Summary of Storey County School Board Meeting, Wednesday Sept. 20, 2017

 

By Sharon Snell

As always, the agendas, board packets, and minutes from this meeting and previous meetings can be found on the Story County School District website under the heading  COMMUNITY HERE

The meeting was unusually short.  Board members Gary Hames and Colleen Conley were both absent due to illness. After President Jeff Nevin called the meeting to order, the consent items were unanimously approved by Dawn Miller and Melissa Field, board members present. The only item worth singling out is an Octoberfest Fundraiser to be held at Piper’s Opera House, Saturday, October 14th. This fundraiser will benefit cheer and sports teams at the high school and middle school.

Board Reports                                                                                                                                                         Superintendent Todd Hess commented on the positive success of the Jump Start Program offered through Western Nevada Community College. This rigorous two-year program offers qualifying Juniors and Seniors at the high school the opportunity to complete an AA degree at the same they receive their high school graduation diploma. Todd would like to develop a survey for recent Jump Start participants as well as graduated seniors to obtain feedback on their successes and challenges since leaving Virginia City High School. This is a great idea

Todd also reported on an interesting meeting sponsored by UNR targeting superintendents of Nevada’s rural school districts. Apparently most rural districts are having trouble hiring and keeping talented educators and administrators. Luckily Storey County School District has excellent staff retention. The shortage of talented qualified teachers nationwide is a serious problem.

If anyone saw our school buses shuttling folks around during the Camel Races weekend, you weren’t hallucinating! Todd reported that Camel Race organizers contracted with the District to pay for the use of the buses and the drivers. Sensible decision that benefitted all parties!

Melissa Field reported on the major fundraiser for Fourth Ward School to be held from 5-8pm Saturday, Oct. 14th. There will be food, entertainment by the Notables, raffles, and a silent auction featuring some creative art pieces made from old school desks. Tickets are $50.  Sounds like fun! Fourth Ward in an historic treasure and deserves community support.

Dawn reminded board members that End of Course (EOC) exams with be given for the first time next spring. The EOCs will replace the ACTs. (Don’t you just love these abbreviations?!) The State is still working out the exam specifics. The EOCs may be especially important to students who are anticipating scholarships or admissions to specific schools. Students and their families will get more information later in the school year.

Jeff announced that graduated high school student Thomas Redican has joined the Navy.

New Business                                                                                                                                                             The only new business was the approval of a few changes in contracts for both certified (teachers) and classified (other staff) employees. Todd was especially appreciative to Estelle for her help. Negotiations began last November.  There are no-across-the-board raises at this time. All parties involved seemed to understand the declining reserves facing the District. The new contracts are for 2 years.

With no public comment, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting is Oct. 18th at 5pm on the lower level of the high school in the training building.