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CCSD SUPERINTENDENT presents State of the District

Aly Lawson
alawson@lahontanvalleynews.com
Churchill County High School seniors Nicholas Kulick and Skye Collins enjoy the automotive technology career and technical education (CTE) course.

The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees met Thursday to hear the State of the District including enrollment numbers as well as learn more about community perception surveys.

“We made a pretty good estimate as to where our student enrollment would come in,” said Dr. Sandra Sheldon, superintendent of schools. “Our enrollment is down, but it’s down what we predicted. That’s good news with the budget we have now.”

There are approximately 3,337 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, not including no-shows or students who missed the first week of school. That number was calculated on Aug. 23 and will be pulled again for a more accurate count. There were 3,453 students enrolled at the end of last year.

The district is only about eight students down from what was budgeted for, said Kimi Melendy, CCSD educational services director.

The concern is kindergarten, fourth and fifth grade class sizes. There are about 30 more kindergarteners than anticipated but Sheldon and Melendy said there’s an additional kindergarten teacher candidate. The district also plans on using job fairs to help recruit more teachers for additional fourth and fifth grade sections.

Sheldon reported the budget is no longer being depleted but being built on. She also presented “blended learning,” which is being used with 50 million students in America. Blended learning means more diverse curriculum styles and technology-enhanced classrooms.

The superintendent also discussed having parents take short community perception surveys during parent-teacher conferences. The surveys conducted by the Center for Educational Effectiveness would be aimed at gaining clarity, stimulating conversations and helping with decision-making.

Rachel Dahl, executive director of the Churchill Economic Development Authority, said she wants the district to include the greater community in the survey process for added value, emphasizing how students go on to work in the community.

Kevin Lords, principal at Churchill County High School, gave an update on the school’s career and technical education courses. The classes range from agriculture, business and health science to furniture and cabinet making, culinary arts, graphic design and construction. Information technology is a new class this year.

“We’re always looking at how to expand things,” Lords said. “Over the past years, we’ve been decreasing in enrollment and we’re very fortunate to be keeping these programs alive.”

He added the programs can stay alive because of the school’s teachers’ credentials.

The board also recognized Lahontan Elementary School first-grade teacher Kieran Kalt, who received the Veterans of Foreign Wars State of Nevada Elementary Teacher of the Year Award for 2015-2016.

The next meeting will be Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. at The Old High School.