The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in 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 email@example.com.
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
What happened at this meeting?
Trustees Approved the Consent Agenda
Consent agenda highlights include:
- Approval of Board officer appointments to non-Washoe County School District public bodies
- Approval of information collected from a single anonymous donor related to NRS 386.390
- Approval of FY2022-2023 2nd quarter Report of Average Daily Attendance and Pupil-Teacher Ratios for grades K-3
Explore the consent agenda here.
Trustees Received a Presentation on the FY24 Budget Update and 4-Year Financial Plan
Staff presented an update on the FY2023-2024 budget, as well as several considerations for the budget. The Nevada Department of Education will present its overall budget on January 27. Per-pupil funding will most likely not be known until later in the legislative session, and initial findings of the Governor’s budget will be presented at the February 14 Board meeting.
Factors impacting the FY24 budget:
- Lower birth rates across the nation will impact larger school districts, meaning flat or decreased enrollment.
- Enrollment in District school has decreased by 4.3% since the 2018-19 school year, or more than 3,000 students from pre-pandemic levels. Charter and private schools have seen increases in enrollment.
- There will be an enrollment bubble in Grades 9-12 through the 2022-2023 school year.
- Kindergarten students for 2022-2023 are projected to be 4,400, which means that 600+ more students will be leaving than entering the School District from FY24 – FY27. The revenue shortfall of this decreased enrollment is approximately $8 million (using the current per pupil funding formula).
- The Nevada Public Employment Retirement System (PERS) Board has approved a rate increase, with an impact of $4.7 million.
- The per pupil funding formula change in the budget will determine if the District has a revenue shortfall or deficit, by preliminary calculations.
Staff advised the Board to hold off on major budget changes until the legislative session ends but address critical needs in the meanwhile. A tentative budget will be presented on April 11, with final budgets presented May 23.
Staff also presented the four-year long-range financial planning to identify risks and trends. Variables including salaries, enrollment, future per pupil funding allocations, and changes in General Fund revenues. Several models were presented.
Next steps include evaluating the Governor’s proposed budget and the legislative session. The Board directed the Superintendent to continue to analyze and report back to the Board on specific budget issues, items, and other changes to the FY 2023-24 budget process.
Trustees Approved the Purchase of ActivPanels and Associated Hardware
Trustees approved the purchase of classroom ActivPanels and associated hardware through a joinder contract. The total cost is estimated at $6.8 million.
Trustees Approved a Moratorium on Board Policy 9070
Trustees approved a moratorium on Board Policy 9070: Creation, Adoption, Revision, and Deletion of Board Policy, Administrative Regulation, and Administrative Procedures/Manuals. Staff will return with best practices and recommendations.
Explore the policy statement.
Trustees Received a Presentation on Graduation Rates, Diplomas, and Seals
Trustees received a presentation on Washoe County graduation rates and diplomas. Overall, WCSD graduation rates in 2022 were 84%, a slight improvement of 82% in 2021, flat to the five-year graduation rate, and an 18 point increase over 10 years.
Graduation gaps persist in some student groups, including those who identify as American Indian (-20 point gap), African-American/Black (-10 point gap), and Pacific Islander (-5 point gap).
Fifty-two percent of graduates obtained a standard diploma, and 48% received an advanced, honors, or Career and College Ready diploma. The average ACT score for WCSD is 17.5; Nevada’s is 17.3.
Identified needs include additional core materials, supplemental tutoring, addressing academic disparities, interventions for students who need additional supports, and assessments to monitor growth and mastery, and family and community supports. The District has responded to each of these. Student representatives also spoke about their different diploma tracks and their experiences.
Next steps include the purchase of National Clearinghouse Student Tracker service, alignment for instruction, school performance plans focusing on reducing academic disparities, vetting high-quality curriculum and instructional materials, and building foundations for fair and consistent grading practices.
Explore the presentation.
Student Representative’s Report
The Student Representative Report highlights included:
- The Student Advisory Council has been meeting with different student groups on peer-to-peer resources, including programs regarding mental health and setting up pen pals across schools for additional connection points.
- The Council is also exploring different student engagement tactics to ensure student voices are heard at all District high schools.
Trustee reports highlights included:
- School visits and staff appreciation events
- Meeting with various stakeholders in the community, including nonprofit organizations
- Mentoring programs
- Challenges for schools, students, and staff
- Encouraging legislative involvement and legislator education on WCSD-related topics
- Attending the State of the State address and inaugural activities
- Various school programs and staff members who received statewide and national honors
The Superintendent’s report highlights included:
- Thursday, February 2, is the State of the District address, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. It is open to the public. Learn more about it here.
- Gratitude towards staff for bringing forward ideas, concerns, and feedback
- Thoughts on Governor Lombardo’s State of the State address
- Concerns regarding bargaining unit negotiations
- Board member agenda requests
- Task force and public input on diversity
- The importance of teaching history
The next Meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for February 14, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.