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Churchill County School District updates

By Dr. Summer Stephens Superintendent Churchill County School District

2020 Census

Churchill County continues to edge out others in Nevada and is able to compete on a national scale, in what, you might ask? In the 2020 Census response rate. And that is no small feat. As a leader of an organization in our community that benefits from all residents of Fallon and Churchill County being counted, I ask you to get it done (I would use the words of Larry the Cable Guy here, as he is from my home state, but might get a copyright violation!)

In late February/early March, I publicly stated that I wanted to see 100% of Churchill County counted and we are well on our way. Our ability to self-report now in the time of uncertainty through the online https://census.nv.gov/, through the telephone version or by mail can get us to 100% participation. It only takes a few minutes!

In a recent Facebook post, I shared why the census matters to schools. I was disappointed to see several angry faces on the post. Why would this incite such a response when the results of the census ensure our children and families in our community have access to resources and programs that help them achieve success and bring up the success level of those around them?

The funds that our community and county receive give opportunities to many. The count is in part one of the reasons we are able to serve over 1500 children a day and more than 135,000 meals during the closure of school at a time we know our economy is hitting everyone hard. Funds that are generated due to our population count, which dates back to 1790, have also helped carry us as a school system through this uncertain time as we navigated our way with classroom technology, internet connectivity for our students, and teacher training.

Federal funds assigned as part of our population count also ensure we can have a robust career and technical education program, with our district offering more than 14 pathways for our learners as well as work-based learning to compliment the classroom learning. By taking the census and being counted, each person in our county brings in $20,000 over the next 10 years, with a good share of that funding going to support our future leaders and inventors!

I ask each household in Churchill County to complete their census and challenge you to call, write, email, or text people you know and ask if they have completed their 2020 Census–make challenges in your neighborhood and your extended family. I encourage you to check out the Statistics in Schools website for activities that can be done with your kids at home to understand the importance of being counted as it dates back 230 years (https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/sis.html). These results matter, completing our civic duty matters, our kids matter!

Nominate for ChurchillCSD All-Star

Please submit someone who is a Champion right now–a student, staff member, community member, or parent — Let’s celebrate the awesome job everyone is doing. Fill out your nomination at bit.ly/ccsdtop10.

Attendance Reminder

In ChurchillCSD, elementary classroom teachers will continue to take attendance with their classroom students, and middle school and high school advisory teachers will take attendance one time per week through the end of the school year with their advisory students, at a minimum. The attendance requirement is for all students through the entirety of the closure.

Churchill County Library Updates

Summer Reading Program Kick-Off May 1— The Summer Reading Program began May 1 so mark your calendars! The theme this year is “Imagine Your Story.” This year reading and challenges will be tracked through Beanstack which will be located on the Library’s website. Remember, even though the library building is closed, resources are available at http://www.churchillcountylibrary.org

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.

 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-5th 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 6th-8th grade, the “hold harmless” approach will also ensure that the 3rd 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 9th-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.

Please contact Dr. 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.

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 more 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

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

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.

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 5th-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.