The Lincoln County School District Board held its regular meeting April 12.
A letter from Nye County was read, thanking the board for its assistance with buses this last month. Superintendent Pam Teel reiterated that in rural counties like Lincoln and Nye, it’s important to show solidarity and to assist one another whenever possible.
Next up were school reports. Pahranagat Valley High School (PVHS) reported on a service project at the Alamo Children’s Park, followed by an 80s themed dance. The faculty commented that it was good for the kids to learn how to help out in the community, and they are looking forward to other service projects in the future.
The school also reported that they participated in a field trip to the jail, and a few of the students that went were in attendance to report on their experiences. The common consensus was that they were happy they weren’t incarcerated, and that the trip was very enlightening.
Along those same lines, the schools then reported on the “Now You’re Eighteen” trip down to Las Vegas to tour the city’s morgue and the Nevada Highway Patrol headquarters. This was also reported to have been interesting, if a little scary, and the school made sure to publicly thank Guy Davis and Derek Foremaster for helping out with the event.
Pahranagat Valley Elementary wrapped up by reporting on their trip to SeaWorld. Those involved in the activity were thanked. The overall opinion of the students was that it was fun and informative. The kids were able to do a variety of activities on the first day, including feeding bat rays, learning about sharks (including making a shark tooth necklace), and learning about sea turtles. That night they were able to sleep next to the sea turtle enclosure, and the following morning they were taught about becoming a SeaWorld trainer and got to feed the sea lions. They finished up the day by enjoying the rides and other park activities.
The board turned its attention to Caliente Elementary. The faculty reported that they and the kids had participated in the Nevada Moves Day and also took part in releasing some trout eggs back into the wild to help the native population grow.
Caliente Elementary finished their report by saying that their kids are getting ready for upcoming exams, and that they are excited to see what happens.
Panaca Elementary also mentioned the Nevada Moves Day event, which occurred a few weeks ago. All the kids had fun, and they couldn’t wait to do it again. Then they reported on their trip to Las Vegas to see the Blue Man Group perform, when their bus broke down not too far from Coyote Springs.
Thankfully, Alamo came to the rescue with their own buses, providing transportation for the entire group. They still made their show, and the faculty expressed their gratitude to the Alamo drivers that saved the day.
The board heard from Pioche Elementary next. Some of their students were in attendance to present their reports on famous Americans, such as Nathan Hale, a hero of the American Revolution and a talented spy. He was also the person responsible for the famous quote, “I regret that I only have one life to give for my country,” a phrase that has been handed down as a symbol of true patriotism.
Another student reported on Thomas Jefferson, a key drafter of the Declaration of Independence, the third president of our country, and an avid reader.
The board congratulated the reporters on a job well done.
Next, Lincoln County High reported that both the basketball team and the wrestling team had qualified for academic all-state. The school was very proud of their athletes, and the board echoed that sentiment.
The LCHS faculty then reported that they had held another safety meeting, where they determined that a change was needed when it comes to fire drills. Previously, fire alarms meant that teachers and students should vacate their classrooms immediately. However, due to other possible safety hazards, teachers are now allowed to wait and assess the situation before sending their kids outside. This provides an added sense of safety and means that the evacuation can progress in a more orderly manner.
Lincoln finished up their report by mentioning that they will be having the ACTs.
Then came the board business, which started with the retirement of VaNae Cumming. The board thanked her for her service and approved her retirement request.
Next, Regina Grier requested that her daughter be allowed to take the HiSet exam. Principal Marty Soderborg mentioned that he agreed with the idea and supported Grier’s request. With the principal’s endorsement, the board voted and agreed to let the test take place.
The board then moved on to a report on the capital projects, including fixing up grounds and connecting the intercom system at Panaca Elementary to the gym/theater building next door. It was mentioned that some of the projects proposed have the understanding behind them that if there is a financial problem in the county and cuts are needed, those projects will be the first ones on the chopping block.
After approving the continued use of the extended school year, re-approving a previously reviewed class size reduction, and a very early approval of the next Washington, D.C. trip, the board faced a policy revision when it came to the academic plans of the middle schoolers, so that they can better be prepared for their future education.
Then the board voted to hire Cherry Florence as the new adult education teacher, and hired on Kyla Linares as the new PVHS special education teacher.
Next came the Nevada Association of School Boards (NASB) report, where Tyrus Mizer stated that Nevada is having more and more say in the national meetings as time goes on, and that it was a good experience to attend this last meeting.
Mizer noted that the rest of the nation seems opposed to arming teachers, but that the NASB will leave it to local areas to sort that out.
The main push, according to Mizer, is to get people the counseling and social work they need to prevent the danger before it even has a chance to start. Finally, the board gave its own reports. Mizer talked about his desire to expand the musical program to perform around the nation, his excitement when it came to the summit learning program, and the district’s need to prevent the “summer slide.”
Next was Peggy Rowe, who attended the aforementioned safety meeting and was impressed by those in charge and their knowledge of the facts, but was also disappointed in how few parents attended, since she believes that parents need to have their opinions heard as well.
Then Pat Kelley congratulated the most recent group of C.O. Bastian graduates, also expressing concerned with Lincoln’s rankings when it comes to academics. He learned through a Review Journal article that Nevada places low when it comes to education, but Superintendent Teel was quick to respond that as the instruction gets better, test scores will rise.
Carolyn Harr congratulated the C.O. Bastian graduates, gave high praise to everyone who worked on the play “Brigadoon,” and was very impressed with the prom. She added that she was pleased that the recent safety issues in the county have not been sensationalized, since that could hurt Lincoln more than help.
Finally, Teel gave her notes, requesting that a future meeting be moved so that everyone can attend divisions and reminding the board about another upcoming meeting.
Teel also said that due to the recent push to arm teachers in the county, she has discovered a possible way to do so. She cautioned that before anything can become law, a committee must be assembled made up of parents, faculty, the sheriff’s department, and other emergency services to figure out the best way to implement this process.
This committee would meet for the first time on April 23, to begin the process of figuring out what to do to keep kids safe.
Then the superintendent mentioned that student numbers are beginning to drop, and that because of this, they might not be hiring on as much as they have in the past.
With that, the board adjourned. It will meet again on May 17.