9/14/21 Trustee Jacqueline Calvert Resigns Today Prior to the WCSD Board Meeting
2.02 and 2.03 Approval of the Minutes of the April 13th and 27th Regular Meetings of the Board of Trustees
Public comment: Many citizens question if the past meetings’ minutes should be approved because Former Trustee Jackie Calvert was fraudulently on the board for over two years. She started her term in 2019 and lived for only one month in the district she was representing. One person claimed Trustee Church told the Board and Attorney Rombardo over a month ago and they did nothing. Based on this information, people called for Attorney Rombardo and President Taylor to resign. A doctor held up an addressed envelope showing he is filing an ethical complaint against President Taylor and complaint against Attorney Rombardo with the Las Vegas Bar. Trustee Church asked Attorney Rombardo to address the legality of approving the minutes. Attorney Rombardo responded that he is unaware of any law that requires them to withdraw the minutes.
Attorney Rombardo also stated he knows nothing of Calvert’s status other than her resignation. And he denies ever knowing where she lived and felt this is an issue for the Attorney General.
All of this brings into question who on the Board knew Ms. Calvert did not live in the district, who was told and when that Ms.Calvert did not reside in said district, and the applicable law, board policies, any governing rules will apply to Ms. Calvert’s transgressions.
Board Action: APPROVED
2.04 Appointment of Trustee Rodriguez to fill vacated seat as a member of the Board of Control of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) AND -2.05 Appointment of Trustee Smith as the liaison from the WCSD Board of Trustees to the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Governing Board.
Discussion began by looking at 2.04 and 2.05 together as they both deal with a trustee appointment to a board. Trustee Church questioned President Taylor just appointing the two new Trustees into these board positions. He knows about regional planning and wasn’t asked or even considered. He also has seniority. Per President Taylor she chose them for expediency to fill the needs of the board the prior trustees left vacant and their terms end at the end of the calendar year. Regardless, Board Policy gives the President power to nominate and the Board has the decision to appoint the replacements, which can be done now by motion.
Board Action: APPROVED
2.06 Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 386.390 gift of $100,000 or more for the fiscal year 2020-2021 to the Board from Intuit
Public Comment: This is a lot of money. Did the money come with any ties, and if so, what are they?
Board Action: APPROVED
2.17 Approval to the Proposed Revisions of Board Policy 4125 Employee Records
Trustee Church stated disciplinary actions should be made public, while the employee’s personal information remains confidential.
2.18 Approval to the Proposed Revisions of Board Policy 4160 Mandatory Self-Reporting by Employees: Arrest, Charge or Conviction of a Crime
Public Comment: John Eppolito pointed out the RGJ article about a WCSD counselor’s arrest for making and having child pronography. Some of the victims could be local children. How is this not coming up at a board meeting? Requested that the Board address the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Has he been arrested before? Did he access the children through WCSD's infinite campus?
2.19 BP 4214 Drug Policy Pertaining to Staff
Trustee Church feels it's too vague, wants drug testing and how to access help to be placed in the wording.
Superintendent McNeill said there is an employee assistance program available to reach out for help. Trustee Smith pointed out when they added section 6b it requires testing if drugs or alcohol are suspected.
Board Action: APPROVED
2.20 Approval to File an Appeal
The courts have ruled WCSD owes $20 million to the overtaxed Incline residents. WCSD attorney’s want to appeal. Attorney Rombardo stated the issue is that the school district is being penalized for a mistake made by the assessor and/or the treasurer. Money has already started to be paid by WCSD to the taxpayers. The school district’s attorney has not decided if they will move to stay the payments pending the outcome of the appeal.
Board Action: APPROVED
3.01 WCSD Bridge Year Reporting 2020-21 School Year Metrics
Transportation and Custodial:
Numerous vacancies - challenges with staffing in every facet of school operation. It is continuing to deteriorate here as it is around the nation. Trying to come up with solutions. For example, in the transportation department they have 303 allocations and 50 openings. Custodial over 40 vacancies. To rectify they are trying different recruiting ideas, job fairs, and referrals. Trustee Church helping.
SY20-21 served over 1 million distance meals and 5.7 million free meals. Going bankrupt until the federal government stepped in giving them $2.44 million.
Facilities Management - Major Capital Projects as well as Facility Repair:
Adam Searcy, Chief of Facilities - They fix the worst first. Basically, staff goes around and inspects and rates the assets. They then input that information into a software program called Facility Condition Information System (FCIS) which prioritizes the work. The staff looks at what the database recommends then screens it with technicians working on the assets etc.
Overcrowding: (over 100% capacity)
To alleviate overcrowding they are moving students around; like elementary 6th graders up to middle school. Last year they reduced overcrowded schools from 13 down to 6. Also drop from district wide enrollment due to the pandemic. Also expansion of district wide charter schools. They are tracking it. Always a problem in a growing community. At one point they had over 20 schools that were overcrowded.
**The Board approved modules and/or portables which help alleviate the overcrowding(base capacity divided by enrollment). However, the portables are not counted as a part of the calculation in crowding because the common areas are still overcrowded and portables can be moved out (or in). On the other hand, a modular unit will decrease the crowding number when it is placed on concrete.
Strategic Tech Plan’s 20% annual laptop renewal goal. First year purchased $4.5 million in district devices. (The IT department developed their own inventory database, so the district knows the # of devices as well as the age of the devices, serial # etc.) They have about 100,000 devices in use. Federal government stimulus money came into play in purchasing the devices and expanding the needed IT to manage the devices. The district has 75 IT employees, 22 of which are desk support to troubleshoot.
Public Comment: - John Eppolito - Asking why are so many WCSD students on all these devices? Most experienced teachers don’t need to use these devices. Most research shows devices diminish education. Focus on improving education, not putting the kids on a screen. That is the discussion we should be having? Improve education.
3.02 Redistricting Trustee Districts following the 2020 U.S. Census
This is an initial presentation. Redistricting happens only every 10 years.They will follow the mandates of NRS 386.165.
Asking the Board to adopt their proposed redistricting guiding principles; 1) start with existing district 2) population of each district falls within ideal range, 3) districts continue to be compact and contiguous, 4) core district will remain intact, 5) areas with similar affinities will be considered, and 6) districts will coincide w/other election districts and current school zoning boundaries if possible. (Words in italics are legal terms used when redistricting)
-Preliminary data - Total population up 15%. Regardless, five of the seven districts fall within the statutory mandated ideal range. Two contiguous districts fall just outside the ideal range, a plus or minus 5% threshold. Need a modest adjustment by moving the boundary between the 2 districts. They plan to draw up some maps for the Board and the public to weigh in. They do not know how they will notify the public of the proposed redistricted maps.
Request public comment be set for the Board of Trustee meeting on October 12th.
Final boundary maps will be considered for adoption at the final meeting on October 26th, in keeping with Washoe County Registrar of Voters requesting final approval of maps by November 1, 2021.
Board Action: APPROVED - Adopted proposed redistricting guiding principles in keeping with NRS 386.165.
3.03 Direction on Current COVID-19 Mitigation Measures in Effect
Governor’s Emergency Directive 048 remains in effect. A graph is shown of a COVID Risk meter remaining very high as of September 10th. WCSD Dashboard at a test positivity over 20%. Similar to the surge of December 2020.
August 30th all athletes tested regardless of vaccination status. Significant decrease in exclusion once “no-contact” plan was implemented.
Trying to expand testing for all students and staff. They have the tests but do not have the staff to perform the tests. ED 048 only refers to athletes.
Asking schools to: 1) avoid large groups (some just cancel others hold events outside), 2) zoom meetings when can, 3) expansion of Clinical Aide hours, and 4) additional hours for ESPs until Fall Break, and 5) reassignment of staff to assist with contract tracing.
Guest Teachers - emergency substitute licensing provision still in place to guest teach. The process is thorough to make sure the guest teacher is a good fit.
Vaccination Efforts - 70-75% of employees have received the COVID-19 vaccination. Monitoring for when to start boosters.
Public Comment: - Teacher Coonsey from Greenbrae Elementary - giving mask breaks outside. Kids doing well. Would love more COVID testing. Doing well.
-Ms. Mier - only 10 states have schools with mask mandates. 0.052% less than ½ of 1% per 100,000 cases of COVID in Washoe County Schools. 0.7% total active cases in all Washoe County Schools. Parents and students are afraid to come forward. They are being bullied. She gives examples of bullying and segregation. A teacher asking them to raise their hand if they are vaccinated or not. Then stating if they are unvaccinated then they are idiots and probably Trump lovers. Teacher dismissed the entire class saying “get out of my classroom you little jackasses”. A teacher told a student to “pull your mask up, you look like a Republican.” Another blamed a student for a class outbreak because they didn’t have their mask on properly. Lastly, a coach asked if they were vaccinated or not and then stated a desire to make vaccinations mandatory. Requested the Board to investigate these allegations.
-Ms. Martinez - Questioned if hospitals are really being overrun or just less staff so less beds.
Board Action: APPROVED Superintendent's recommendation to continue to adhere to the Emergency Directive 048 and the staff to find ways to allow mask breaks throughout the day.
4.01 Trustees can Address the Board
President Taylor said they learned of Trustee Calvert’s resignation after the board had posted their agenda. They will add the issues surrounding Trustee Calvert to their agenda for the next board meeting.
5.01 General Public Comment
Opposition to CRT
Valerie Fiannaca - at one time 17 separate school districts existed but in 1957 all were consolidated into one. That puts too much power in one entity. Read the old WCSD mission statement and how it is needed and applies to today’s world.
Shannon Coley - Don’t focus any energy on supplemental curriculum when so much is needed to recover students from the time they have missed from the schools being closed due to COVID.
Ms. Martinez - Israel being most vaccinated, 3 shots going on 4. The infection rate in COVID follows the vaccination rate.
Mr. Sun - Born in China asked the Board two fundamental questions of brainwashing. One, is brainwashing children effective? And two, what age should brainwashing start? His story takes place in 1965 during China’s cultural revolution. He was told by his teacher that capitalism and its nice living are bad and socialism is good. We must destroy statutes, libraries, etc all that represents capitalism. Like here, cancel culture and defund the police. His Chinese teacher taught him perfume, clothing and lifestyle bad. He was five. When he went home he took his mother’s perfume and dumped it into the drain. Brainwashing is very effective so start as early as possible like you are doing.
Mr. Eppolitto - Infinite Campus. WCSD did not tell parents the whole truth about the data breach by Pearson.The SEC is worried about Pearson misleading investors. Why isn’t WCSD worried about Pearson? WCSD still uses Pearson. They just paid them $415,00 to be the only full distance learning model.
Ms. Mier - Confirmed we are facing a radical move toward socialism right here in Washoe County, segregation by vaccination. 450 active cases per WCSD website out of 64,000 students so that is less than ½ of 1% of cases. Doesn’t even speak to illness, just a positive result that they have this infection.
Ms. Reyes - Trustees talk about visiting schools. but do not report on progress in the school. How are the grades and what is each school doing to improve?
Mr. Don Guilmore Sr. - he is a citizen lobbyist. He helped create AB234 regarding multicultural education and it is not meant to be CRT. It is to be taught for 15 minutes, every other social studies class. CRT is a non-existence theory. The 0.05 incidence BIPOC people hate vaccines more than anyone, even evangelical white. He has been working with Mr. Eppolito. The security breaches are our biggest threat. Should be a first priority for any board. He wants to sue Pearson.
Teacher Shates Greenbrae - Parent of a transgender child. Social Emotional Learning is making students a better human. She loves working with the Board. They are awesome.
Next meeting September 28th