Dr. M. Neil Terhune, Superintendent
6 days ago
Esmeralda County School District
233 Ramsey, P.O. Box 560
Goldfield, Nevada 89013
Superintendent Board Report October 2018
General Comments: This is the time of year that the district reaches out to the parents and community. Open house, Parent/Teacher conferences, Fall Festival and similar activities are being conducted and planned throughout the district. It is also an exciting time for our Tonopah HS football team who are at this writing 6-0. Homecoming will surely be another win. We are proud of our Esmeralda alumni. 😊
Our district-wide field trip on September 13th to the RENO Air shows was a huge success. Great conduct by our students and very responsible chaperones. The STEM offerings were expanded, and the air show offered some very exciting aerial exercises. The MRE lunch was not as popular as the Pizza supper. Thanks to Jeff for staying back. I was after all, was able to attend this field trip again.
Our presenters for “Lego” in-service days on September 14 “Lego” training could have been better prepared. October 12th is our Code.org training.
I sent out the state rankings for our school. This report and another letter home will offer a formal report to our parents. There are some NDE administrative requirements associated with “Rising Star” schools such as Dyer. John and I will work on those when I return Monday.
We had two students withdraw and four students enroll at Goldfield. Currently our enrollment is in the approximately 85 not counting our 8 preschool students.
Please go to our website for student calendar activities across the district in October.
District Facilities Update:
SPE Phase two: Fencing is scheduled as soon as Dyer is complete. We still have a major project in getting water and bathroom up to standard in the library building and Manny has opted to trench by hand. The construction of the SPE internet was tower was completed last week. One of the swings broke and Manny inspected and where necessary replaced and lubricated them. Phase three will include more safety considerations and perhaps upgrades to the playground equipment.
Goldfield Phase two is mostly complete. Phase three will include a replacement or repair of the gym floor and creation of a STEM lab out of the old board room. At this point I am tentatively planning for a student work party like last summer’s, to help with cleaning out of the old board room. Probably over Christmas. With winter coming on we will have to get new gutter up.
Dyer At the old school house we have water/plumbing to the old school house but are still working on the floor, HVAC and lab constructs. Brian was not able to do as much there between the irrigation flooding of our housing area and a major septic clean out. Fencing is supposed to begin this week. We are only fencing the West and South this year. There will be one pedestrian gate on the West side that will give access to the future Athletic Field. As I mentioned in my last report I have reached out to a Las Vegas engineer, to give us specs on drainage 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 (see attached). Doug does not like the price and is confident the project can be done without it. Unless the board feels strongly about it, we will let Doug have a shot at it. It is coming along but much slower than I would prefer, but that is almost always the case when you are not paying for full-time construction professionals.
Safe and Orderly school environment: The Sheriff’s office has Master keys to all our external doors. The keyless “Panic” bars have been ordered and when they are installed on the fence gates we will also give them the key code for entry.
Ace Fire: I reported last month that all the conduit and wire installation are complete. The panel have not been programed yet because they are waiting for confirmation on some of our phone numbers? Not sure I understand that part. But they say it will happen any day now.
We are still on the verge of completing the transitioning from Frontier to Valley Electric. We did finalize the costs associated with the start-up and we are waiting on equipment we have ordered.
Technology: We have transitioned to Valley Electric for internet services. SPE microwave tower is complete. We are still waiting for Nevada System of Higher Ed to redirect the internet service though Montezuma Peak and then to SPE. We expect that to take 1-2 weeks. Dan is working with them. We have connected the library out there with underground cable from the main building. I can say with some confidence that Dyer and SPE are being reliably served with wireless at 100 MPS; GF with one gigabyte.
All but one teacher unit has access to internet for their homework, email, research or online classes/webinars. This will be an excellent recruiting and retention offer for the future.
Dan Slentz has taken on the added responsibility of researching and purchasing cameras and related hardware for external monitoring of our schools. Our goal is to have 3-5 cameras strategically located that send a video signal to our offices.
Getting back to our phone transition; I have requested that Valley Electric create a phonecon system that will serve our distance communication more reliably. I will ask the board to go straight audio for our board meetings via phone conference equipment place at the center of the table. My hope is this equipment will plug into a simple jack and up to 10 callers can dial in. The number they call will be a dedicated an 800 number that will not require an additional access number through a third party. We will save video conferencing for those meetings that require a presentation of some sort. I have asked for equipment that will be sensitive enough to allow audience members to ask or comment from their chair. We can also use this for other internal meetings among our staff.
With that said I hope that board members will continue to try to be at meetings, in person whenever possible. I know it is an effort and it is appreciated. With such good-looking board members, it only seems right. 😊
Policy Updates: We will ask board approval for the Support Staff operations this month. POOL/PACT has some updates to Personnel etc. that we get periodically, and we are placing them on the agenda as well. Thanks Bill for participating in this process again. We will break from our monthly review and pick up again in January. Depending on how well we did in the first round of policy review; we may be able to review multiple policy sections each month next year.
Real Estate: Mike is making some progress on the Title/Deed issue associated with the 5.08 acres. I have attached his Petition to the 5th Judicial Court of Nevada requesting that the EsCSD is in fact the legal owner of that property. It will not happen any sooner than November and maybe December.
Mike is also working on the Don Spitere property. Wendy has been the ‘go to” person on our real estate effort and she has sent Mike the records etc. that he needs to continue the process. It is presently in his ballcourt.
We now own the new house at 700 Crook in GF but are discussing with the County Assessor the legality of taxing the school for outstanding taxes not paid by the previous owner ($472).
Personnel: I would like the board to approve incentive pay for Support Staff. It will be outlined in your board packets. It is true that the legislature opted to offer that to licensed staff only, but the district can demonstrate their support for the very critical efforts that support staff provide our students. It is less than 10K a year. They are deserving, and it sends an important message.
iNVest is on the agenda for your formal approval. Carl gave all of us a copy of their resolution and specifics. I recommend approval.
Albermarle has asked me to speak at their first Kick-off for the Silver Peak site at the community Center October 10-11. I am to talk about how their contribution to our schools have helped our programs.
Gemfield Gold Mine: The PR folks for this are speaking twice in the GF community. Once at the community center and once at our school. Not sure of the dates yet.
I will attend the NASA conference in October. The NASS meeting will be held in Las Vegas and it is the month I am scheduled for attendance.