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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Washoe County School District Board of Trustees Meeting
Trustees Waived the Requirements of Board Policy 7110 – Naming of Schools and Other District Facilities, and Renamed the Gymnasium at North Valleys High School in Honor of Richard Peraldo
Trustees agreed to waive the requirements of Board Policy 7110 and renamed the gymnasium facilities at North Valleys High School in honor of basketball coach, athletic director, and special education teacher Richard Peraldo.
Trustees Approved and Ratified the Collective Bargaining Agreement Between WCSD and the Washoe Education Support Professionals
Trustees approved and ratified the new collective bargaining agreement with the Washoe Education Support Professionals (WESP). The new four-year agreement includes a 13.2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in Year 1, and additional COLAs in Years 2-4. ESP employees will receive a limited match of salary increases from funds granted by SB 231, of approximately 4% in FY24 and FY25.
Additionally, the Agreement includes a $3,000 signing bonus for employees who sign a two-year recoupment agreement, and a retention bonus for existing aides and assistants of $3,000: $1,500 at the end of the 2023-24 school year and an additional $1,500 at the end of the 2024-25 school year. New language also streamlines the grievance and complaint procedure, making the process consistent with other associations and reducing the District’s costs to manage the process.
Trustees Received a Presentation on the Electric School Bus Grant Funded Pilot Program
Staff presented an update on two electric buses, which were delivered summer 2023. The District has installed two Nuvve chargers at the Schultz Transportation Facility in South Reno. Bus service began October 10 for Roger Corbett Elementary and Earl Wooster High School. Benefits include a decrease in noise pollution, increased driver and student awareness, reduced maintenance and operating costs, and zero emissions for students, staff, community, and the environment.
Trustees Reviewed the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) Data, Nevada School Performance Framework Star Rankings, and High School Core Credit Attainment from the 2022-23 School Year
WCSD continues to see slower than expected returns to pre-pandemic student performance, with existing disproportionalities amplified by the pandemic. In English Language Arts (ELA), 41.2% of students at WCSD scored at a Level 3 or 4 on the SBA, and 33.6% in Mathematics.
This is the first post-pandemic year that star ratings have been reported (the last year was 2018-19). Overall, the number of one and two-star schools rose, while the number of five-star schools decreased. The number of three-star schools rose, and the number of four-star schools stayed the same. The comparison of star rating designations between 2018-19 and 2022-23 can be found in the chart below:
Proficiency by School Level:
Elementary School: Overall, 43% of elementary school kids in WCSD are at or above standard in English Language Arts. In math, 40% of elementary school kids are at or above standard.
Middle School: Overall, 39% of middle school kids in WCSD are at or above standard in English Language Arts. In math, 27% of middle school students are at or above standard.
High School: Core credit attainment is 58% for the 2022-23 school year. For ACT, 45% of students are at or above Nevada Department of Education proficiency standards. Overall, 45% of high school kids in WCSD are at or above standard in English Language Arts. In math, 22% of high school students are at or above standard.
Barriers to advanced placement, International Baccalaureate, and other career and technical education were discussed, as well as timing of the ACT exam. Chronic absenteeism as a factor in the reduced student performance will be part of the October 24 board meeting.
Trustees and staff discussed strategies to improve student outcomes, including activities that align with the District’s four pillars:
Consistent standards-aligned curriculum and instruction: Personalized learning plans, basing early literacy and language instruction on the science of reading, adoption of high-quality curriculum, professional learning communities for educators, high-quality instruction, and calibration tools for principals and administrators, expanded access to advanced coursework, and transition support for high school freshmen
Strong partnerships among families, community, and schools: Obtaining laptops for students, improving home internet access, Newcomer Center resources for families who have just moved to the US, family-friendly school performance plans, expansion of home visits, expanding resources to multiple languages, mental health coordinators, family resource centers, increased access to internships/externships/career exploration, ongoing and expanded community outreach
A commitment to elevating educators: Focus on principals as instructional leaders, professional growth and learning plans, continued investments in strengthening educator pathways, participation on committees to inform policies and practices, expanded teacher mentoring, ongoing professional learning opportunities, expanded access to smart boards to support classroom instruction
A culture of excellence and accountability: Proactive student graduation monitoring, alignment of district offices to improve school support, quarterly Cycle of Continuous Improvement, strengthening staff retention, peer assistance review process, alignment of school performance plans with the District’s strategic plan, expanded research capacity, strategic budgeting and grants management
Students and leaders from Alice Maxwell Elementary School shared how they implemented some of these strategies and had nearly tripled the number of students reading on grade level between November 2022 and May 2023.