Churchill County School District discusses behavior incidents |

Churchill County School District discusses behavior incidents

Aly Lawson
The board recognizes 2017 staff retirees (from left) Carol I. Reynolds-Woodsford, Arlene Detomasi, Teresa Moyle, Patricia Fleming, Debra Smotherman, Kirsten Ann Wilson and Lucy Rickman with trustee Kathryn Whitaker and Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon. Not pictured are Robert Freeman, Eileen Haugen, Joan Hutchings, Diana Strickland and David Wuth.

The Churchill County School District Board of Trustees met Wednesday to receive middle school information about the number and types of behavior incidents reported recently.

Churchill County Middle School Principal Amy Word and Vice Principal Robert Wickware discussed with the board the investigation and discipline process as well as both current and potential practices for student safety.

Word talked about the school’s January-March 2017 violent act report is not what they would like to see — but reported an improved number of incidents in the last eight weeks. She also noted upticks during certain times of the year and different discipline practices or a lack in consistency as staff has rotated in and out.

It was reported that incidents are recorded in Infinite Campus, and if a student retaliates, that incident is recorded as two separate ones.

Word said every time an incident occurs, there is an investigation including statements from the students involved and any witnesses. The student handbook is then followed using disciplinary matrices. Also families, staff and mediators work together to create a plan, considering the behavior record, current situation and expectations moving forward.

The principals worked with a counselor and the district technology coach to hatch the idea for making more related resources available to students right on their Chromebooks. Wickware added employees are reminding students they have instant, direct communication to any staff member by simply starting to type that person’s name into the email “to” field.

Word said more support is needed during lunchtime when the majority of incidents takes place. It was discussed how people are needed to work this hour-and-a-half shift and to maybe seek community volunteers as well as offer sports games as healthy distractions for students.

The principals added they will continue to work head on with students to resolve issues during this challenging time of transitioning from elementary school student to high school. The board commended the principals and teachers for their work in this difficult stage of childhood education, especially with the added complexity of social media said trustee Tricia Strasdin.

“You know, we’re talking about a problem that’s probably existed for I don’t know, ever,” said trustee Matt Hyde. “I don’t want parents out there to think we take bullying lightly because no one in this room does, and I appreciate parents out there coming forward with their concerns.”

Dr. Sandra Sheldon, superintendent of schools, said she wanted folks to take away that the district does not tolerate bullying, adding it has to be reported and staff has to follow through with the law and policies in place.

“Life sometimes is hard and we have to learn how to overcome,” said trustee Kathryn Whitaker. “We have to look for support that can get us beyond instead of letting it consume our lives and debilitating us from what we really can do.”

The board approved a high-school Career and Technology Education (CTE) course for diesel technology, which was discussed as in high demand and well-paying for a career given the nearby mines as well as the recent flood mitigation effort equipment.

The board also recognized the high-school students in the video production CTE class who created the emergency response and earthquake safety videos including a certificate of appreciation from the State of Nevada, Department of Education.

In closed session the board discussed negotiations and strategies regarding the Churchill County Administrators’ Association, Churchill County Education Association, and the Nevada Classified School Employees Association.

The next board meeting will take place May 24 at 6 p.m. in the Old High School auditorium (“The Pit”).