We want to help you better understand the upcoming issues the WCSD Board of Trustees will be discussing this week. Take a minute to review these agenda items so that you are prepared to submit a public comment or attend the meeting and make a public comment.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS: (No Individual Voting or Discussion)
2.02. Discussion regarding the sale of WCSD Administration Building on 9th Street to UNR.
Occupants of the Administration building will be moving to the New Debbie Smith CTI Academy.
2.03 - 2.10 A total of $2,487,895 in Capital Improvements on multiple WCSD campuses
ITEMS FOR PRESENTATION, DISCUSSION AND/ OR ACTION:
3.01 Discussion of Dr. Susan Enfields Employment Agreement as WCSD Superintendent.
No additional information was posted on the agenda regarding this. However, after some investigating, we do have some major concerns about Dr. Enfields' previous performance and social ideology. Check out our finds here.
3.02 Recognizing May as Mental Awareness Month in WCSD through a Board Resolution addresses the critical responsibility to use specific strategies to address challenges, care and protection of all students.
3.03. Recognizing May 15-21 as National Public Works Week in WCSD. Acknowledging the staff who are responsible for the ongoing maintenance of WCSDs facilities and overall capital infrastructure.
3.04. Discussion of Selling Approximately $300 million in General Obligation Bonds (repaid through Washoe County property tax receipts) all proceeds going to WSCS Capital Improvement for Fiscal years 23/24. The only eligible uses for WC-1 uses are acquisition, construction, repair and renovation of school facilities.
3.05 The Continued Review and Discussion on Performance of the 2020-2021 School Year (The Board Has Been Reviewing Various Metrics at Each Meeting). This Meeting, They Will Review How They Have Done On Goal #2: "To Develop and Retain Highly Effective Personnel Who Are Driven To Support Students and Their Academic Success".
The focus is on: Goal 2 –To develop and retain highly-effective personnel who are driven to support students and their academic success as well as the success of the District. The Washoe County School District will accomplish this goal through recruitment, selection, professional development, and training.
Objective 2.1 – Attract, recruit, hire, and retain highly effect personnel; and
Objective 2.2 – Provide and continuously improve meaningful, high quality professional learning targeted to concrete learning objectives and desired performance outcomes; and
Objective 2.3 – Continuously increase retention and engagement of highly-effective and engaged personnel through programs, professional growth systems, and other management. How are they planning on retaining good staff if they are only offering a one year contract, correct?
We have many questions and concerns about how the district is treating their academic staff.
Objective 2.1 How are we to recruit new teachers when the district can’t offer many of our new teachers with standard contracts? Instead, they are only offering One Year Only (OYO) contracts to most new teachers because they are holding so many positions for teachers who have moved into out-of-the-classroom positions.
Our Recommendation: We need to get the majority of these teachers BACK into the classrooms where they will have the greatest impact on students. This will allow us to attract highly effective teachers by offering standard contracts.
Objective 2.2 EXACTLY what high quality professional learning is being provided to teachers that is targeted to learning objectives and desired performance outcomes with MEASURABLE outcomes?
Teachers are NOT being asked what training they need to help them be more effective teachers. One concerning example is the recent district mandate for Restorative Justice professional development, which includes a training for Restorative Justice Teams in each school over the summer and then for the training of ALL teachers in the fall. How will this professional development result in an increase in students’ academic success? How will this be measured? Restorative Justice is an ideology of behavioral mediation.
There are many other examples of professional development that will have IMMEDIATE and profound impacts on student learning. One such critical need area that teachers have been requesting is supporting teachers’ understanding of Dyslexia in order to provide the best, research-based instruction to all students with dyslexia and characteristics of dyslexia - instruction mandated by NRS 388 (see links below). The District has purchased curriculum and has access to training but is limiting this training to only a very small group of specific Special Education teachers. The district is out of compliance specifically with NRS 388.445 There are students with diagnosed dyslexia and students with dyslexia characteristics that are NOT receiving instruction by ANYONE trained in dyslexia.
Recommendation: Ask the teachers what they need to be effective teachers. Listen to teachers and parents when they do present professional development needs.
Objective 2.3 EXACTLY what high quality professional growth systems are being used to retain highly effective and engaged personnel?
Recommendation: Our District's teacher satisfaction levels are at their lowest level ever. As was discussed in a previous board meeting, staff stress and dissatisfaction from the 2020-2021 school year increased from previous years from 42% to 73%. Burn out, anxiety and restlessness was attributed to the pandemic. Additionally, the lack of staffing, and specifically the shortage of substitute teachers and class size caused tremendous stress. To ensure teachers remain engaged, provide them with professional development in the areas they have acknowledged they need support in. To retain our new teachers, offer strong academic, professional, and emotional support in their first three years and beyond to ensure they are thriving.