Notes from the School Board meeting

  • 2020-12-06, 08:25 AM
  • Susan Weikel
Notes from the School Board meeting File photo

Notes from Churchill County School Board meeting on November 18, 2020

Superintendent Update:

A.  Enrollment Data: Dr. Stephens reported to the Board that as of November 13, Churchill County School total for PK-12 is 3,242 students. A written report can be found in the Board Book. Board members had no questions relating to the report.

B.  Update on Learner-centered Framework and Modern Teacher: Dr. Stephens made a brief presentation on the Learner-Centered Framework that is currently in its 2nd year of implementation in the district. The Learner-Centered model is focused on building a partnership between the teacher and the student that enables them to work together and collaborate on the instructional process for each student. The District has been working to improve parental involvement and has established Implementation Specialists (21 teachers total) in each school who provide support for fellow staff and lead some professional development activities. The District is also working to start School Support Teams that will look at the data gathered, match this information with attendance, and relate this information to the students’ competencies.

Nate Waite gave a presentation on Modern Teacher. He explained that Modern Teacher offers an organizational tool for the District as it works through the necessary steps to address the District’s strategic plan. Currently, there are 6 schools in the county, 5 Title I schools, that involve 491 employees with various needs for training and support, and 3,242 students with various needs and skills. The need to make changes as technology advances, for various teaching methods, more versatility, continued professional development, and competency-based evaluations make the tools offered by Modern Teacher greatly beneficial. The powerpoint presentation given by Mr. Waite is also available online in the Board Book.

C. Update of District-related matters: Dr. Stephens informed the Board that various staff members and teachers had met with her and discussed ideas and concerns for the 2nd term. She told the Board that she would be meeting with the Leadership Team on the 30th to discuss this more. Trustee Schank asked about the attitude and feeling of staff in regard to continuing with the hybrid concept. Dr. Stephens explained that she has gotten the feeling that people want to stay-in-school with teachers and students interacting face to face as long as that can be done safely. The next term will start two weeks before the winter break and people feel strongly that they hope to see teachers and students able to start face to face.

    Dr. Stephens told the Board that the District is working on a partnership with Pixellot Camera and plans to soon have a camera placed in the main gym and one in the stadium to be used with a system called Play On. The Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association has a contract with the National Federation of State High School Associations for exclusive rights to broadcast NIAA sanctioned events. These cameras will allow for our games to be streamed so that patrons can view games remotely.

    The high school has started some support groups for students wanting help with homework, tutoring, and/or help with studying. There is a Mentor Group, the National Honors Society, and a Volunteer Club all working to help fellow classmates.

    Dr. Stephens gave the Board an update on COVID-19 issues in the District. Since October 27, the District has had 409 student exclusions, 263 of those were primary exposures, 25 positive cases. There have been 46 staff exclusions with 11 positive cases. Lahontan Elementary has had 3 classrooms move to remote learning. On November 30th, the county was at 298 active cases and there were 12 positive COVID cases in the hospital. The District is experiencing a shortage of substitutes and bus drivers.

Business Update:

A. Budget to Actual Report: A written report can be found online in the Board Book. There were no questions on this report from Trustees.

B. Update of other business items: Christi Fielding, district comptroller, gave the Board an update regarding the DSA conversation from the last meeting. The true-up (the estimate for the same period of time, until you have the final actual amount) for the quarter one payments from the state to the district adjusted the average daily enrollment (ADE) base of 3,241 students to the actual count of 3,083.75 students, resulting in $307,000 being withheld from the November payment. Between December and January, there will be a shortage of close to $11,000.

Consent Agenda: The consent agenda was passed in 3 separate motions. Vouchers paid for 10/29/20 to 11/18/20 totaled $1,570,071.59. Payroll for October was $2,492,338.20. Class size report showed Kindergarten at 19 students, 1st grade at 18 students, 2nd grade at 19 students, 3rd grade at 21 students, and 4th and 5th at 22 students.

    Item I: approval of Computer Information Technology and Computer Science Courses provided through Multnomah University (Reno Technology Academy). This will add Multnomah University to the list of approved colleges. Trustee Whitaker abstained from voting on this item due to a possible conflict of interest.

    Item J: approval of the Rio Vista Lease Extension to Myles Getto. Trustee Getto abstained from voting on this item due to a possible conflict of interest. Trustee Buckmaster opposed. Item was approved.

Reports from Board Members:

    Trustee Schank reported that the Policy Committee had met.

    Trustee Whitaker reported that NASB (National Association of School Boards) had its Board of Directors meeting. Trustee Hyde also attended this meeting. New officers were elected to the Executive Board. Trustee Whitaker has been elected as President-Elect and will be the 2021-2022 president.  There was discussion about the legislative platform and there will be a posting of information about this platform in the next Board Book. The association will be focusing on funding, increasing representation in various state committees and councils, and issues around the proposal to have school boards appointed, not elected. Trustee Whitaker also noted that this year is the year that all board members are required to complete trainings. She explained that some of those trainings are scheduled to be given in Fallon and one will be in Elko.

Trustee Hyde commented that there seemed to be a strong feeling of support for appointed school boards. Budget issues may cause a delay in looking at this issue right now, but he felt that this will be a topic for future discussions.

New Business:

A.  Principals’ School Performance Plans: (PowerPoint presentations are available online) and this will be a separate story.

B.  Presentation on the state’s process of determining the new state funding model: (Separate article)

Policies: First readings

A. Trustee Whitaker explained to the Board that Trustee Schank, Trustee Pinder, and she had spent a great deal of time on the discussion of family, family engagement, and the District. However, looking at it now, she felt there was a need to add some language that referenced faculty. On line 24 (in the Board Book), she proposed adding a sentence that would address faculty. Trustee Strasdin supported this idea and the importance of extending the policy to include faculty. Trustee Whitaker will work on drafting the appropriate language.

B.  The deletion of Policy 6162 was recommended because there is no need to have a policy when the District is held accountable for following Federal regulations. In our district at this time, since we are grade-level schools, we actually have a waiver on this.

C.  No comments on Modification of Policy 5244.5

Future Agenda Items:

Trustee Schank asked if the Board could get a report that would add some clarity as to what all is involved with Tiers I and II in PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). Dr. Stephens informed the Board that over the next few months, different schools will be making presentations to the Board on PBIS and MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support).



Susan Weikel



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