9/27/22 Regular Board of Trustees Meeting Summary
Agenda Items pulled for discussion
2.04 $350K for toilet paper and soap dispensers retrofit. School Board candidate for District B, Colleen Westlake stated that these items should/could be free from our toilet paper and soap distributors.
Board Motion: Passed Unanimously
2.08 The Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between WCSD and the Washoe School Principals Association (WSPA) providing for the payment of a signing incentive of $3,500 and/or end of year stipend of $1,500 for Principals at Acceleration Schools for 22/23 school year. Acceleration Schools are the lowest performing schools in WCSD based upon the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) and Star ratings. One Star schools listed were: Booth ES , Echo Loder ES, Duncan ES, Veterans Memorial ES, Desert Heights ES, Lemelson ES, Natchez ES, Traner MS and Vaughn MS. Two Star schools listed were: Elmcrest ES, Lincoln Park ES, Sun Valley ES.
Trustee Smith wondered why Anderson ES what not included. HR will look into why. We are curious why these other One Star schools were not included: Piccolo ES, Cannan ES and Stead ES.
The funding says it comes from the General Fund but BBME was told it was grant money. We are waiting for a definitive answer from the District.
Board Motion: Passed Unanimously.
2.12 Action for the Superintendent to enter into contract with Dr. Thomas Alsbury to help facilitate and direct the Board of Trustees with a comprehensive evaluation of the Superintendent, for a cost of $22.5K.
Trustee Church and School Board Candidate for District B, Colleen Westlake, did not believe the District should spend money for an outsider to help evaluate the Superintendent and that it should be done internally.
The argument from President Taylor, Trustee Nicolet and Superintendent Enfield was that an evaluation could not be done from within because it would be a conflict to have HR or Department Heads essentially evaluate their boss.
Board Motion: Passed 6-1. Trustee Church voted Nay.
2.17 Board Policy 9100 - Public Bodies
Purpose: The Board of Trustees utilizes advisory Public Bodies to engage diverse viewpoints; access expertise in particular fields of interest; improve their understanding of the needs of students, their families, and the community; and extend the reach of the Board. This BP and any associated governing documents shall establish the guidelines for the creation and operation of WCSD Public Bodies.
Trustee Church has raised this concern many times that the automatic reappointment of members seemed unfair to Board members who do not get to appoint their own choice for certain committees.
Public comments were made by John Eppolito and Colleen Westlake.
Mr. Eppolito concurred with Trustee Church saying that a prime example was with the SHARE Committee. Even though the community overwhelmingly disliked the Fifth Grade SHARE Program, the Committee pushed through a minor tweaked version of the original. Mr. Eppolito charged that this most recent 4 hour SHARE meeting revolved around the definition or the redefining of the words “boy” and “girl”.
Colleen Westlake, School Board Candidate for District B, agreed with Mr. Epilito, saying that “I might not always like what I am hearing. But, I want to hear it, evaluate it and proceed. If you are not hearing other voices you are not getting the full picture.”
Shannon Coley pointed out that she believed that the Board says it wants to hear from marginalized communities but she knows for a fact that the Mormon community feels consistently ignored by the Board when it comes to the SHARE program.
President Taylor said, “All diverse viewpoints are important. But, regarding the SHARE committee, the Board does not have flexibility because it is in Nevada Revised Statute. And we, as a Board, have addressed diversity in the Administrative Regulation and the Board Policy.”
The Nevada Revised Statute addressing the SHARE committee is NRS 389 and the statute states: Each Board of Trustees shall appoint an advisory committee consisting of: 5 parents of children who attend schools in the district and 4 representatives from:
BBME’s assessment is that the Board's hands are not tied because of the constraints of the statute; they can appoint 5 diverse voices from the parent pool.
Trustee Smith told a story which, in fact, supported Trustee Church’s point that these committees are echo chambers. She said that a community member would show up to the Zoning Advisory Committee meetings and would point out contrarian and difficult things to a panel of 13, all with the same viewpoint. It took an outsider to make the effort and show up to give a different perspective. The positive ending was that this community member was appointed to the committee when a seat became available.
Trustee Rodriguez, Smith and President Taylor pushed back when Trustee Church said he was not allowed to see different applicants for the reappointments of standing committee members. They said that it was difficult to get volunteers for committees so there were probably no other applicants.
We do recall multiple occasions when Trustee Church has asked that the reappointments not be on the Consent Agenda. As outsiders closely watching the processes for a while now, it continues to seem as though this Board does not truly value differing opinions.
Board Motion: Passed 6-1. Trustee Church voted Nay.
Items for Presentation, Discussion, and Action
3.01 Presentation of the new mascot and logo for the new JWood Raw Elementary School, the Jaguars.
3.02 Presentation and discussion on the progress and schedule for the district wide facility modernization plan from Cannon Design.
Cannon Design has been working with the school district for 7 weeks evaluating and assessing current facilities, both old and new. Cannon Design emphasized that equity for all students will be a main pillar and be woven in all design decisions. Equity consists of condition and age, design and capacity of each facility. Trustee Smith said that her interpretation of equity is environmental equity between the new modern schools versus the older ones.
There are a range of outcomes possible for the facilities:
Cannon Design gave a comprehensive Process Overview to the Board so they can know what is coming next.
The creation of Representative Groups: Executive Leadership, District Planning Group, Stakeholder Advisory Group and Community Meetings.
They want to make sure there are plenty of opportunities for community engagement. There will be multiple community forums, both in person and virtually. We encourage the community to show up and participate in these forums.
Timeline for Community Forum
October 19: 11:30-1:30 pm McKinley Arts Center
October 19: 5:30 - 7:30 pm Dilworth MS
October 20: 5:30-7:30 pm Virtual
January 25: TBD
Cannon Design Presentation Timeline to the Board of Trustees:(BOT)
November 8 BOT Meeting
December 13 BOT Meeting
Superintendent Enfield addressed her commitment to address the Quality of Education in WCSD beginning at the October Board of Trustees Meeting. “Test scores are important but they are only one story of how our students are doing in our schools. I want to make sure we combine the quantitative with the qualitative when it comes to quality of education. So, beginning October 26, there will be a quantitative presentation by Troy Parks. In November, we will have school presentations with Principals so we can celebrate the good work being done. Also, we will be presenting a Student of the Month for the District at these meetings….As I have said previously: Two things can and must be true at once, we must acknowledge where we need to grow and celebrate all of the good stuff happening.”
BBME agrees that we must celebrate the effort of schools, principals, teachers, administrators, staff and students striving for excellence but we must point out the obvious disconnect between effort and success. Where is the breakdown? Why is all this effort not translating to better outcomes? We acknowledge not every student will be high academic achievers but is asking for students who are proficient too much?
Dr. Enfield is correct that Proficiency tests are only one measure of students' success. Here is another measurement in which we can weigh the success of WCSD, Nevada Systems of Higher Education remedial enrollment from WCSD graduates.
WCSD is not doing the students any favors by simply graduating students who are not prepared for college or careers. The students will not only have to pay for these remedial classes, they receive no college credits for them.
Ann Silver sent an email from Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce volunteering their facility for bus driver recruitment. Also, she offered their expertise on advising WCSD in ways of successful recruitment.