Steve Ranson / LVN
Churchill County School Board president Matt Hyde, center, trustee Tricia Strasdin, right, and Superintendent Dr. Summer Stephens lead discussion on the district's hybrid model for student attendance.
Citing improvements that resulted in positive results among teachers and students under the hybrid model, Churchill County School District voted during last week’s Board of Trustees meeting not to change the current learning model.
The building and district leadership teams discussed the current impacts and outcomes about what it would take to revise the current AM/PM hybrid model in accordance with the state’s new directive 038, which allows for increases to the classroom size. ChurchillCSD’s learning model differs from other school districts: students are in class every day and engaging with the staff. The district also has a full-distance learning option.
“This model allows for all in person learners to engage with school staff every day, helping to build relationships and ensure that students’ academic and social-emotional learning needs are being addressed in a way that may be better than in those hybrid models that don't allow for so much in-person time,” Superintendent Dr. Summer Stephens said. “We fully understand that all of our families have different situations, and we appreciate what it has taken families to make this model work for this year.”
Stephens said the building and district leadership teams presented their recommendation to not alter the current approach, which was approved at the school board meeting. Stephens said the model produced many benefits, including improved attendance, reduced discipline, smaller class sizes that fostered stronger teacher-student relationships, and improved overall student grades from fall semester 2019 to fall semester 2020.
Stephens also said that the changes to the restrictions under the new directive would complicate transportation.
“(They) were not going to allow the district to necessarily add additional students not already assigned to the bus routes onto routes, one of the reasons some of our families choose the online option,” Stephens added. “Another concern was that some students in K-12 may have to be assigned to different teachers and different sections in the middle of the second semester, which was not deemed as beneficial for completing the year.”
Stephens noted that even though the state’s seeing improved COVID-19 case numbers, the district is still seeing teachers and students test positive, which results in quarantining groups or classes. With middle and high school sports back in action, the district will need adjust if someone is diagnosed with the virus.
“We also are now moving into activities at high school, something that we have not yet tackled during this pandemic,” Stephens said. “We continue to welcome back our students who have been in full-time online that wish to re-enter into in-person instruction if that is something that families wish to see happen.”
Although the current school year will not change its learning model, Stephens said Derild Parsons, Director of Special Services, is spending the next two weeks developing a multiple-phased strategy that will lead the district “into next fall to target our most struggling students.”
The three-phase approach will focus on high school seniors in Phase 1 and providing support for them to graduate in June. Phase 2 will focus on expanding upon the plan for summer school and summer learning opportunities for K-12 students. Phase 3 is geared toward finding what supports are needed for next school year.
CCHS presents testing plan for football program
Churchill County High School Athletics Director Brad Daum presented the school’s proposed weekly testing plan for the football season.
Last month, Gov. Steve Sisolak removed high-risk sports from the “no-play” list on the condition that weekly COVID-19 testing is performed. The update applies to only sports sanctioned by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.
Under the Greenwave football team’s weekly testing plan, which Stephens said is a work in progress, it will be done every Tuesday in two separate sessions to accommodate the AM and PM hybrid student cohorts. The testing is for only junior varsity and varsity football players and staff. All other sports are not required to test.
A total of three testing stations, which consist of a nurse and lab assistant, will be available for four test groups during the two sessions. The station list may increase to four.
Parents will need to consent to the rapid COVID-19 testing, which is free.
Students recognized at art competition
The following students were recognized at the Scholastic Art Competition. In all, ChurchillCSD students won 76 awards.
The recognized students included Briana Alcaraz Avalos, Sofia Basurto, Cassidy Campbell, Maci Cooper, Meeka Erwin, Eric Dickens, Allison Frost, Elena Holt, Camryn Hook, Reece Hutchings, Kasey Lattin, Jackson Moon, Melanie Plasse, Paola Ramos Ortiz, Joscelyn Roat, Mia Snooks, Azruh Tessers, Maari Tisdale and Lacee Wallace.