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Dr. M. Neil Terhune, Superintendent

about 1 month 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 December 2018

General Comments:  This November and December has been a time of Thanksgiving and Christmas Activities. A busy but blessed time. All three schools have had good support from their parents and communities. It has also been a time for the successful completion of academics for our second semester. It is an honor for me to serve the students, staff and community of Esmeralda County.

Budget: December is the month that the District Budget is updated and reported on. It is also an opportunity for changes to be made. I have attached the usual Power Point and Budget funds/line items for your review.

There is also some information related to the Nevada funding adequacy research that the state and district stakeholders have been involved this year. You may remember that I sent the following email to the board on September 18th:

“For those of you interested in the APA (Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA) ) studies currently being conducted for Nevada you may find the Nevada surveys of educators and community members interesting. The Surveys were taken this summer. There are currently some town meetings going on across the state.

I have attached results of the findings that were published in August.”

 Anabel and I spent a day at the NDE Las Vegas Board room November 27th listening to a “Final Recommendations” of that presentation by Amanda Brown, Justin Silverstein and Michael Griffith by APA. As a follow up to my previous attachments last September, their Power Points are also attached.

 For what it is worth, this is the third state that I have served in which APA have done Adequacy Studies. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that NV is not providing the same level of funding for education as other states (50 out of 50?). How do you  increase funding if the state bucket is not increased? Raise taxes? It would have to be a very robust legislative section this year to follow APA recommendations. In any case it did not appear to Anabel and me that EsCSD would be negatively affected. You can decide for yourselves.

 Teachers/Students: Thanksgiving Community Dinner was a great success. Kudos to all but especially for Lora Penson overseeing the whole activity. It gets better every year. Can’t wait to see how it goes next year with our gym upgrades.  

All three Christmas programs were well conceived and well attended. Wonderful children memories. Thank you, Theresa and Rusty…and Santa Claus. 

John and Val opened our Basketball program to 5th graders. Practices will be held at the Dyer Community center when construction on the GF floor begins.

On November 30th we completed our Fall 2018 professional Development held in Goldfield. It was scheduled and delivered by our in-house experts Jeff, Rob, Rina and John on the following: School “Drama” Student Behavior and Parents  (Jeff); Learning Ally and Exact Path Training (Rob); IXL, Quizlet, and Read Works (John and Rina); Breakout sessions (all).

Looking ahead. The NWEA data training will be held after our second round of MAP tests in February. Probably some updates for staff on Safety as well. Spelling Bee will be held the first week of February.

As previously noted, Mr. Higgins and staff have created themes for each month. This and last month have been an “Attitude of Gratitude”. Jeff has conducted three successful student assemblies in GF. 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.

Student enrollment is down in GF but overall the district is still up by 5 based on the estimate for budgeting that Anabel and I offered last Spring. 

Melinda obtains and posts monthly school items for the calendar on our website the last 2 weeks of each month.  Please go to our website for student calendar activities across the district in January.

District Facilities Update.

SPE Phase two: Fencing is complete except for the installation of our Panic Bars on the gates.  Phase three will include more safety considerations door replacements, skirting and perhaps upgrades to the playground equipment. Carissa has really done an exceptional job at getting everyone involved in cleaning up after themselves and keeping SPE very organized, clean and looking like a real school. 😊

Goldfield. Phase two is complete except for minor items. Phase III will include more safety (tech) implementation and replacement of the multi-purpose gym floor which is scheduled for January 10th and will be ready for our first home game January 19th. We would also like to create a STEM lab out of the old board room in GF over Christmas break.  With winter coming on we will have to get new gutter up. Manny is doing great work. It will also include finishing up with metal roofs, if we have the money.

To add to previous improvements, I am adding two carports to the district teacherage I am living in. Theresa and I will pick them up in Tempe and construct them.

Dyer: At the old school house Brian is replacing the windows to keep the dust off our expensive lab equipment. He has worked on several lesser items such as repair and replace bathroom fixtures in a teacherage and the addressing the need for berms and sandbags for the irrigation issue posed to our housing there. Brian is doing great work.

Divine Fencing was supposed to finish our fence at Dyer but left without doing so. I have been trying to get him to respond but have not heard back. He is contracted for it and been given a down payment.

I reported last month that I had asked Bill if he would serve as a go between for Doug and me with Jason at Core Construction as well as any others that might be interested. I am hopeful that they might give us some draft options and prices that we can share with the board. Bill agreed to do so and is going to give us a report at our meeting.

Safe and Orderly school environment.  Since last month Melinda has updated our flip charts for teacher use in emergencies. She is also updating our school site overlays for evacuation routes. You will receive some minor updates to our Emergency Operations Procedures (EOP) for approval at the board meeting.

Ace Fire:  I reported last month that all the conduit and wire installation are complete. Mike’s last month report was as follows, “….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.”

We have provided him the phone lines he is asking for. When I last 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. He has not done anything yet. I am waiting for him to let me know when he plans to come back to us.

Communications: The Valley Electric Voice Over IP system for our phone is and the equipment is being emplaced as I type.

Technology. As mentioned already, we have transitioned to Valley Electric for internet services. WESTNET will offer minimal land line services for back up emergency.  

We are connecting the GF Gym with internet services.

Our external cameras for each school site are in. We have submitted a POOL/PACT grant to assist in funding them. It was approved for about 5K.

Real Estate:  Mike continues to move us along on the Title/Deed issue associated with the Don Spitere. There was a communication issue with Don that resulted in a delay on this, but it is not a significant issue

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. The selection committee will meet on Monday. We have three internals and one external interested.

I have met with 22 staff this fall and conducted a pre-evaluation with each. We addressed the 1) evaluation rubric and process, 2) their goals and 3) resources that they may need to accomplish their goals.  I will need to get into the classrooms and sites more often second semester and have made some personnel adjustments to better cover the GF office for me.


Marcia has resigned as Board member.

I will keep you posted on my holiday travels via email.

There are some legal clarifications with board voting that I will also share via email.

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.