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
2.06 -Consideration of Approval: Quarter Report of Average Daily Attendance and Pupil-Teacher Ratios for Grades K-3
NRS 388.700(1) requires that pupils per licensed teacher in grades K-2, must not exceed 16 to 1 and grade three 18 to 1, yet the 2021 legislature cut funding in this area. Sounds great, but it seems all the Board has to do to get out of this mandate is submit a variance citing lack of financial support. There are 63 elementary schools in WCSD, 62 variances were submitted for kindergarten, 42 for grade one, 39 for grade 2 and 44 for grade three. Currently the District is funding approx. ¼ of teachers from the ESSER (Covid Relief) Fund. It leads us to ask how funding a necessary number of teachers is not priority number one when running a school district?!?
2.13 Possible Action to Approve the Safe and Healthy Schools Commission Representative
Rhonda Lawrence was chosen from numerous applicants to be an at-large representative for the term ending June 30, 2023. We did notice on her resume under skills she listed diversity, equity & inclusion. How much she is awash in this doctrine we cannot tell from her resume, but we will try to find out. View her resume here.
Items for Presentation, Discussion, Information and/or Action
3.01 Approval of the Plan to Spend the Final ⅓ of the ESSER III Funds (Covid Relief) $25,798,620
ESSER I award: $9,908,499 performance period 3/13/20-9/30/22
ESSER II award: $34,386,079 performance period 7/1/21-9/30/24
ESSER III award: $77,282,787 performance period 7/1/21-9/30/24
As of December 2021, proposed spending for ESSER III funds is $57.5M for Student Learning, $2.7M for Student Well-Being, $2.1M for Teacher Support, $1.3M for Family Support, $1.9M for District Support, and $4.8M for Other Support.
This agenda item is referenced to support Goals 1, 3 and 5 of the Response to Recovery Plan SY 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 dated August 21, 2021
See the full "Response to Recovery" WCSD report here.
We feel very strongly that the money should go directly to the students and teachers. A national report was released showing how some of the states' school districts have diverted money to fund equity and diversity initiatives. See article here.
3.02 Info. Only on Mental Wellness Supports Including Possible use of Telehealth
There was not a lot of information in the agenda materials posted on the district's website, but we aren't certain what will be proposed. The meeting presentation will reveal more details. Some questions do come to mind. Will Telehealth replace or be in addition to a school nurse? What is the role of schools in providing medical care to students? A few Telehealth potential services listed are urgent care visits, health screenings, follow up care, prescriptions, psychiatric services? Is the District now offering almost complete medical care for students? What will this service cost and is it at the expense of education? What kind of liability is this opening up if the school fails to provide proper medical treatment or contract with a competent medical provider? It seems the District is trying to do everything, EXCEPT improve the education provided to the student.
3.03 Possible Action Regarding High School Graduation Plans for the Class of 2022
At this time, Superintendent McNeill plans to move forward with conducting graduation ceremonies w/in the parameters of Governor Sisolak’s directives.
Planned schedule for graduations at Lawlor.
3.04 Review and Possible Action on Current COVID Mitigation Measures
As of the last Board meeting, the Board directed the Superintendent to continue to adhere to Gov. Sisolak’s Emergency Directive 048. We do not expect this to change.
Additionally, last week the district announced it is using the self-screening tool for all students and staff, replacing individual notifications from school to families regarding exclusions. This change will enable school staff members who have been performing contact tracing to handle other duties.
We see as of January 21, 2022 the Covid meter is at severe and the NV Covid dashboard shows the total number of cases at 2,138. There is no data, and no place for data, on hospitalizations or deaths.
There are community vaccinations opportunities for students, with parents approval, reusable cloth masks and the district has placed a request for 100,000 KN95 masks. We are all ready for this to be over. Hopefully that will be in the very near future. For more information, click here.