With one month of school remaining,
the Churchill County School District is beginning to look at the final days for
students and the Class of 2020.
Dr. Summer Stephens, superintendent
of the Churchill County School District, told trustees at Wednesday’s meeting her
staff and principals were looking at the awarding of final grades for the
spring semester. Stephens also learned of the permanent closing of schools for the
rest of the academic year during Gov. Steve Sisolak’s address to the state last
“We have a wide range of students
who have done everything to a little,” she said.
On the following day, though, the
school district decided to establish a policy for awarding grades for the
second semester. Stephens said the Nevada Department of Education has
instructed school districts to have a “do no harm” approach for the final
For grades K-5, grades and/or marks
on the third quarter report card stand, and Stephens said this will ensure that
staff provide feedback to the work being completed during the time of the
“The teacher will mark the report
cards with comments only for the fourth quarter regarding each student’s work
toward skills/competencies and other learning expectations,” she said.
For the middle school, grades 6-8,
she said the third quarter grade stands, but for the final quarter, tasks
completed will receive teacher feedback to support learning.
“Only those tasks that help to
improve a student’s grade will be calculated into a student’s final semester
grade,” she said.
Likewise, for the high school
grades 9-12, the third-quarter grade will stand.
“For the fourth quarter, tasks
completed will receive teacher feedback to support learning (or those not
completed will be marked with an “I” for Incomplete), and only those tasks that
help to improve a student’s grade will be calculated into a student’s final
semester grade,” she said.
Stephens said teachers will be monitoring grades for the seniors and if they are meeting the requirements for graduation.
Around the region, Stephens said Carson City is doing a pass/fail for the semester, while Humboldt County School District, which is similar in size to Churchill County, is looking at pass/fail for the fourth quarter. Pershing County will base the semester grade on 95% from the third quarter and 5% from the last quarter.
Other districts such as Lyon and
Storey, said Stephens, are looking at the student’s grade at the time the
governor initially closed the schools because of COVID-19.
“There are so many pieces we have
to think about,” she said.
Stephens also said many universities
are allowing students to enroll with pass/fail grades and no requirements to submit
standardized test scores. She said all school districts and colleges are all
facing similar situations.
“No one expected this,” she added.
During the closure, Stephens said
55 students have not responded to the school district’s numerous attempts to
contact them. The superintended said she was disheartened by that.
Stephens said Churchill County High School Principal Scott Winter has been working on a few ideas for graduation. She said some people will be acceptable of the plans once they are finalized, while others will not. Stephens said the district is trying to find a way to honor the graduates in a special, unique way.
Winter outlined some of his ideas
in a report to the school board.
“Grading is still being done, with the state’s ‘do no harm’ directive in place to ensure that grades are not punitive during this time,” he stated. “Students are being given an Incomplete for assignments not turned in, so that they and their parents who are on the parent portal may be notified without a negative impact to their grade (an incomplete does not calculate as a zero). It is a placeholder for the expectation of an assignment to be turned in.
“For the benefit of our student’s
socio-emotional well-being, Nevada schools will not be giving second semester
finals. The state has also waived most required testing this spring, including
end-of-course and civics assessments.”
• Stephens informed trustees of school-district initiatives implemented during the closure. For Churchill All-Stars, she said more than 185 nominations were submitted for people doing great things for the community.
“It’s awesome to celebrate people in
our community,” she said.
Since the schools closed, Stephens said Churchill County School District has handed out 72,382 meals in 26 days (as of April 22). She lauded the employees in Food Services, Transportation and the instructional assistants for ensuring the meals were prepared, packaged and distributed at the pickup points.
Stephens thanked the Elks Club for their donation to the Angel Fund and the city of Fallon for helping connect 30 families to wireless internet.
• Phyllys Dowd, director of
Business Services, reviewed the five-year plan for the Capital Projects Fund
and outlines some of the projects for the 2020-2021 school year. By using the
opening fund balance and project revenue, she said the school district will
Projects for the schools include
• Northside Early Learning Center:
ADA handicap doors for entrance and shade cover for both playgrounds.
• Lahontan Elementary School:
• EC Best Elementary School: ADA
handicap doors for entrance.
• Numa Elementary School: ADA
handicap doors for entrance.
• Churchill County Middle School:
ADA handicap doors for entrances, administration/library roof replacement,
locker room flooring, pave track and install drainage and shade cover.
• Churchill County High School: ADA
handicap doors for entrance, locker room flooring replacement and track repair
• District projects: Chromebook
replacements staff and server replacements, exterior and interior LED lighting,
HVAC replacements, school bus replacements, white fleet replacement and radio
Dowd said the school district will
have $44,388 for the Building and Sites Fund.