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Churchill County School District updates

By Summer Stephens Churchill County School Superintendent

Plans for the remainder of the school year

Based on the governor’s continuation of physical school closures, the district will continue with our Learning from a Distance plan through the end of the school year. Currently, the last day of the school calendar is May 29. We will be working with the Nevada Department of Education over the next several weeks to determine exactly what the remaining five weeks of school will look like for our learners and staff.

Please continue to monitor email, our district website, and Facebook pages for the most current information. We recognize and understand the anxiety and stress that is being felt across our community, as we observe it in our staff and we hear it from our students and their families. These are extraordinary times, and we will come out of this difficult period in a stronger position than before. Please see below for specifics around attendance and grading practices for our Learning from a Distance period. We will address Summer School availability and summer sports and activities (camps, workouts, etc.) in future updates.

Attendance

Our main goal during this time is to support student engagement and learning, while also being fully aware of the unique challenges that this situation presents. Given the disparity in access to curricular materials and supports, participation becomes another basis for holding learners accountable during this period.

The state is requiring students and teachers to engage in effective two way communication at a minimum one time per week. In Churchill CSD, elementary classroom teachers will continue to take attendance with their classroom students and MS and HS advisory teachers will take attendance one time per week with their advisory students, at a minimum. The attendance requirement is for all students through the entirety of the closure.

Please contact your child’s teacher(s) if you have additional attendance questions.

Grading and report cards

This is an exceptional time in the history of public education in America. For many years, experts have been studying grading and reporting to find that the key factor to improve learning in “grading and reporting” is quality feedback that guides the learner and informs specific skills and competencies that are strong or that may need improvement.

We have an opportunity to provide learners with information about their learning during the closure that reflects their ability to complete the work, about their skills in relation to the expectation of what mastery is for the work, and also provides us an opportunity to focus on the learning over a letter or number grade.

 Grading procedures

The Nevada Department of Education has reiterated that during Emergency Distance Learning we are to “do no harm.” As such, grading during the fourth quarter will follow a “hold harmless” approach.

For learners in kindergarten-fifth grade, the “hold harmless” approach will have the third quarter grades/marks on the third quarter report card stand and will ensure that staff provide feedback to the work being completed during the time of the closure. 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.

• If retainment was being considered prior to school closure due to COVID-19, the teacher and principal will continue to collaborate with families about final decisions.

• For learners in sixth-eighth grade, the “hold harmless” approach will also ensure that the third quarter grade stands. For 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. Parents and students will only be able to see the tasks that are assigned and completed in the gradebook without grade calculations, just performance on tasks (so no progress grade will show for fourth quarter).

With this in mind, it is incredibly important for our students to try to complete as much work as possible during our Learning from a Distance.

• For learners in ninth-12th grades, the “hold harmless” approach will also ensure that the third quarter grade stands. Teachers can work with individual students who had a failing third quarter grade to determine best solutions for improving that grade.

For 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.

Parents and students will only be able to see the tasks that are assigned and completed in the gradebook without grade calculations, just performance on tasks (so no progress grade will show for fourth quarter).

With this in mind, it is incredibly important for our students to try to complete as much work as possible and check in with their Advisory teacher and any other teachers they have during our Learning from a Distance.

• Seniors specifically will want to engage in all of their courses to ensure they have passing marks should they not have had a passing grade at the end of third quarter. Please note that no graduation requirements have changed, with the exception of the civics exam required by the state (this exam has been waived during this extreme circumstance). We will, however, be working on an individual student basis to ensure that each student has the opportunity to meet the other requirements.

We believe that this approach will do no harm to any high school student, regardless of their aspirations beyond high school. Higher education systems across the country have been making many exceptions during this national pandemic.

Contact Stephens (stephenss@churchillcsd.com) or your building principal if you have questions about these procedures. We understand that expectations are different than what has traditionally been in place, and we want to ensure that we honor all of our students and support them in the best ways possible during this unprecedented time.

CCHS graduation update

Plans are underway to organize a graduation celebration for the Class of 2020! Just as the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” we want to ensure that our village can celebrate our children.

Currently, a team is being formed to have a plan in place with a target date of May 8 to bring together a celebration for May 29. This team will include seniors, teachers, administrators, parents and community partners who will work together through virtual meetings. Even though it will not look like our traditional ceremony because of these unprecedented times, it will be a truly memorable experience for our seniors and their families and friends.

If you have a graduation suggestion or questions, email Scott Winter, CCHS principal, at winters@churchillcsd.com.

CCHS yearbook sales

A limited number of copies of the 2019-20 CCHS yearbook are still available — get your copy today. Order at http://www.yearbookforever.com by May 11.

Library Book Return

Do you have library books at home? If so, your school needs them back. If you can, bring them to the entryway of your school and drop in the filing cabinet for grades K-5 or a tub/box by the office at the MS and HS.

Schools will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. for library book collection and Chromebook repairs. We are sorry to say we can’t check out new books to you, but each school has eBooks to keep your family stocked with reading material. Please see your school’s page at our Learning from a Distance website for information.

For learners who cannot bring books back during the closure, we understand and know that we can get them back from you at another time.

You can now apply for a Nevada library card online! Apply for a library card on their website: https://www.churchillcountylibrary.org/ and check out their resources at this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H1tJOA7Vh2IeKXr1aPeBuUHa823wSHo-/view

ChurchillCSD All-Stars

We would like to introduce you to a fun and supportive way to send a shout out to our families, students, staff, and/or members of our community. Each week, we welcome anyone who would like to nominate someone to submit their nominations by noon on Friday. Submissions can be made at this link: http://bit.ly/ccsdtop10 View the flyer here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1jjJ7Lkcey6t6jZFHBLILyxgg0HdDfktN

At the end of the day on Friday, the district will play its “Top Ten Stars of the Week.” So far we have collected over 100 nominations for this week alone, and we will continue to celebrate more All-Stars each week! We will post the All-Stars on our Learning from a Distance website, Facebook, and Peachjar.

Important Note: We are still serving our breakfasts and lunches on Monday-Friday at bus route locations and three schools. We wanted to assure families, as we have fielded questions and concerns that our local food distribution is no longer going to be provided.

Internet Connectivity

Getting connected is an essential part of learning from a distance. It allows us to stay in contact and provide support to students. We recognize that challenges exist to get all our students online. We want to make sure we offer you every possible solution that we can, please take a look at the following options available to you and your family.

Options for Getting Internet Service to Your Home The following community partners are helping students get internet at their homes:

• Verizon subscribers will be receiving 15GB additional data to their plans. If you have not seen that reflected on your profile yet, you can call Verizon.

• CC Communications is offering free internet to families with children who need it for school through the school year. This offer is good even if there are previous bills past due. Call 423-7171 ext. 1450 for information.

• Charter is also offering internet to families with children that require it for school. Call 844-488-8395 for information.

The district continues to look for other means to support you during this time. If the above options are not available, call or text Nate Waite at 217-0533 or email him at waiten@churchillcsd.com.

Using Chromebooks offline or with intermittent access

Although not ideal, there are options available for completing a variety of tasks offline with a Chromebook. View examples of how you can use a Chromebook for learning while using public WiFi for brief upload/download sessions at bit.ly/cboffline.

These tasks should be used in conjunction with safe social distancing practices but will allow students to quickly complete tasks from a car near a public WiFi location.

Chromebook Support

We are now able to help students troubleshoot from home on a number of Chromebook issues. ChurchillCSD’s technical support “Help Desk” has been opened up so that students can submit help tickets.

● For support, send an email to support@oasisol.com

● Please provide a short description of the problem and include a phone number where you can be reached

● Emails must come from your school district issued student email address

(District issued email addresses format: lastnamefirstname@fallongreenwave.com. If you are unable to access your email from your Chromebook, please sign in to your Gmail account from a different device to submit your help ticket.)

• If you are unable to resolve any technical issues with guidance from our team and have been advised to exchange your device, please refer to the process outlined below.

Process for all ChurchillCSD students to exchange devices

Beginning Monday, Chromebooks can be dropped off on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-11 a.m. at your (or your child’s) school’s front office. There will be a Chromebook with a bar code reader set-up in the office to minimize contact during the exchange.

To exchange devices:

1. The staff member at the desk will ask for your name and a description of your Chromebook’s issue.

2. Pass your current Chromebook’s bar code by the scanner to check it back in.

3. Place the old Chromebook in the “quarantine” tub.

4. The staff member will place a fresh device on the ledge for you to pick up.

5. Pass the new one by the scanner to check it out.

6. Staff members will confirm that it is checked out and you may leave.

Please maintain 6 feet of distance with anyone else onsite; tape will be on the ground indicating six feet of distance in the waiting area. Please minimize contact with all surfaces during device exchanges.

Supplies available for pick-up at food distribution sites/routes

We have some limited school supplies that can be picked up when meals are picked up—if you are in need of something, please email shyned@churchillcsd.com and we can try to get those into the boxes at the stops if we have access to that type of supply. Items may include markers, colors, paper, pencils, pencil sharpeners, tape, etc. We received a wonderful donation from Walmart with many of these supplies.

New Student/Kindergarten Registration and Pre-K Applications

If you are new to the area or need to register your incoming kindergarten student, registration information and packets can be found at this link: http://www.churchillcsd.com/parents-students/register-for-school.

Note on Vaccination Requirements: The State of Nevada will be giving an extension on immunizations due to postponed non-essential services in doctors’ offices. Students may be enrolled in school regardless of immunization status at this time. Students that have enrolled at this time and are not up-to-date on vaccines will be contacted by our Chief School Nurse to guide and inform families of opportunities to become compliant with state requirements.

● For incoming kindergarten through fifth-grade students, completed registration forms can be emailed to shyned@churchillcsd.com

● Completed Pre-K Applications can be emailed to kelseya@churchillcsd.com

Please Note: Completing and submitting a Pre-Kindergarten Application does not guarantee that a child will be accepted to the Pre-Kindergarten program.

Food Services Update

Food Services is offering pick-up sites at Allen Road/Mt. View, Serpa Way/Broadway Street and Silver State/Gummow Road. These sites will also have WiFi access.

Remote drop-off pick-up times will remain the same (10-11 a.m.) and all buses will continue to offer Wifi services (except for Bus 53 @ Churchill Village).

To view all Food Services pick-up locations, visit bit.ly/schoolclosureupdates.

Nevada Census 2020

Churchill County lead Nevada in the completion of the census. Keep it up.

Nevadans can receive $20,000 for every single person that’s counted for over the next 10 years. This funding will go towards our schools, veterans, healthcare and children’s programs. Go out and complete your #NevadaCensus at ensus.nv.gov now!

Complete your census, and share with others that you completed it. It’s important, safe and easy.

How to respond: There are three ways for Nevadans to complete the census

● Online: visit census.nv.gov

● Phone: call English: 1-844-330-2020; Spanish: 1-844-468-2020

● Mail: most Nevadans will receive a census invitation in the mail.

Census IDs are NOT needed for online/phone response.