CCSD looks to expand partnerships for CTE program | NevadaAppeal.com

CCSD looks to expand partnerships for CTE program

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

In this photo from 2015, a Churchill County High School student works on a car as part of the CTE program.

Career and Technical Education has taken a new shape since Nevada's economic boom is changing the landscape for employment opportunities.

Summer Stephens updated trustees on the CTE program at the Churchill County School District's regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Stephens, along with Churchill County High School Principal Scott Winter, attended a Churchill Economic Development Authority presentation on Nevada's future workforce and how to prepare students for future jobs.

Stephens said she has a passion to ensure all students have an opportunity to be successful and work within the county to assist them with their career goals.

"We'll be working hard to be out in the community to work on partnerships," she said, referring to the CTE program.

Filling the vacant CTE position will occur later, but Stephens said Educational Services will oversee the implementation of grants associated with CTE. Stephens said as CTE continues to expand, the school district must support instructors who maintain and grow their programs. According to Stephens, she is meeting with Kristina Carey, the newest addition to the Nevada Teacher program at the University of Nevada, Reno, a master teacher who has a background in agriculture and environmental science. Carey had taught vocational agriculture classes at Churchill County High School since 2006 and last year was the district's CTE coordinator. Stephens said she wants to ensure courses offered in the school district are focused on industry standards.

"Students need to know a common set of skills," she said, adding she would like Carey to work with the staff on work-based learning.

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Stephens outlined several other goals. She said JOIN is also partnering with other school districts in Nevada, something she wants for CCSD, and by working with Western Nevada College, she would like to avoid the duplication of classes. Sometime during late September or early October, both Stephens and trustees would like to receive input on that is needed in the community from the public.

Kimi Melendy, director of Educational Services, discussed the credit-retrieval program and how students earn credit through summer school or a credit recovery class. She said 96 students enrolled in summer school with 43 students taking more than one class.

"Our goal is for students to get the credits needed so they can graduate," she said. With credit recovery classes, she said students take a test to assess prior knowledge before beginning a class. Based on results, Melendy said students then complete the lessons on material they don't know.

With school beginning Aug. 20, Kevin Lords, the district's new human resources director, said openings remain in four licensed positions — special education and math at the high school and science and art at the middle school.

Trustees approved these openings as critical needs, according to Nevada Revised Statutes, and gave Lords permission to look at retirees who may be interested in teaching.

Oasis Online updated the school board on the installation of new Promethean Boards at district schools and the number of Smart Boards remaining to be replaced.

Of the 55 new Promethean Boards, the school district funded 40, other funding purchased 12 and the middle school bought three.

Trustee Clay Hendrix asked Sharla Hales, legal counsel to CCSD, about school-district policy and Nevada law allowing staff to carry a weapon, such as a handgun, on school property. Hales said Nevada law prohibits the carrying of a weapon on school grounds unless the person is a peace officer or if the principal gives permission.

"Our policy does not state any exception," Hales added.

Hales said CCSD policy did not contain the exception at the request of the previous superintendent, Sandra Sheldon.

Hales said she would follow up on the statute and policy and see if the Governor's Task Force on School safety is recommending the possession of weapons by staff on school grounds.