10/11/22 Regular Board of Trustees Meeting Summary
All Consent Agenda items totaling $2.2 million were passed unanimously.
Public Comments on 2.04:
2.04 Purchase agreement with Enome, Inc. to purchase 900 Goalbook Toolkits using American Rescue Plan Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Funding for $1.1million.
John Eppolito of Protect Nevada Children urged the Board to reconsider the purchase of more electronic devices. Mr. Eppolito cited multiple articles pointing to the negative effects of too much screen time on children .He pointed out that many schools in Silicon Valley do not let children access digital technology until High School (do they know something we don't?) He said that teachers need to rely less on technology and increase personal interaction with students.
School Board Candidate for District B, Colleen Westlake echoed Mr. Eppolito’s sentiments on our need to rely more upon personal interactions between teachers and students.
Our concerns still ring heavily on the contract verbiage where "the district may act as the parent's agent and can consent to the collection of students PII on the parent’s behalf"
3.01 Presentation by Pinyon Public Affairs, LLC. for strategic consultation and government relations services for WCSD during the 2023 Nevada Legislative Session. Dr. Enfield has already approved the hiring of Pinyon for the amount of $91K for the firm. Dr. Enfield has the ability to approve any item less than $100k without the consent of the Board of Trustees. Pinyon will be replacing WCSDs retiring in-house Legislative Liaison. WCSD is saving approximately $91k by using this outside firm.
Legislative Aside: Currently there are 49 Bills already filed with the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau related to “Education” in addition to 13 for “Schools” and 3 for “Teachers”.
BBME will follow education bills proposed at the 2023 Legislative Sessions. Additionally, we will be attending as many of the Department of Education work sessions as possible.
4.01 Presentation regarding fiscal and staffing implications related to the enrollment count of 2022-23, total $7.28 million - PULLED BY STAFF FOR FURTHER ANALYSIS
Items for Presentation, Action and Discussion
5.01 Grant application to NVDOE related to Assembly Bill 495, from the 2021 Legislative Session, American Rescue Plan: Addressing the impact of learning loss and closing funding gaps in the amount of $30.6 million - PULLED BY STAFF FOR FURTHER ANALYSIS
5.02 “A” Major Projects Program throughout WCSD for $3 million as recommended by the Capital Funding Protection Committee - PULLED BY STAFF FOR FURTHER ANALYSIS
5.03 Award bid to Integrated Demolition and Remediation, Inc. for the demolition and abatement of buildings at the new Debbie Smith CTE Academy for $7.6 million.
The background for Debbie Smith CTE is that in February 2022 the Capital Funding along with WCSDs Construction Manager Q&D construction originally budgeted and was approved for a total of $112 million for the construction. In the spring of 2022 Q&D put out the bid for construction and it came back at $145 million. Due to this $35 million budget discrepancy the Board of Trustees asked the Capital Projects Department to come back with re-bid, new scheduling timeline and a phased approach.
Phase 1 - Demolition and abatement was projected for $15 million and has come in with a re- bid of $7.6 million.
Phase 2- Grading/foundation pads and utilities
Phase 3 - Main anchor building and
Phase 4 - Landscaping
The Board approved unanimously for the bid to Integrated Demolition and Remediation
5.04 Professional Consultant Services with Forensic Analytical Consulting Services (FACS) for management and oversight for the demolition and abatement from various buildings at Debbie Smith CTE Academy for $198K
The Board approved unanimously for the bid to FACS.
5.05 Presentation on the Entry Plan for Dr. Susan Enfield - Dr. Enfield gave a presentation to the Board about her time so far in WCSD and her plan moving forward, Dr. Enfield highlighted her numerous interactions with staff, students, community members and community leaders to complete Phase 1 of her Entry Plan - Listening, Learning and Building Relationships.
She discussed her 3 priorities:
Getting back to basics - all students are known, challenged and supported to succeed.
Building Trust with families and community
Creating health, supportive and resilient school system
Phase 2 of the Entry Plan is to Analyze information and work with staff which will lead to recommendations for her Strategic Plan.
Areas of Focus:
1- Coherence - moving from a collection of schools and departments to a focused system. This is part of Dr. Enfield’s 3 C’s: Coherence, Communication, Celebration, and Care.
2 - Funding at the State and District Level
3 - More prep/support for teachers
4 - More focus on populations who are experiencing the greatest academic disparities.
Superintendent Enfield addressed the need for immediate action and intervention in the area of Special Education Programs in WCSD. She has appointed current Area 5 Superintendent Jen VanTress as the new Associate Chief for Special Programs. She will now focus solely on those programs.
Calen Evans, President of Washoe Education Association brought in several teachers and school staff to help” shine a light on what WCSD staff has to deal with daily.” They are overworked, overwhelmed, understaffed and under appreciated. Mr. Evans wanted to know when the Board would tap into the excess monies in the “rainy day fund” or the excess ESSER funds. ”Our teachers are drowning”.
Michelle Ericson - K-2 Strategies Teacher from Spanish Springs Elementary School said that the lack of staff is severely affecting her ability to manage her classroom. Her staff has evaluated her SPED students and has determined that they need at least 2 more aides for students that need 1 on 1 care. They submitted paperwork for this request on August 13 and again on September 23. They have been told by District personnel they have enough staff. They do not.
Amanda Jones - Special Education Facilitator. She is holding the hands of educators crying and many are walking out due to the lack of support and the enormous burden placed on them daily.
Sierra Connelly - SPED Teacher Pre-K. She has 19 students in addition to being the lesson planner and Tier 1 teacher she is their Special Education teacher. She is data collecting, behavior planning, progress reporting and annuals. Finally, she changes 30 diapers a day. She wanted to leave last year due to way she has been treated by Early Childhood and the way Special Education was run. She is trying her best, she loves her parents and students. She begged the Board to “just think of me.”
Derrick Hughes - Bohach Elementary School Counselor. He is the only counselor for 815 students. The American School Counselor Association recommends 200-1, WCSD average is 500-1 and he is 815-1. Mr. Hughes wants to know why the District says it does not have the funds for additional staff. What are this District's priorities?
We would like to thank our teachers. You are incredible, and we appreciate you so very much. Thank you for continuing to show up for our children.