District issues accountability report | NevadaAppeal.com

District issues accountability report

by Teri Vance

The dropout rate at Carson High School plummeted 50 percent last year, according to the school district’s accountability report, which is inside today’s Nevada Appeal.

“I think Pioneer High, the alternative education program, is giving students who are credit deficient, who would normally drop out, a second chance to rebuild their high school career,” said Superintendent Jim Parry.

The report shows a 2.59 percent overall dropout rate for CHS, compared with a rate of 5.2 percent in 1997/98.

Parry said tutoring to help students pass proficiency exams, mandatory to graduate, also helped to keep students in school.

“If the kids can see themselves passing it and know they’re going to get a lot of help, it gives them incentive to keep trying,” Parry said.

Every six months, the school district is required to issue an accountability report to the community which includes data ranging from test results and violence in schools to how money is spent.

“I certainly think it helps the public put into perspective what happens in each school and within the district and evaluate what’s happening,” Parry said. “Since the public foots the bill for education, it’s important or them to see how their money is spent.”

Most of the figures are from the 1998-1999 school year.

“You’re always grabbing data from the previous year,” Parry said. “It’s a snapshot that’s a year late.”

The report also lists the goals of the district and the progress that has been made to achieve those goals.

The No. 1 goal for the district is to improve kindergarten through fifth-grade reading and the second is to increase core instructional time, or the amount of time spent on reading.

Parry said the schools have made these goals their focus.

“They are steeped in training staff to be better at teaching reading or reorganizing schools to be better at teaching reading skills,” he said. “The staff has been very selfless in in taking on new programs.”

Bordewich-Bray, Mark Twain and Empire elementary schools implemented the Success for All program which includes daily 90-minute uninterrupted reading periods.

Fritsch, Seeliger and Fremont elementary schools implemented Reading Recovery to increase core reading time for first graders who need help in reading.

However, in four of the six elementary schools the number of fourth-grade students reading above average on the October TerraNova tests dropped from the previous year.

Parry said the drop may be due to the rezoning.

“Zoning probably set them back a little bit,” Parry said. “It was kind of like a bump in the road for a lot of schools that had to reorganize their reading groups.”

The report says that Fritsch Elementary School had an 11 percent truancy rate, but that’s a typographical error, officials said. It should report a 1 percent truancy rate.