Choir serenades school board before meeting | NevadaAppeal.com

Choir serenades school board before meeting

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

Churchill County High School's choir serenaded school-board trustees and two students displayed prints from their pinhole-camera project at Wednesday's (Oct. 24) meeting.

Trustees also received information on a Profile of a Learner, the audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending on June 30 and an update on current graduation requirements, college and graduation requirements and adjusted diploma requirements.

Tom Fleming's choir sung both the national anthem and a musical selection for trustees. The choir is promoting "A Ceremony of Carols; A Christmas Celebration" for Dec. 6 and Dec. 7. This yuletide event includes music, a royal court, a four-course dinner featuring tri-tip steak and holiday cheer for family and friends.

Cheyenne Penfole and Hailey Lackey, two students from Rebecca Mayer's photography class, showed trustees how a primitive setup with the basic necessities can produce photographic print.

"The pinhole camera is an adaption of one of the first cameras," Lackey said as Penfole was showing a poster board with prints.

The students used their classroom as a darkroom to develop the film and then process it by and with developer, water and fixer.

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The students who led the pledge and were Katelyn Glinka and Markiece Kramer, fifth-grade students from Numa Elementary School, led the board in the Pledge of Allegiance and spoke about the Character Counts word "trustworthiness."

Churchill County Middle School teachers Heather Benjamin and Traci Miller reviewed a draft, Profile of a Learner, which is part of an ongoing conversation within the school district's strategic design process.

Miller said seven categories focus on the skills of academic mindset; citizenship, social and cross-culture skills; information, communication and technology literacy; initiative, self-direction, and learning to learn; creativity and innovation; critical thinking and problem solving; and financial literacy.

Miller said the aim is to make students work collaboratively as well as individually.

The categories can be applied to any student from age 3 through adult education. Miller said the skills for learners is a jumping-off point for organizing people involved with the process and setting goal.

Trustee Matt Hyde said the goal must be achievable.

"Once they are, then we can go further," he said.

Certified public accountant Chad B. Atkinson of HintonBurdick. CPAs and Advisors reviewed the audited financial statements. Atkinson said an independent auditor's report on compliance for each major program and on internal control over compliance required by uniform guidance found no findings.

Atkinson said district revenues were up from the prior year by $2,038,782, while expenses were down from the prior year by $121,912. The overall change in the net position of the district, he said, was a decrease of almost $9 million from the prior fiscal year because of a restatement adjustment of $11 million.

Trustees also learned of the capital asset and long-term liabilities that included the transportation office renovation, telephone system upgrade, site improvements and construction still in progress after June 30.

Atkinson said the net pension liability increased by $3.5 million, but the OPEB (Other post-employment benefits) liability increased $6.9 million. According to Atkinson, all funds operated to their approved budget, but some functions within funds were overspent.

"The key here," he said, "the school district is operating within its budget."

This is the first year HintonBurdick CPAs and Advisors has audited the school district.

"I appreciate the smooth transition," Hyde said.

CCHS Principal Scott Winter gave an overview on current graduation requirements. Currently, a student needs 22.5 credits to graduate, but beginning with the class of 2020, that number changes to 23 credits. He explained the differences between the standard diploma and a standard diploma with a Career Technical Education endorsement, Honor School Diploma and adjusted and alternative diplomas.

Winter also compared Churchill County's credit requirements with other counties, noting Lyon County has eliminated its honor diploma.

The first-year principal also addressed district concerns: quantity vs. quality/depth of honors-designated classes; dual-credit offerings vs. Advanced Placement (AP) offerings; lack of students who sit for an AP exam; and how does the Blended Learning model tie into graduation preparedness.