Carson City schools focused on technology, safety | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City schools focused on technology, safety

Teri Vance
tvance@nevadaappeal.com

The final phases of the school district's plan to create more secure campuses should be complete by the end of this school year, according to Superintendent Richard Stokes. By the end of the regular year, he said, every student in the district should have his or her own mobile device.

"We tend to look at the year differently than the regular citizen," Stokes said. "Our year goes from August to June."

He said the district's plan to create single points of entry at every school should be complete by the summer. While all other schools have been reconfigured to include a locked vestibule upon entry, the multiple buildings on the campuses of Carson and Pioneer high schools presented more difficulty.

Keith Shaffer, bonds projects manager for the Carson City School District, said decorative wrought iron fencing is being built around the campuses to create a "secure envelope."

An addition of an administration office and student center is also under construction at Pioneer High School. Shaffer said the projects are expected to be complete in March, and has so far stayed on schedule over the winter.

"We've been pretty fortunate," he said. "We were supposed to get some bad weather, but we lucked out."

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As part of the One-to-One plan, the district has distributed mobile devices to all students in elementary and middle schools. In the fall, he said, the high school students will receive theirs.

"Right now, we have more than 4,500 mobile devices in the hands of students," Stokes said. "We hope to hand out 2,200 more in the 2015-16 school year."

He said successes from the past year include offering full-day kindergarten at every elementary school.

"We felt strongly that's one way we can really have a strong impact on young students," Stokes said. "Starting them early will increase their achievement."

He said the goals for the upcoming year are those outlined in the strategic plan and include improving student access to curriculum and improving college and career readiness. An expansion of Jump Start, a collaboration between the school district and Western Nevada College where students can earn high school and college credits simultaneously, is likely on the horizon, Stokes said.

He said the district's focus on partnering with business and industry will also continue.

"We want to continue the great things that are going on right now and follow our strategic plan," he said. "We have a number of our community partners that are doing a lot of really interesting things to help our students learn."