Each year Silver State Schools Credit Union recognizes outstanding Nevada students for their academic achievements and community involvement through six $2,000 scholarships. The scholarship program is designed for SSSCU members and their children, graduating from an accredited high school within the Nevada in 2015. For more information, visit www.silverstatecu.com/scholarships.
Rock legend Carlos Santana donated 80 guitars to Monaco Middle School on Jan. 21, 2015. As reported by the Las Vegas Sun, the donation was part of Santana’s partnership with Hermes Music U.S. Also on the 21st, Mariachi Los Gavilanes de Monaco Middle School performed for Santana at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Click here to watch a video of Santana's comments about the performance.
The overcrowding of CCSD schools was a key topic of Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky's State of the District address on Jan. 26. As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the nation’s fifth-largest school district is bursting with 319,072 students, and that number is growing every month. The RJ said, "Since Dec. 1, 1,143 students have enrolled in the district’s elementary schools, meaning on average there are 755 students in each elementary school." Skorkowsky said, "I could build 26 new elementary schools, fill every seat, and still be overcrowded in the Clark County School District." Click here to watch a video of the superintendent's speech.
Open Enrollment provides parents of CCSD students with another choice. Schools with available seats will be advertised for the purpose of allowing parents/guardians of students who do not reside in the attendance zones to express interest in enrolling their child(ren) there. Transportation is not provided for students selected to attend schools through this program. The Open Enrollment Interest Form may be submitted in mid-April through mid-August for the 2015-16 school year. For more information, click here to view Frequently Asked Questions. Or, you may contact the Demographics, Zoning & GIS Department at (702) 799-6430 or email OpenEnroll@interact.ccsd.net.
The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth will hold a public block party on Saturday, Jan. 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate the grand opening of an expanded center for homeless youth. The block party will include a petting zoo, face painting, tours and free hot dogs. The location is 4981 Shirley St., Las Vegas. For details, visit www.nphy.org or call (702) 383-1332.
The Summerlin Library at 1771 Inner Circle Drive in Las Vegas will host a free informational program about the Nevada College Kick Start program on Wednesday, Jan. 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. The program establishes college savings accounts for public school kindergarten students with an initial deposit of $50.
Representatives of the national CrossFit organization will visit Rancho High School P.E. teacher Michelle Van Buren on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 to highlight her CrossFit class, which she has been teaching for four years. CrossFit is a national program that emphasizes physical strength and conditioning. The organization will do a video interview with Van Buren, which will be followed the same day by "Friday Night Lights," a fundraiser for Rancho's CrossFit program. Up to 300 students and adults are expected to take part in the fundraiser, to be held from 4 to 9 p.m. on the football field or, in case of rain, in the Rancho gymnasium. For additional information email email@example.com or visit www.ranchorams.org.
In a time when budgets are tight, the Clark County School District (CCSD) will be ensuring every last dollar is used wisely and maximized. To be as efficient as possible, the district has teamed up with several community and business leaders of Las Vegas to track the value of the district’s programs and departments to ensure that they maximize the most gains in terms of student success.
The public-private partnership, known as the Superintendent’s Executive Advisory Committee, is the first of its kind nationwide between a school district and community leaders to implement best financial practices. It includes leaders from the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and Nevada Succeeds! The committee will work with CCSD to analyze the district’s $2.3 billion budget.
“This initiative means that we are keeping a close eye on tax dollars being spent in the classroom,” said Deputy Superintendent Kim Wooden. “That way, we can better enhance our students’ education.”
The committee created three subcommittees to better focus its efforts: the Department Evaluation Subcommittee, the Program Evaluation Subcommittee and the School Comparison Report Subcommittee.
The Department Evaluation Subcommittee will develop a framework to measure impact and performance standards of various district departments. The Program Evaluation Subcommittee will develop a framework to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of academic programs the district purchases to increase student achievement. Last but not least, the School Comparison Report Subcommittee will compare school performance with school expenditures.
By comparing schools that are similar in demographics, the district can look at how many and which schools perform better than expected with the same amount of funds. These schools can provide useful clues to practices that can be implemented in other schools.
The preliminary reports are available on ccsd.net/dollarscount. The studies are in peer review with local and national education and school finance experts. Feedback is also being collected from local stakeholders through interviews, focus groups and surveys. The school district’s goal is to provide those frameworks to the public later this year.
“This is not just a Clark County School District initiative,” said Wooden. “We are thankful for our community for coming together and giving their time and knowledge to ensure we are maximizing resources for our students.”
Bob Proffitt describes his classroom at Kenny C. Guinn Middle School as “loud but fun.” However, that only begins to tell the story of this outstanding American History teacher who was named to the Excellence in Education Hall of Fame last fall.
A native of Livingston, Mont., Proffitt has been teaching in the Clark County School District (CCSD) for 15 years. Before that, he spent three years as a teacher in San Francisco. Aside from teaching seventh grade history and eighth grade geography he also teaches “life” because as he says “I tell my students I’ve been there, done that.”
Proffitt often spends 12-hour days at Guinn being more than a teacher who brings history alive but who also shows them genuine care and compassion. “I have a very good rapport with my students,” he said. “They feel like they can tell me anything, ask me anything, and they know they will get an honest answer out of me.” Many students end up congregating in his classroom after the school day ends, but Proffitt eventually has to send them home.
“Many students at Guinn come from low-income and unstable situations, but that only allows Proffitt to find more in common with his students. “I tell them when I was their age, I wasn’t homeless, but I lived in a tent and know what it’s like to be poor and have holes in my shoes.”
Proffitt’s animated approach to teaching is well known throughout the school. “My teaching style is loud. When students give me an off-the-wall answer to a question you can hear me all over the campus.” He also refuses to teach from his desk. “I’m all over the classroom, and I ask a lot of questions. I won’t take an ‘I don’t know’ for an answer.”
The Army veteran says he is a history expert partly because, at the age of 71, he has lived through much of it. “I go back to World War II, but my students think I served in the Revolutionary War.” Rather than having his students focus on the memorization of dates, Proffitt helps his students understand the relevance of history to the world we live in today.
While many teachers dig through their own wallets to buy classroom supplies, Proffitt took that to an extreme when he replaced his standard classroom seating with new, upholstered chairs that are more comfortable to cure what he jokingly calls “TB - Tired Butt Syndrome.”
Proffitt said he was humbled by the Excellence in Education recognition, but also a bit embarrassed, explaining, “I’m not in this for me, or for the glory. I only want to help the students.” For Proffitt even greater than the recognition is when former students pay a visit and thank him for helping them succeed. “I’ve had students come back and tell me how grateful they are that I kept them on track. They tell me, ‘You made sure I did the work, and now I’m in college and have a bright future.’ I love to see the success of my students after they have moved on.”
So what are Proffitt’s future plans? “I’ve been thinking about retirement. My wife told me, ‘They will carry you out of that school in a coffin.’ But I don’t know. Even if I come to school tired, it doesn’t last because I feed off the energy of my students.”
Each week, the Clark County School District (CCSD) responds to some of the emails it receives from members of the community, parents and district employees. This week, the district addresses the topic of businesses selling alcohol near schools.
A member of the community asked, “A developer is currently in the process of building a small convention center right across the street from one of your schools and they plan to sell alcohol. Is there a distance requirement between schools and where alcohol is allowed to be served?”
The Clark County Business License Department has indicated that 1,500 feet is the distance requirement between a school and a business where alcohol is being served. However, when a freeway at least 100 feet wide separates the proposed business no minimum separation is required provided there is no exterior signage visible from such uses.