Dr. M. Neil Terhune, Superintendent
Esmeralda County School District
233 Ramsey, P.O. Box 560
Goldfield, Nevada 89013
Superintendent Board Report June 26, 2018
General Comments: Setting aside once again the great work of our staff, the following is a summary update of June from the Central Office perspective. We are closing out and reporting on budget and grants for the last fiscal year. We also finished up our recruitment for the Maintenance and the SPE Para positions. Evaluations are complete. Lots of planning and working through the Facilities clean-up and Facilities Safety upgrades. We are hoping to finish up on the sale and purchase of previously discussed real property. Finally, we have three staff attending a week of training in Vegas for the STEM initiatives in preparation for next year’s curriculum.
District Facilities Update. You may recall the slide show that I offered up in May. It may have been painful for some present but necessary to emphasize the gravity of our circumstances. Recruiting labor was our biggest challenge. Thankfully we were able to get RG Gillam’s family to step up. We also have two that have assisted in Dyer. Five youth along with Monahan and Angela are currently providing the support we needed. They are not full time due to summer family and Bible School commitments but are a great help when here. These good people deserve a “shout out” for the work they are doing but I am particularly pleased with Doug and Monahan.
SPE Phase one (sorting, discarding painting and landscape cleanup) took about a week. Phase two (fencing, gutter and maintenance of building and equipment) will be addressed later in the summer.
Goldfield Phase one consisted of removing all material from the maintenance building onto the playground and appropriately hosing the inside then sorting and disposing. The kitchen was also painted. This has been a monumental effort and has also taken a week. Phase two will be addressing fencing and all the maintenance and painting issues associated with the housing and to a lesser extent a classroom.
Dyer Phase one is a continuous summer project that has one young adult and a maintenance person repairing/installing equipment and then construction in the teacher housing and classrooms. We are creating a STEM lab and some office space for ART/Music in the north house. We are creating classroom space in the Pre-school building for Literacy and SPED students. Phase two is fencing. Somewhat separate from the actual Dyer facilities is the Athletic Field project. Doug and Bill have better handle on that because it is mostly volunteer labor and equipment. The current issues are that of elevation (Cut and Fill), drainage and fencing.
Note: I will be asking the board to ratify this summer’s discarding of obsolete items at the August meeting.
Safe and Orderly school environment. Our Safety Committee minus the ASOs met on June 19th. Thank you, Paul for coming to GF for that. There was discussion surrounding the fencing, but the priorities remain the same. My hope is that when school starts the classrooms will be clean and orderly, the housing will be clean and livable, and the support areas will be the same. With a little luck the fence will be replaced and there will be a single point of access with a camera focused at the entry. The external metal doors will be repaired or replaced and newly keyed at the handle and the addition of a deadbolt. The windows will have protective sheeting where it is needed.
Technology. We are ordering 30-40 additional Chrome books for our students. Dan is adding hardware for teacher housing that insures access to the school internet. Individual passwords will be issued to staff. We will have much better internet access in GF July 1st and in August for SPE. At some point this summer Valley Electric will be offering a cost estimate to replace Frontier’s phone system. They have come to the district twice and have assessed our needs in a much more complete manner than our current provider. We have had great deal of trouble and poor support from Frontier. Reliable communication in a crisis is an important part of our safety plan.
Policy Updates: We are still on track to have all our policies reviewed by October. Since January we have completed the review of Safety, Personnel, Instruction, Student, Facilities, Administration and now Finance. Thanks once again to Trish and Bill for participating in this process.
Real Estate: The district has had an offer and a potential second offer for the 5.08 acres East of GF. Bids will be opened by the school board on Tuesday at 6:00 on June 26, 2018. The district has signed the Residential Disclosure Agreement and related documents for purchase of the small house on Highway 95 in GF. The district is paying only the 25K and will not pay closing costs. We will issue the check in the next week or so. I had Mike review the documents before they were signed.
Budget Hearing Protocol: I understand that Anabel has briefed the Board on Budget each year prior to my arrival. She still can if you wish. It is my belief that the designated Chief Financial Officer should do this. In all districts that I have served and am aware of in other schools this person is the Superintendent. Anabel certainly knows more about the budget that any of us. With that said it is important for the board to determine if their Superintendent has, at a minimum, strategic knowledge of the district’s financial affairs. Some of us like to hide behind the Business Manager. The protocol we are using is for the Superintendent to provide a big picture layperson presentation for the Community and School Board. That can be followed by in depth questions that both Anabel and the Superintendent can address. The details are available in paper format at the hearing when requested.
Personnel. The district has appropriately followed district policy in recruiting for the SPE Para-professional and the District Maintenance Person. Interviews were conducted and the most qualified are being recommended for your approval.
July Board meeting. We are cancelling the July Board meeting. It was originally scheduled in case we had personnel that needed board approval. It looks like we are all set for next year. We will post the cancellation.
Superintendent: I am in Utah this weekend and will return to work next week. I will the be taking a trek across the US to New Jersey starting the first of July and return by mid-month. Along the way I will be visiting family in Wyoming, Missouri and NJ.