Nevada Ed-Watch

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions
are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.

Washoe County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees.

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Tuesdays) at 2 pm both virtually and at the Central Administration Building Board Room, 425 E. 9th St., Reno, NV 89512.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings.

Can community members engage at Trustee meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Currently, members of the public can submit comments on agenda and non-agenda items through email or voice recording. Public comment can be provided in person or via email. Email comments should be submitted to 

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Washoe County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda.
Watch the meeting playback.

What happened at this meeting?

Trustees Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent agenda highlights include:

Explore the consent agenda here.

Trustees Recognized May 21-27, 2023 as National Public Works Week

Trustees passed a resolution recognizing May 21-27, 2023, as National Public Works Week for the District.

Explore the board resolution.

Trustees Discussed Native American Culture and Education Programming in the District

Over 90 tribes are represented in WCSD, with the majority from the Nevada/Great Basin tribes. There are 885 students who have completed a 506 form, which documents a student’s Native American and Alaskan Native ancestry. Anyone with a 506 form on file is eligible for services under the WCSD Native American Culture and Education Program.

Native American programming include Paiute language classes, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate fee payments, school supplies, academic supports, and the Indian Education Advisory Committee, as well as the Paiute Bowl, in collaboration with Family-School Partnerships. Graduation rates for students who self-identify as American Indian are 80% (District average is 85%).

Tribal partners to the District include Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Reno Sparks Indian Colony. Each partner has a voting and ex-officio members on the Parent Advisory Committee. There is annual tribal consultation with district leadership, and an MOU is in place with Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe for the Native Youth Community Project Grant, which provides mentorship, data support, and career and college readiness services, as well as cultural recognition and preservation efforts.

Needs identified include addressing academic disparities, community supports, and addressing a lack of connection with education.

Explore the presentation.

Trustees Heard an Update on the District-Wide Strategic Planning Process

Staff from Performance Fact provided an update on the district’s strategic planning process. The plan is scheduled to go before the Board on June 13 to be considered for adoption.

Engagement includes surveys, student sessions, community forums, and meetings with the leadership team and District department staff members. Work to date includes a framework of student learning, instructional effectiveness, and empowering infrastructure. A promise statement has been devised: “Every student is known by name, strength, and need so they graduate prepared for the future they choose, and we will deliver on this by prioritizing partnerships with our families and community.”

Five goals and measures of student progress were also identified and detailed. Several board recommendations were implemented in these changes.

Explore the update presentation.

Trustees Heard a Presentation to Identify the Strengths, Gaps, and Opportunities for Improvement to WCSD’s Human Resources Department

A human resources assessment was given to identify the strengths, gaps, and opportunities for improvement for the department as it relates to support, functionality, and service delivery. Both qualitative and quantitative information was used to review and analyze the current state.

Overall, 41 recommendations were made, 12 of which were identified as critical needs, including upgrading the human resources system, evaluating departmental structure and organization, and establishing an HR partner role. District leadership and the department will begin plotting those identified critical needs over the next school year and beyond.

Next steps include drafting a timeline and implementation plan, collaboration with leadership and staff, and launching an enhanced department structure and service delivery model.

Explore the presentation.

Trustees Approved a Change to the Employee Benefit Eligibility Period from 90 days to 0 Days, Beginning July 1, 2023

Trustees approved the employee benefit eligibility period change from 90 days to the first day of employment. The 0 Day Benefit Wait begins July 1, 2023 and eliminates the current 90-day waiting period for benefit-eligible employees. This supports recruitment and retention efforts from WCSD. The fiscal impact of the change is about $1 million.

Explore the presentation.

Trustees Celebrated the Success of Students Attending Desert Heights Elementary School

Staff and students provided an overview of the school’s successes, including a spotlight on Britney Zaraco, a fourth grade student. Both math and English Language Arts reading scores have improved over pre-pandemic levels, and discipline events have significantly decreased over the last four school years.

Points of pride include a focus on the Science of Reading, recognition as a Gold school for PBIS implementation, family engagement, the Watch DOGS program, and cultivating an inclusive learning environment for all students.

Explore the presentation.

Student Representative’s Report:

The student representative report highlights included:

  • Strength in Voices conference

Trustee Reports

Trustee report highlights included:

  • Various school visits, events, and activities
  • K-12 foundation partnership with EDAWN
  • Trustee town hall
  • Meetings with local governments and elected officials
  • Legislative engagement
  • Safety forum
  • Educator appreciation events
  • An upcoming panel on post-pandemic teaching

Superintendent’s Report

The Superintendent’s report highlights included:

  • Trustee Beth Smith receiving a Women of Achievement award
  • Attending the public education funding rally
  • Educator Appreciation Week celebrations
  • Success of the Student Voices conference

Public Comment

  • Cameras and additional safety measures in schools
  • Agenda requests for future meetings, including additional opportunities for public comment, police oversight updates, and board and council composition
  • Amplifying educator voices

The next Meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for June 13, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. 

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