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Dr. M. Neil Terhune, Superintendent

Esmeralda County School District


233 Ramsey, P.O. Box 560

Goldfield, Nevada 89013

Goldfield Office 775-485-6382

Dyer Office 775-572-3250

Dr. M. Neil Terhune



Superintendent Board Report March 2019

General Comments:  For many of our staff and students the flu has been epidemic. This is especially true of FLV. I know that we disinfect the most used places in our school daily. Everyone knows to keep their sick children home but not all are doing so. This is one of the variables that affect assessments comparisons from year to year. You may remember that I reported last Spring that comparative data is not always reliable or useful. One year of little or no flu and the kids are in class learning and the next year not so much. Despite the challenge this poses, our staff and kiddos are doing their best.😊

 Teachers/Students:

The GF students were treated to a very interesting Field Trip to Solar Reserve just north of Tonopah. I was impressed with the questions our students were asking and just as impressed with our tour guide. He treated our children with respect and dignity. He let them know that all their questions were “good” questions. We were also able to connect our classroom work with the solar plant.  Kudos to James for setting this up. 

Annual Literacy nights will be held at each site starting in mid-April. More word on that to come.

Enrollment: Rather than offer a board report on enrollment every month I have asked Melinda to do so in October, January and April each year. This should suffice in keeping everyone informed on enrollment trends. I also asked Melinda to check our enrollment over the last six years and we are currently are at the highest at 78. Despite some withdrawals we are gaining funding compared to previous years.

Jeff and staff are working diligently to provide behavior interventions for all students with emphasis on a few. Jeff’s experiences and training in this area has been a lifeline to many of our parents and staff. I doubt that if we have ever received this level of expertise from a counselor before.

District Facilities Update.

SPE Phase three:  See previous Supt reports. This month more doors were replaced, and the chain link fencing was removed from the East playground area.

More safety considerations were addressed. Normally I won’t report safe actions in a public report but can give more detail in our Safety Committee.

We still have three roofs to complete in SPE.

Goldfield Phase III: See previous supt. We now have internet in our Gym for staff training and public meetings.

As previously noted, we are in the process of creating a STEM lab out of the old board room (see last month’s report). They have been making steady progress and we are hoping that project will be completed by the second week of April.

There has been several days of snow and ice removal. We experienced one staff accident. Unfortunately, I did not insure that the new concrete was adequately sealed before the weather got bad. This resulted in surface deterioration in places around our GF classrooms when we salted. We had no real choice but to use some version of a salt mix.  I knew this could happen, but I was surprised at how quickly. I have managed a lot of concrete projects in schools and in the military and it usually doesn’t begin to be obvious for a few years even when the surface is not properly sealed. This just serves to reinforce my belief that the district received a substandard concrete mix last summer.

The old chain link fence has been removed from the North playground area.

We still have at least two roofs to complete in GF.

Dyer: See previous Supt reports. Brian is currently concentrating on the floor at the old school for the STEM lab there. I don’t have a projected completion date because he has been interrupted numerous times with other maintenance issues.

The bathroom repair and remake in the teacher housing at Dyer is 80% complete.

The materials for the new Maintenance Building are scheduled to arrive in a couple of weeks. Since Brian has concrete expertise, he and Doug will prep the site for a 6” concrete pour. This entails removing some of the old concrete slab. This will be a June project.

Divine Fencing has been absent for six weeks now but are supposed to back next week.

We still have two roofs to complete in Dyer.

Safe and Orderly school environment.  The Safety training was productive last month. The site PLCs are devoting some of their time working out the operational procedures in accordance with our Emergency Operations Plan. Jeff Kaye is assisting Melinda in obtaining accurate and professional overlays for each school. He is requesting financial support from POOL/PACT on our behalf. We are also making purchases to improve our crisis communication equipment. Our camera placement has not been finalized yet and their installation is still on hold.

Ace Fire:  These guys are due in next week on Tuesday and hope to be done by Thursday.

Communications: as previously reported, Valley Electric Voice Over IP (VOIP) system for our phone is complete and the equipment is installed. We are currently familiarizing ourselves with its use. We have dropped calls after 5-10 minutes and Oasis and Valley are communicating about it. The alleged scandal of Valley leadership has not affected our services.

Real Estate:  We wired a check to Cow County for the lots next to the GF office so we can begin work on clearing the land. Will need to throw some gravel down as well.

We have proof of ownership for the 5.08 acres East of GF. I contacted our Broker and she said she would reach out to the buyer again. I messaged him again as well.

Personnel. I finalized Observations with six of our certified staff. I am still conducting the final three and then will start the Summative process for both Certified and Support; hopefully in April.

The Superintendent Secretary/District Admins Assistant position has been finalized “Confidential” by both the Organization and Management.

 Superintendent/Board:  

We were able to complete our second review of Instructional policy series.

Bill and I attended the NASS Educational committee presentations for the Assembly and Senate.  It went well and I am proud of our Superintendents. I do not think we will get more funding. Small school districts may get less. The Nevada Funding Plan needs a complete overhaul but the work that it requires appears to be overwhelming for this session. Our congress has a lot of new people and the Plan is complicated. We visited our two legislative reps Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen and her husband Senator Hansen. Bill gave eloquent reason why small schools should be protected from the Online Charter “Predators”. They are both for Charters but understood why it is an issue for the low enrollment districts. They are very likeable, conservative, and family oriented. They are both familiar with FLV and he has trapped bobcat there. Bill and I also visited with Mike Pavlakis and his staff on current legal issues. We also discussed the potential for using an Interest Based Bargaining approach in the future. That process requires Organization and Board  approval, but it is friendly and effective. It comes at no cost to the district.

There continues to be community discussion on the proposed mining in GemField  and in the Lithium/Boron mining on the FLV side of the SP mountains. There is a meeting at the Community Center in FLV the same night of our board meeting except at 7:00 PM so Bill will stay in Dyer Tuesday night and call in. This will allow him to attend both and keep the district apprised.

We lost Robert Slaby (NASA Director) despite the NASS recommendation to keep him so we (NASS) pulled out of NASA. ☹


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