School board receives information on assessment data

Churchill County Board of Trustees received information on the 2017-2018 assessment data at their regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 12.

The report comes before a school finance study that is being conducted on behalf of the state of Nevada. The study includes identifying the resources needed to serve at-risk students, English language learners (ELs) and special education students.

Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA), which is spearheading the study, is gathering feedback to refine the study team’s final recommendations for changes to the funding system. The study team is in Nevada this week to conduct regional educator listening sessions in five different cities around the state.

During last week’s presentation on assessment data, Lisa Bliss, the district’s assessment coordinator, discussed he Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) in reading and mathematics for grades K-8.

For example, she said spring RIT (Rasch UnIT) scores are showing at or slightly below the national average in English language arts. Math and reading are also showing at or above the national average in grades K-4 over three years, while the upper grades, 5-8, are below.

Bliss also reviewed Smarter Balanced Assessments in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3-8. Average composite scores for Churchill County High School exceeded state scores by 1.1 points during the 2014-15 school year and .6 point in the 2017-18 schools year and were even in 2015-16 and 2016-17. ACT average scores by subject showing Churchill County trending higher than the state of Nevada average.

Trustees also received information regarding lack of substitute teachers to meet the school district’s needs.

Superintendent Dr. Summer Stephens said she believes the school district is in a crisis related to a lack of substitutes. She said the board will be reviewing this issue for the next several months.

The district examine increasing the daily rate for substitute teachers and requiring substitutes, who are not fully licensed teachers, to take a short training course.

For example, trustees were told 21 teachers were gone at the high school one day, and the district didn’t have enough substitutes. Trustees, Stephens and Human Resource Director Kevin Lords discussed an idea to raise the rate of substitute pay and to advertise and/or promote the need for more substitute teachers. Lords said the district has about 40 substitute teachers, some prefer teaching at the elementary grades and others prefer secondary grades.

The board also approved an oral bid on behalf of Miles Getto for $4,000 for the grazing lease for the school district’s Rio Vista property. Trustees also approved a one-time waiver for the FFA’s activity fund for the past year due to unforeseen expenses and events.

Trustees also approved a broker, Shannon Nelson of Berney Realty, for sale of the Churchill County High School construction house on 450 Discovery Drive.


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