Joint meeting focuses on Carson City student programs | NevadaAppeal.com

Joint meeting focuses on Carson City student programs

The Carson City Board of Supervisors and School Board met for their annual joint meeting Thursday to discuss the various programs in the community that are in place to help with student success.

The joint board heard from organizations across Carson City, including Juvenile Probation, the library, the high schools and the Student Attendance Review Board.

"With our students we are actively connecting learning outside the classroom because of all our community partners," said school board President Ron Swirczek. "When we help students, they are successful and we are all successful."

The Carson City Library and Adam's Hub for Innovation presented their internship opportunities for the high school students to work in the entrepreneurial field. With the Adam's Hub, the students will have the opportunity to work directly with entrepreneurs in the area to gain knowledge in the field and with the library, students will gain professional development opportunities with their teen leadership council, tutor.com and the Digitorium.

Valerie Cauhape, business development manager for the Adams Hub said their mission is for both organizations to work more with the schools so they can partner more with the course curriculum during these internships. They also hope to start recruiting college students from Western Nevada College and University of Nevada, Reno.

Both programs offer internships to two students per year to work a paid internship of about 10 hours a week. Their goal is to improve their internships as well as bring more external partners as well as provide more internal education opportunities.

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Carson City Juvenile Probation Services also spoke to the boards to provide an example of what services they offer the schools, students and families who may be struggling.

"Our priority is diversion so we want to offer programs for our youth who may not be in the juvenile system and partner with the school district," said Linda Lawlor, deputy chief of Juvenile Services.

Some of those services include the Play by the Rules program where they go in and teach students about their legal rights in Nevada, their Parent Project, drug and alcohol classes, and the Arise program to help troubled elementary students.

"We just hope to get to them across the school because we want to avoid seeing them in our office," Lawlor said.

Lawlor and Ryan Felix, detention center manager, also talked about their direct partnership with the schools through their JASTT mental health program and GradPoint program. The department works directly with the school social workers to target and provide resources to students in the schools suffering from mental health problems. The GradPoint program also works with the schools to provide online classes for students while in detention so they don't fall behind in their classes.

Felix said during the last school year 131 youth were served in the detention center through the program and earned 70 credits total. Pioneer High School Principal Jason Zona praised the program for helping students be able to stay on track for graduation even if they end up in the detention setting.

"When we started with Juvenile Services, we didn't have those levels of support," Zona said. "Before we had kids going to detention and wouldn't be able to catch up so now the students can be online with any of their courses and then go back to their original school site and continue it seemlessly."

Zona and Carson High Principal Tasha Fuson also spoke to the board about the schools' accreditation process, which put both sites above the national average.

The accreditation is a review process from outside agencies that look at systemic and sustainable improvements for schools as well as build the capacity of the schools to increase and sustain student learning.

The review looks at things such as leadership, learning and resource capacity to give the school a score and also provide insight for where they can improve. A team of administrators from outside counties sit in on classrooms to make sure the things the schools say are happening are in fact happening, and give them scores on seven domains on a four-point rating.

Carson High earned a score of 327.21 for their IEQ index and Pioneer earned an IEQ index of 315.94. The national IEQ index average is 282.45, with the scale ranging from 100 to 400 points.

Fuson said they were told they needed improvements in developing a common grading system for monitored instruction, which is something they knew previously they needed to do.

"We weren't surprised, it is something we have been working on," Fuson said.

Zona said their improvement priority was to develop a plan to provide programs and services for learners' educational futures and career planning.