School trustee looks to build local partnerships |

School trustee looks to build local partnerships

Teri Vance

Trustee Ron Swirczek ran for the Carson City School Board last year on the platform of creating community partnerships to enhance student achievement.

On Tuesday, he hopes his fellow board members will join in his vision.

“I believe the school district is doing a good job,” he said. “If we bring the community in, we’re going to be a great school district.”

Swirczek said he has been talking to manufacturers and other business leaders throughout the community who are excited about the prospect of working more intimately with schools and students.

He envisions programs where every student is exposed to mentors in the community who can help make the connection between what they’re learning and why they’re learning it.

He said experts could come into the classroom and teach certain concepts, then invite students to their business for real-world applications. They could be done, Swirczek said, in after-school programs or during the regular school day.

“We do have partnerships now,” he said, “but they’re scattered. We don’t get to all of the kids.”

The end result of the partnering, he said, is that all students graduating from high school will have the skills necessary to complete higher education or enter the workforce.

How to get there, however, is what he’s hoping the board will help decide.

“It’s not my place,” he said. “It’s the community’s place. That’s what’s so exciting about this.”

He asking the board to approve during Tuesday’s meeting a “vision-setting process.”

He hopes the board will appoint a facilitator who will work with trustees and community members to establish a process for creating education partnerships and a way to measure success.

“We just need to get it moving and away we go,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be complicated.”

He’s also hoping members of the community will attend Tuesday’s meeting to join in the discussion. As it moves forward, he said, he expects about 150 business and other interested members to help shape the program.

“It’s not just K-12,” he said. “It’s a learning community.”

It’s time to step outside of traditional methods of learning, he said.

“We’re so focused on state and federal mandates, I think we’re losing sight of what is truly student achievement and success.”