The Carson City School District is producing a substantial amount of objectives and strategies within the next five years but in order to achieve them all, they’re anticipating for more parents, teachers, and community members to get involved.
The district’s Community Professional Learning Community (PLC) quarterly meeting was held Wednesday night at Carson High School’s library to examine, review, and enhance the Empower Carson City 2022 Strategic Plan.
The PLC came about after the district landed a grant for plan development and to better connect with the public; feedback and suggestions are essential, especially when it comes to hiring quality teachers, student community involvement and field trips, and parent communications.
“We need more parents to come out,” said Superintendent Richard Stokes. “When 2022 comes, these groups will meet and continue discussing what’s next. It’s a self-sustaining process to improve the education in our community.”
The overview of goals include valued staff, to recruit and provide professional growth opportunities; curriculum matters, to provide multiple pathways for career preparation to preschool through 12th grade students; family engagement, to collaborate with parents in school culture; promote wellness and healthy generations of local students; and community partnerships, to connect students with learning outside of the classroom.
Each goal contains objectives and strategies for working groups who attend the quarterly meetings. At each meeting, attendees will breakout into groups to discuss goals of interest for an hour, and then rejoin as one to report progress for 10 minutes.
About 20 people, including school board members, attended Wednesday’s meeting. Each goal group was assigned a discussion leader and provided draft worksheets focused on the goal’s strategies and objectives.
By the end of the night, each goal group presented its conclusions. In regards to Goal 1: Exceptional Staff, participants came to an agreement to increase partnerships with the University of Nevada, Reno for future teachers.
Jose Delfin, associate superintendent of human resources at CCSD, said Carson City is the second school district to partner with UNR, as Sparks High School was the first.
Another concern in this subject was advertising for other positions such as bus drivers and how to get the word out about jobs.
“We need to get Carson on the map,” he said. “We had over 18 out-of-state applicants for teaching jobs within the district.”
Another highlight included Goal 3: Engaged Parents and Families, as the group discussed enhancing communication outlets from parents to teachers. The ideas gathered consisted of website development, hotlines, newsletters, and social media for parents to have constant access and relations with their child’s school.
School board member Ron Swirczek expressed his passion to complete Goal 5: A community in full partnership, in a timely matter.
More than 100 companies are interested in getting involved with the school when it comes to presentations, job shadowing, and field trips to contribute to education, he said.
“Teachers need to be the driving force to make this happen,” he said. “It’s related to STEM and represents all areas of education. It would both benefit businesses in the long run and kids outside of the classroom. We need to invite teachers to think about this and see how they can incorporate these opportunities with field trips and guest speakers.”
The more people attend these meetings, the more will be accomplished; each working group will create and implement performance measures with timelines to document progress. This could include exploring grant opportunities to support the objective, determine costs and adjustments, and marketing.
Stokes will report progress on goals, objectives, and strategies to the Carson City School Board no less than quarterly, and an annual report card on progress will be produced.
Some of the accomplishments associated with the Strategic Plan for 2017 included graduation rates in schools, which increased to 80 percent in comparison to the state’s rate at 73 percent. With that, the comprehensive high school rate is at 88 percent, while the alternative high school rate is at 72 percent.
Stokes said Nevada is among one of the leading states where students complete the CTE Workplace Readiness Skills assessment, with 97 percent of students receiving passing grades.
Other achievements from the 2017 plan include comprehensive facility improvement projects at 16 buildings to decrease energy consumption and save costs, and 14 social workers were hired to assist students.
A PDF packet of the Empower Carson City 2022 Strategic Plan can be downloaded for free through the school district’s website, at carsoncityschools.com.
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