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Dr. M. Neil Terhune, Superintendent

30 days ago

Esmeralda County School District

233 Ramsey, P.O. Box 560

Goldfield, Nevada 89013

Office 775-485-6382

Fax 775-485-3511

Dr. M. Neil Terhune

Superintendent Board Report November 2018

General Comments:  Our annual financial audit was exceptional. The ladies received an immaculate bill of health in all areas. Congratulations!

Despite significant challenges with student and parent relationships this last month the district continues to provide a safe and healthy academic climate. There are bright spots in areas of our Academic Interventions. This is the time of year that the district reaches out to the parents and community. We have completed our first round of Parent/Teacher conferences, Fall Festival, Fundraisers at each site and next week is our annual District Turkey Dinner in Goldfield.

We all enjoyed a marvelous day over the mountains at our annual SPE hike. I don’t remember all the details but our newest teacher, Josh Abbott, did the whole 34 miles in about 13 hours. Proud of all our kiddos that participated and even a couple of dogs. Our school staff and families did their usual volunteer support with sandwiches and water. It is quite an event. It is one of Bill’s great legacies.

Our boys at THS beat Alamo and then won our game Saturday to advance to the state football Championship against the Spring Mountain kids. It is Saturday at Beatty at 1:00 PM. Wow, what a year for our Esmeralda alumni. 😊

This meeting will be Fred Hartman’s last. He has provided exceptional service to the betterment of our children for several years and he will be missed. We welcome his daughter Marcia to the school board.


Our Regional Professional Development folks gave us Jason Lillebo for training on Friday October 12. The part of the session I observed was well presented. Thanks once again for Glenn’s support of our district. Our staff and students are at varying levels of STEM/STEAM proficiency, but we are making progress. Special thanks to Rob and John in assisting other EsCSD sites with this curriculum. I remind our community that our initiatives in this area are well out in front of state Middle School initiatives.

Our November 2nd  In-Service was rescheduled for November 30th and will include training in; Student Behavior Interventions, Learning Ally, Exact Path IXL, Quizlet and Read Works. We will also summarize our safety action plans.  We have tentatively planned this for the GF Campus. The NWEA data training will be held after our second round of MAP tests in February. 

A School Climate Parent/Staff meeting was held in GF November 7 at 3:30. I was disappointed in the low parent turnout since it was something our parents had asked for. We did have three parents and Officer Turek from the Sheriff’s department attend. They were very supportive of our staff and offered timely and important comments about community perceptions of our GF school. We may try this again.

The district will be off on November 21st the day after our District Turkey Dinner in GF and the day before Thanksgiving. Special thanks to Lora Penson for overseeing the Turkey Dinner. We will also conduct our annual Geography Bee (middle School) and other academic stations (Intermediate and Primary grades) in the morning. These are all planned and conducted by our staff so please thank them when you get the opportunity.

Mr. Higgins and staff have created themes for each month. Last month was “Kindness” and this month “Attitude of Gratitude”. Jeff conducted GF’s held first student awards assembly. Lots of energy. Jeff is making a very positive impact on our school climate in the short time he has been here. Parents are especially appreciative of his efforts. He is tireless.   

Please go to our website for student calendar activities across the district in November and December.

District Facilities Update.

SPE Phase two: Fencing had a few setbacks but is scheduled to be complete by the time we meet on Friday. We have water to the bathroom in the Library building, but it is not connected to the plumbing just yet. Manny dug the trench by hand due to the inaccessibility for heavy equipment to that back area. The construction of the SPE internet tower was completed last week and the school is now receiving the Valley Electric  promise of 100 MPS. This was a significant accomplishment and one in which I take some pride in. WESTNET, State Officials and even E-Rate staff basically talked this issue to death for years. Oasis and Valley got this done. Phase three will include more safety considerations and perhaps upgrades to the playground equipment.

Goldfield: Phase two is complete except for minor items. I am asking for authorization for replacement or repair of the multi-purpose gym floor. My goal is to have this completed by our scheduled Christmas program and Basketball Season start-up. We would also like to create a STEM lab out of the old board room in GF over Christmas break. At this point I am tentatively planning for a student work party like last summer. With winter coming on we will have to get new gutter up. Manny is doing great work.

Dyer: At the old school house we have water/plumbing to the old school house. The floor is completed. It had been patchworked over several decades and getting it level again was hard work for Brian. Brian is replacing the windows to keep the dust off our expensive lab equipment. Brian is doing great work

I am also asking the board to approve funding for a change order to complete the fencing on the North and East sides of the school perimeter. It has been too difficult getting a construction company out to Dyer and so I asked Anthony McDaniel’s (Divine Fence) if he would be willing to finish out the project while he was out there if we could get the funding.

As I mentioned in my last report I have reached out to a Las Vegas engineer to give us specs on drainage on the Athletic before we go any further. His quote for services was significantly reduced in consideration of our circumstances but was still much higher that I had estimated. I had one other call back from and it was not any better. I asked Bill if he would serve as a go between for Doug and me with Jason at Core Construction. I am hopeful that they might give us some draft options and prices that we can share with the board. Bill said he would.

Safe and Orderly school environment.  The Sheriff’s office has Master keys to all our external doors. The keyless “Panic” bars for the GF fence gates have been installed and the entry codes have been given to the Sheriff’s office. Melinda made an informal request for them to make the rounds in our school on a regular basis. They have been doing so. I was holding off on that until we got the signs up but there was no reason to delay.

Ace Fire:  I reported last month that all the conduit and wire installation are complete. Mike’s latest report follows, “As a follow up to our earlier conversation, at this stage we're in the final steps to completion. The last components to be installed are to mount the fire panels, land the field wiring and install the wireless smoke detectors. We're working on a schedule to get guys up for that work, ideally before the end of the month. One thing you might like to have sorted out before then is to get an active phone line to each of the fire panel locations at each school. The voice call-out dialers will use that line to call the contacts on the phone list if the system activates. Please let me know if you have any questions.”

When I talked with Mike he was trying to schedule a weekend or the Thanksgiving Holidays to finish up so that he would not interfere with the classroom instruction. We are providing him the phone lines he is asking for.

Communications: The Valley Electric Voice Over IP system for our phone is up but the equipment is not in place as of this report. The ladies in Central Office have kept minimal land line back-up just in case the internet goes down in emergencies. Good thinking on their part. The wireless phones were tested out to a couple hundred yards. The phones come with holsters and so we will likely get rid of the radios.

Technology. As mentioned already, we have transitioned to Valley Electric for internet services. WESTNET Has been given notice. We have connected the library out at SPE with underground cable from the main building.

Our Oasis support personnel are staying in the new teacherage one day a week.

Our external cameras for each school site are in. We have submitted a POOL/PACT grant to assist in funding them. Our maintenance guys will mount the hardware and Oasis will do the rest. 

We are expecting Jeff Kaye to provide an updated Emergency Operations Policy/Handbook for the December board meeting.

Real Estate:  Mike continues to move us along on the Title/Deed issue associated with the Don Spitere. I have attached an email chain that summarizes the latest progress that the district and the courts are making on the transaction.

The same for the 5.08 acres East of town. The court date is January 8 at 10:00 AM in GF. We still have an interested buyer. My best guess on resolution for both is mid-January.

Personnel. I would like the board to approve incentive pay for Support Staff. It has been outlined in a previous email.

The district is planning on making a permanent recommendation for the Para preschool position in GF at the December Board Meeting. It is currently being held temporarily by Ruann.

John and Val will coach our basketball team again this year. Yea!


I will leave the NASB Conference Saturday morning to support our Boys Football Championship at Beatty.

Good Luck next week to Fred and Maria.

Vision, Mission, Belief Statements
We envision a highly effective district-wide safe and orderly Professional Learning Community that results in a premier school of highly engaged and highly motivated students preparing for High School and 21st Century College, Career and Citizenship responsibilities.

Our mission is to create a safe and orderly environment with a highly effective PK-8 district-wide Professional Learning Community that appropriately delivers NVCCSS to a rural student population that will result in a 100% graduation of eighth grade students adequately prepared for High School responsibilities.

Belief Statements
WE BELIEVE that all students can learn at high levels.
1. WE BELIEVE that this can best be achieved by becoming and performing as Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). We will be guided by three questions:
a. What is it we want our students to learn?
b. How will we know our students have learned?
c. What will we do when they do not learn?
2. WE BELIEVE in providing a learning environment that fosters citizenship, a high level of health and physical fitness; and one that supports a moral/ethical approach to the challenges of our current society, to college and to career readiness.
3. WE BELIEVE in providing a learning environment that fosters respect for social and individual diversity.
4. WE BELIEVE that “Family and Community Engagement in Public Schools” is critical to student success.