Dr. M. Neil Terhune, Superintendent
Esmeralda County School District
233 Ramsey, P.O. Box 560
Goldfield, Nevada 89013
Superintendent Board Report February 13, 2018
I want to point out the obvious and that is, it takes a lot of up front effort to create the potential for an efficient (short) board meeting. Thanks to Central Office staff for their tireless efforts to get information to you ahead of time. It has been a very busy time for the staff since our last board meeting. With that said it was mostly routine and not so much board information to report.
Community and Calendar Activities:
The district Spelling Bee was at Silver Peak and Emma White, Perla Jimenez, and Lorelai Collier were our champions. All students were transported to SPE and an academic round robin was held after the spelling. Kudos to James, John, Rob and all staff. A lot of fun and pizza.
Just a reminder that NDE approved the district to cancel school on Friday January 19th and Friday February 23d. January 19th was a full day of Professional Development provided by Rina on student literacy issues at the Dyer site.
February 23d will be traded for Book Study time on Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) after school over a three-month period. Dyer staff will meet at their school. GF and SPE will take turns meeting together at their schools as well. Because GF staff will need to travel to SPE and vice versa, students will be released at 3:30 at each site four times. Parents have been notified.
GF is planning a Family and Community school activity with a pie contest and a dinner. Details to follow.
They are the best. J
We had some very nice progress with our basketball program this year. Our home game went very well. Special thanks to all who prepped the floor (Yolanda and Angela) and those who assisted with scorekeeping, clock and concessions. Bill kept the floor clean for us between games. We also had great support from the many Dyer families and staff. It was a professional and friendly event. We are getting at least one win a weekend. Last Friday and Saturday were our last games and a final and hearty thank you to John and Val.
The second iteration of MAP testing was conducted in January. Patty will offer the comparison of the Fall (baseline) MAP results against the January results at our February 13th board meeting.
Staff and Committee Meetings:
We conducted a PLC team meeting on February 6th after school. This meeting will always be scheduled the Tuesday prior to the monthly scheduled Board meeting. This group will conduct the business of the Safety and Policy Review Committee. Our agenda included:
1. Safety Committee: The Safety Committee will meet monthly to monitor the implementation/action of the District Safety Plan. Paul is the board designated Safety Committee representative and has and will continue to participate. Last Tuesday the Committee prioritized the safety considerations offered up by the ASOs and staff at each site. Out of those the committee gave initial priority to the following site and student security actions:
- Rehearse drills in accordance with the district plans. This includes the participation of First Responders whenever possible. This also includes emphasis on communications and equipment.
- Keying the doors appropriately
- Safe rooms upgraded
- Cameras /doors/windows
- Site upgrades for single point of entry which may include fencing and gates.
There are maintenance and administrative actions that the district will address concurrent with the five areas cited above. Our next step will be to create formal action plans around our priorities. This will include cost estimates.
2. Policy Review Committee: The policy Section on “Students” was reviewed for update and approval for the Board. The committee will address the “Administration” section next month. The initial review focused on deleting most of the HS and Nye County language. We also took a close look at aligning our Student Behavior Plan with policy. In addition, the district approved a Weapons policy given to us by POOL/PACT in December 2017 and we needed to make sure that the Student section language conformed to that. I will recommend board approval of this section with one reading. Remember that this committee will review each section annually.
We received Google Calendar and Gmail training the morning of February 9th. The rest of that day was devoted to our Emergency Operations protocol and related. Curtis will be here for that and he will also do a Hazard Assessment update.
Summer asked the district to reschedule our negotiations to February 12th due to a personal injury. My hope is that we may have a final CBA to approve at the Board meeting.
Note: There has been discussion about combining EsCSD health with Nye County insurance. Apparently our two Associations will need to turn in surveys to the Nye County Insurance Board before approval to accept EsCSD employees as part of that plan. It is not supposed to be difficult. I will not recommend board approval unless it provides a significant benefit to our employees at reduced or similar cost.
The ACE approach to the Fire Alarm project is being conducted in four phases, 1) data collection at each site, 2) Design (architectural computer overlays), 3) Request for Nevada Fire Marshal permits, and 4) site construction. Mike Spurgin is the Project Manager and he says that they are still collecting dimensions form Jesse and making the trip to our schools to physically obtain the data he doesn’t have. He told me that getting the approval and permit will probably take 2-3 months. Historically there is a lot of back and forth with the state before he will have the go ahead. The project construction itself will be 6-8 weeks after. Mike said if there is Board member interest and question they are welcome to call him. Let me know if you want his number.
A major summer project may include some extensive reorganizing, cleaning and disposal activities with our maintenance and storage areas. We will need a classroom or office for our Literacy person as well as our Counselor and I am hoping that we can create offices in Dyer. The superintendent office can be used but it would be better if these two staff positions had a small work area of their own.
Jeff Higgins is licensed as a Teacher, Counselor, Administrator and is a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School. His contract depended on approval by the School Board and PERS for a “Critical Need” position status. Both of those happened and he has signed a two-year contract with the district. It included 10 additional days prior to June 30th for transition purposes and he is also contracted to be an Administrator for emergencies in my absence.
Jerry is now gone.
I will have recommendation for the PK position at the board meeting. We continue recruiting for the ES position.
I have had one meetings with Ken Johnson who is the Point of Contact (POC) for Valley Electric. He is working to do all the permitting, E-Rate review, construction and other planning (in conjunction with the Sheriff’s office) for the proposed upgrade to GF and SPE internet. He and I met at the school to review our phone system. We are considering asking VE for phone support in favor of a consolidated technology package.
As expected we only received one bid for an upgrade to our internet service. The bid came from Valley Electric. I will recommend approval. Dan or I will present on the VE proposal. When it comes to E-rate we can always change in midstream if we can get a better service at the same rate. Ultimately our most optimistic estimate is that we will be receiving services within 90 days. Worst case next School Year.
Dan has also submitted a request for upgrades to our infrastructure. This is good timing because I have asked him to conference with Computer Dealers Inc. for some planning on a more tech enhanced curriculum for our students. Our district will be exploring tech curriculum that further supports our mission to prepare our kiddos for HS, Career and College.
As always, board members please strongly encourage the community to call or see the superintendent when they have concerns. I want to hear them.
The three schools submitted an updated version of their School Performance Plans and I submitted one for the District based on the board and staff approval of Strategic Mission Statements. It is important to note that I want to submit intermediate updates by May. The three plans are not as aligned as I would like but we had deadline for submission, so we turned them in as is.
I will be at the B-Ball Tournament after the PD on Friday and the morning game on Saturday. I will then be in Fallon for some semiannual Church training until late Sunday afternoon. Hopefully in time for the Church Social that afternoon in GF.
The following weekend is our regular outreach to the Reno LDS temple and we will be gone Friday afternoon through Saturday night for that.