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State accountability scores mixed results

Christine Kuklica
ckuklica@lahontanvalleynews.com
Numa Elementary School's fifth grade teacher Lisa Solinski instructs her students during class.
CHRISTINE KUKLICA / CKUKLICA@LAHONTANVALLEYNEWS.COM |

The Nevada Department of Education’s latest state accountability report and school rating system for 2014 shows several Churchill County schools remained the same while two elementary schools dropped one star.

The annual report provides parents and community members with a valuable overview of public school performance in Nevada.

Churchill County High School and Numa Elementary School remained steady with a three-star ranking, while Churchill County Middle School kept pace with four stars.

CCMS Principal Scott Meihack said he is proud of his teachers and students for their continued hard work of achievement to maintain a four-star rating.

“The students and teachers have worked extremely hard over the past couple of years to achieve these accomplishment,” Meihack said. “It hasn’t been easy for the teachers and the students either, changing grading and the way you get things done have been hard on everyone but they all have been positive and up for the challenge.”

Furthermore, Meihack said he firmly believes the successes afforded to CCMS came from depth of knowledge, the Olweus bullying program and 80/20.

“When the culture and atmosphere in the school is better it allows the teachers to teach properly and the students to learn properly,” he added.

According to the NDE, two elementary schools dropped from three to two stars: Lahontan and E. C. Best elementary schools.

CCSD Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon said she is disappointed with several ratings this year.

“I’m disappointed Lahontan and E.C. Best went from a three star to a two star,” Sheldon said. “We worked hard last year to identify what happened and how things could improve. The schools preformed self-test to address the areas that need improvement and have started implementing them. They’ve identified problems and are working on steps to help improve student achievement.

Sheldon said the schools are looking at ways to improve and how to accomplish their goals.

“ This report is only one indicator of where our school is at academically,” she said. “MAP scores and class assessments are improving and students are doing well. This really is just one piece of looking at the quality of the school.”

State Superintendent of Instruction Dale Erquiaga said some schools are achieving good results, but many have remained unchanged since last year and some continue to lag.

“More must be done to ensure all our students and educators are prepared for higher expectations as we move into this school year,” Erquiaga said. “We are transitioning to a more rigorous set of learning standards, new assessments, and an increased focus on college and career readiness. These accountability reports provide an opportunity for parents and stakeholders to talk with their schools about what we can expect from the transition, as well as what happened in prior years.”

Erquiaga, who grew up in Fallon, said parents should ask for details because one-tenth of a point could change a school’s rating.