District plans collaboration with math classes with engagement, career focus | NevadaAppeal.com

District plans collaboration with math classes with engagement, career focus

In order to enhance the quality of teaching mathematics within the Churchill County School District, teachers and faculty are approaching new techniques in the classroom while preparing students for their future.

Three math instructors from Churchill County Middle School attended the 2018 MidSchool Math Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, last month. CCMS teachers presented their experience to school board trustees Wednesday and plan to experiment with the techniques next year.

According to the Nevada Department of Education's statewide report card released in February, 65 percent of students at Churchill County High School struggle with Math II, and 41 percent of students in the district overall are performing in the lowest range of achievement in the subject.

"They told us math anxiety is similar to a fear," said CCMS math teacher Laura Lee Christensen. "It's a similar response as if you were afraid of spiders."

Seminars were led by educational professionals discussing engaging hands-on activities that promote learning, as well as using balanced math models to promote algebraic thinking without leaving students in tension.

Although the classes have not yet been accredited for math qualifications, one teacher at Churchill County High School is approaching math to her students with lessons on financial literacy, among the many other features such as employability and independent living skills.

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Sara Camper's Transition Churchill program also gives students the opportunity to tour local colleges, write resumes, practice mock interviews, work as employees at the school's cafe and get paid minimum wage from the school.

Camper provided an update to trustees as the program has been in development for about seven years.

Camper said high school students exposed to Career Technical Education opportunities are 20 percent more likely to graduate.

"It's to open doors and relieve anxiety," she said. "I'm from Oregon and I love this community. The small businesses are collaborating with this program to teach students the soft skills of work experience."

Transition Churchill also participates in NDOE's Nevada Student Leadership Transition Summit every November. The event gives students the opportunity to present ideas and tips to schools in state counties about transition from high school to adulthood.

"Kids are worth it," Camper said. "It means something when you see them at their first job at a grocery store and they say, 'Look! I got the job you made me interview for!'"

Other items discussed at the school board meeting Wednesday, March 28:

Churchill County School District Superintendent search update: On Friday, April 13, Search Consultant Greg McKenzie will present the number of applicants and recommended interviews to trustees during a special board meeting. Time to be announced. The board is then expected to discuss candidates April 18 and 19 and make a decision to choose two candidates. Public input also will be invited on those days.

Approval for Trustee Matt Hyde for the Region II Representative on the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association's Board of Control.