Getting off multitrack in Douglas County |

Getting off multitrack in Douglas County

Staff reports

MINDEN – Gardnerville Elementary School will go off a multitrack schedule and onto a year-round, single-track calendar beginning next year.

The decision was made after a presentation and recommendation by Douglas County School District staff, who said the multitrack calendar is a last-ditch effort. Scarselli and C.C. Meneley elementary schools are expected to follow, going to a single-track, year-round schedule in coming years.

Superintendent Pendery Clark said the decision comes after the district has experienced slow growth over a three-year period.

“This year we truly believe that the decrease is a trend and not a blip, and we expect it to continue for some time,” she said.

The district originally opted to go on a multitrack system to convince taxpayers that the district’s facilities were being used to a maximum capacity.

“You can’t operate multitrack if you don’t have enough students,” she said. “With declining enrollments it limits you.”

Every November, the board will review the issue. Multitrack is considered a last-ditch effort for overcrowded schools and is unpopular with teachers and parents alike, Director of Business Services Rick Kester.

At the October school board meeting, the Douglas County Professional Education Association presented the results of the annual survey of teachers and parents on the impact of year-round multitrack. They concluded the hectic schedule had a negative effect on issues such as social development, professional development, parent and family impact, staff morale and education.

The board agreed to convert Gardnerville Elementary School to a single-track calendar for the school year 2000-2001; add one instructional pod to Minden Elementary School by November 2000; and convert Scarselli to single-track for 2001-2002 and C.C. Meneley to single-track for 2002-2003 if enrollment continues to decline.

The board also recommended that they include an additional education pod for Minden Elementary. Minden Elementary has 348 students in a school built to house 300 students.

“The addition of one more pod at Minden, we feel, we can relieve the over crowding at Minden, and accommodate any growth at the north end of the valley,” Clark said.

The district estimates the education pod to cost $1 million. It has already been set aside in capital improvement project funds budgeted for next year.