State trustee group tours Carson City school

Nevada Association of School Boards members, including Carson City School Board trustees, took a tour Friday of Eagle Valley Middle School with Principal Lee Conley, center.

Nevada Association of School Boards members, including Carson City School Board trustees, took a tour Friday of Eagle Valley Middle School with Principal Lee Conley, center.
Photo by Jessica Garcia.

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Nevada Association of School Boards members joined with Carson City School Board trustees on a tour of Eagle Valley Middle School on Friday to learn about the site’s expansion and features since its completion last year.

Members of NASB traveled into the Capitol for professional development and to meet with legislators and community stakeholders for the weekend. As part of their tour of Eagle Valley, Principal Lee Conley showed board members the middle school’s original brick facilities built in 1987 and some of the efficiencies that have been developed in recent years with nutrition services, the gym and choir room and led them to the expansion, where sixth-grade students now hold classes upstairs while seventh- and eighth-grade students generally remain downstairs in the new building.

“I think one of the biggest reasons why we’d want to see other schools is education’s all about best practices,” said Wade Poulsen, board member from Lincoln County. “What are you doing that’s better than what we’re doing down in Lincoln County? We can get ideas from each other, how to solve solutions from each other because we’re not all perfect but we’re not all bad, either.”

Poulsen said it’s important to take notice of a school’s technological or architectural innovations like Eagle Valley’s new bathrooms that have placed its sinks outside to keep students from socializing inside the facilities.

“Is that a concept we have in our school district? No,” Poulsen said. “So I think there are programs and different things that schools that are best practices that can be used on an individual basis.”

Board member Jeff Durham of Elko County, who has served for a year, said trustees and community members learn about different schools by visiting other locations outside their own jurisdiction.

“We’re all supposed to be kind of the same from district to district and under the same guidelines sent by the state Board of Education, but it is local control and everybody does do it a little different, and it does help to come in,” Durham said. “And to echo Wade, I’m curious to see how things work here and what I can take back to my district and see what we can do to improve.”

Conley suggested to board members in their walkthroughs to make any additions interactive for students to learn from, such as Eagle Valley’s own skybridge and the piping that runs throughout, which has been labeled to make it easy to understand where water flows.

He said with three feeder schools coming into Eagle Valley, the campus has maintained its focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities through the use of its two STEM labs and is working on getting a reading room ready for use.

Carson City Trustee Mike Walker said he enjoyed having other board members from NASB gather in Carson City to have a conversation about what’s taking place at the local level.

“I think one of the nice things about an event like this is we support each other,” Walker said. “We have one unified voice for education and we’re talking to legislators. They know we’re all facing similar problems and we’re helping each other find solutions and best practices, and it also allows us to find colleagues. I can talk to Wade (Poulsen) at a level I can’t talk with the Carson City School Board because of open meeting laws, whereas we can go deeper into the issues and how we would vote and what we would think is best, whereas there are limitations.”


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