Whitaker, who leads the Policy Committee, presented the item and said the annual update — which incorporates the latest enrollment numbers and other data — continues to remind the board of its duties and detail how the board is governed.

The board also approved attendance at the National School Board Association Conference in San Antonio in April 2018.

E.C. Best third-grade teacher Becky Dodd gave a public comment expressing concern over students scoring poorly last spring on testing then excelling in fall testing, that the astounding difference might not simply be positive data but a question of if the testing is really very valid. She wanted the board to consider the data with that grain of salt.

“I find it very curious,” she said.

The next meeting will be Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. in the Old High School auditorium (“The Pit”).


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