Trustees updated on NELC’s school year, community surveys
LVN Editor Emeritus
The Churchill County School Board meets at 6 p.m. today at 690 S. Maine St.
Other than the superintendent and depart reports, agenda items include discussion and possible action on the audited financial statements for year-end June 30, 2018; Student Activity Agreed Upon Procedures (audit) Report; and high-school Principal Scott Winter will update the Board regarding the current graduation requirements, college and career graduation requirements, and the adjusted diploma requirements.
The Churchill County School Board received information on the first month of Northside Early Learning Center as well as learning about Fund our Future and big ideas and themes gleaned from the recent Stakeholder Input Survey and other reports.
NELC teacher Michelle Herzbrun and coordinator Lisa Bliss gave a slide presentation on programs and goals for the new school year.
“I’m amazed how far they have come,” Bliss said of the NELC students. “It’s interesting where they start and how they do.”
Bliss said NEC has a four-year-old program consisting of 151 students divided into eight classrooms for 4 year olds and four half-day classrooms for 3 year olds. Over time, improvements have made the school safer, and Bliss said there’s only one point of entry. Trustees said they were impressed learning the first fire drill in September involved 190 children who evacuated in 1 minute 21 seconds.
Bliss added the school always maintains a 10 to 1 adult to student ratio.
In her presentation, Bliss said NELC promotes family engagement that consists of every teacher meeting with each family to complete an intake process. One of the functions Bliss touted was a program called “The Gates.” She said every day parents and teachers connect at the school’s gate, and every time a child is dropped off or picked up, an exchange between the teacher and adult ensues. Bliss also discussed mathematics, which represents and analyses data; literacy, which demonstrates knowledge of print; cognitive, which shows curiosity and motivation; language and how it engages in conversation; physical, which teaches gross motor manipulative skills; and social emotional that manages feelings.
Amanda Morgan, legal director at Education Nevada Now, discussed how her group, Fund Our Future Nevada would like Nevada’s Legislature to restore the room tax revenue that, she said, belongs to the state’s educators.
According to Fund our Future website, “Known as the ‘Save Our Schools” Initiative, the IP1 Room Tax is a 3 percent room tax increase, promising to boost funding for Nevada’s K-12 public schools and help attract and retain teachers. To ensure IP1 actually increases public school funding, the law states that monies ‘supplement and not replace other money appropriated to fund K-12 public schools.’”
Morgan said the state is No. 1 in large class sizes and third worst for teacher salaries. She added the Nevada Plan passed in 1967 hasn’t been updated since that time to address funding.
“Funding for school districts has been flat for about 10 years,” she said, adding that it’s not solely a Clark County issue but it affects the entire state.
Morgan told trustees that she believes the budget deficit is a result of poor state management.
Board member Carmen Schank asked Morgan about the program. Morgan said it began as a grass roots organization with parents and other concerned individuals, and the membership total about 300 people.
For additional information, go to http://www.fundourfuturenv.com.
Dr. Summer Stephens, CCSD superintendent, presented information from the various surveys and other resources. The breakdown for respondents included 504 middle and high school students,186 parents or guardians, 15 community members and 106 school-district employees. The social-emotional learning/climate survey involved 1,208 students from the middle and high schools and the Education Effectiveness Survey from 2017 included 949 students from the middle and high schools, 606 parents and 231 school-district employees.
Stephens explained the concerns from community members about growth for the school district. Four of the most important concerns deal with Real world connections to content and earning, parent and community engagement, curriculum and course offerings/Pathways and communication.
Another part of the survey asked respondents of their feelings when hearing of the school district, which focused on words such as school, district, Churchill and good. Strengths included teachers, leadership, sports and activities and staff.
The school district also received a bid for a high-school constructed house on 450 Discovery Drive for $262,000.
The Nov. 14 school-board meeting has been moved to Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. because of a Nevada State Board of Education meeting in Las Vegas later in the week.