The Nevada Department of Education released the 2018-19 ratings of two Churchill County schools that retained similar scores from the previous assessment.
Churchill County High School received a star rating of 3 out of 5, while the middle school had a 2.
Superintendent Summer Stephens said because of the uniqueness of Churchill County’s elementary schools, they did not receive a star rating. Instead of having K-5 or K-6 elementary schools, Churchill County groups its elementary schools by grade level: K-1, 2-3 and 4-5. Stephens said she was concerned with funding for students at risk, but the Nevada Department of Education’s superintendent of instruction ensured her the school would be eligible for additional funding.
Stephens said NDE is working with the school district to develop a rating method for Numa, which houses the fourth and fifth grades.
According to the NDE, a 3-star school identifies an adequate school that has met the state’s standard for performance. A 2-star school has partially met the performance standard. Each school must submit an improvement plan.
In its assessment report, CCSD said the high school increased its four-year graduation rate by 4.4% or from 78 to 83%. The ACT in English language arts showed 52.8% of students scoring proficient, 6% higher than the state average. The ACT in mathematic proficiency dipped under the state’s average, 23.8% compared to 25.5%.
The school district will be working to improve the high school’s chronic absenteeism and ninth-grade credit sufficiency.
Churchill County Middle School, though, decreased its chronic absenteeism by more than 11%. CCMS, though, declined in ELA and mathematics achievement but increased performance on the State Science Exam by 6.5%.
In another agenda item, the CCMS staff presented an overview of blended learning at their school. About 120 students are offered an alternative to traditional learning environments and practices.
Trustees received comparison rates from the 2018-19 school year between blended learning and regular education students. The four years included the following: Behavior — 4.7% of regular ed students had a behavior event compared to 1.2% of blended learning; Attendance — regular ed students were absent 6.3% compared to 2.3% for blended learning; English language arts — regular ed students showed 35% proficiency in sixth through eighth grades, while the blended learning percentages for the same three grades was 50%; Math, — proficiency for regular ed was 15% in sixth through eighth grades, and in blended learning, 27%.
Goals for the 2019-20 school year include personalized instruction and time with coaches, project based learning and self-pacing/extra time.
Teachers informed trustees that high-school students from Lance Lattin’s Spanish class will offer breakout classes in introduction and conversational Spanish and an introduction on the Spanish culture.
Before the regular meeting, trustees denied a level-3 grievance filed by the Nevada Classified Employee Association (NCEA) on behalf of the Churchill County association.
At issue is a classified employee who was the subject of a grievance filed by the NCEA. During the summer, a pallet jack fell off the back of a box truck, and the employee, Debra Lund, according to the NCEA, “went off the platform, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.” NCEA attorney Michael E. Langton of Reno questioned if the usage of the pallet jack by the classified employee was within her job description.
Lund told trustees, however, the grievance was wasting her time as well as the school board’s. Lund, who said she received the proper certification in July, said she has used the pallet jack numerous times. Furthermore, Lund said she was not aware of a grievance until she received a letter in the mail.
School district attorney Sharla Hales countered Langston, saying the contract provides enough flexibility for a supervisor to assign additional job duties.
Trustees discounted the scope of the grievance. Tricia Strasdin said she didn’t see a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Matt Hyde, who had harsh words for another grievance denied several months ago, said he didn’t think the latest grievance should’ve come this far.
“We need to handle this differently,” he said.
Trustee Phil Pinder agreed.
“We need to sit down and go behind closed doors before it gets here again,” he said of the two grievances. “Mrs. Lund was asked to do a task, and she was comfortable with doing this.”
Trustee Carmen Schank said there was no effort to resolve the grievance informally. School board President Kathryn Whitaker added she wants both sides to work more cooperatively.
Hyde made the motion, and the board unanimously voted against the grievance.
Trustees meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the district office beginning at 6 p.m. Topics include a report on the successes and challenges for the start of the school year for E.C. Best Elementary School and a presentation on the school performance plan; approval of modifications to the five-year Capital Improvement Plan; and the first reading on board policies to include identification badges, employee attire and grooming, use of district property and premises by employees, and use of personal property for district business.
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