Mojave High School geometry teacher Katherine Kelley was crowned Miss Nevada on June 27 at the Smith Center. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kelley moved to Las Vegas from Kentucky last year. She will compete in the Miss America pageant, scheduled for Sept. 13 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the meantime, Kelley said, "I plan to make my service very focused on educational issues in Nevada - particularly improving attendance." (Photo courtesy of L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun).
Bonner Elementary School teacher Kristi O’Donnell was recently honored with a $2,500 education grant from the Thank America’s Teachers Initiative. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a local Farmers Insurance office presented the grant, to be used for purchasing school supplies. O’Donnell was among 60 national grant winners. Pictured, left to right, are Farmers Insurance representative Cindy Yenkowski, Kristi O'Donnell, and student Megan Moss. For more information, visit thankamericasteachers.com.
Nearly three dozen CCSD educators took part in three days of We the People Summer Training through June 10 at the State Bar of Nevada. On June 9, UNLV Professor Rachel Anderson, Esq. led discussions on the 14th amendment. On June 10, Professor Sondra Cosgrove, attorney Andrew Craner and Assemblyman Lynn Stewart acted as judges for the teachers' final problem. Dr. Lou Grillo (Canyon Springs High School), Carol McGrew (Escobedo Middle School) and Debbie Berger (substitute and retired CCSD) served as lead trainers for the week's activities. For more information, click here or call Kathleen Dickinson of the State Bar at (702) 317-1408.
Members of the Clark County School District (CCSD) Police Department were among those who took part in the Hometown Heroes event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on May 30. The event honored local law enforcement, fire and first responder personnel, who had the opportunity to join with their families in enjoying a free night at the races. Highlights included CCSD Police Chief Jim Ketsaa serving as race starter and CCSD Police Captain Ken Young singing the National Anthem. Click here for more information.
The Clark County School District is going to great lengths to recruit new teachers for the 2015-16 school year. According to KLAS-TV, “The district has gone as far as to put up billboards 2,500 miles away in Times Square in New York City.” Ads are also posted in airports around the country, including McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. CCSD needs to hire about 2,600 teachers for the upcoming school year.
Cimarron-Memorial High School teachers Jennifer Stensrud and her husband Eric Stensrud were named the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Educators of the Year for inspiring students as instructors for the school’s award-winning robotics team. According to the R-J, “The Stensruds were chosen from a group of 10 teachers who were recognized throughout the school year through the Clark County Educators of the Month, sponsored by the Review-Journal and Sierra Nevada College.” The Stensruds received $5,000 to go to a scholarship of their choice, plus a $300 gift card for them and a $250 gift card for their school. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Scheid and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
CCSD Safe Routes to School coordinators Sherie Moore and Traci Traasdahl received Special Achievement awards from the Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board on May 5. The awards were presented at the Bicycle and Pedestrian Summit in Henderson and singled out individuals, agencies and groups for improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safety and advocacy. For more information, visit www.bicyclenevada.com or call Tony Illia at (702) 385-6509.
Selma, Ala., is about 1,800 miles from Las Vegas, and its school system has very little in common with the Clark County School District (CCSD). For one thing, Selma has 11 schools and 2,700 students, while CCSD has 357 schools and nearly 320,000 students. Today, however, the two school districts have something significant in common: a Las Vegas native who attended CCSD schools was named superintendent of Selma City Schools.
Dr. Angela Mangum, a 1978 graduate of Chaparral High School, took over the reins of Selma schools on April 13. With 26 years’ experience in education, Mangum’s resume is impressive, ranging from teaching to administration. Her career began with a teaching position in Troy, Ala., in 1989. She has remained in Alabama ever since, serving at various schools and colleges until 2006 when she joined the Alabama State Department of Education, where she served as an administrator until her selection as superintendent of Selma City Schools.
Recalling her experience as a high school student in Clark County, Mangum said, “I had a wonderful experience at Chaparral. I was a cheerleader, I made great friends and had awesome teachers.” She said all her teachers had high expectations of her and her fellow students. “They expected me to come to class, be attentive and complete my assignments.” Mangum added, “Those teachers helped lay the foundation, without which I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Today, Mangum heads up a school district in a rural, high-poverty area where the median household income is approximately $20,000. Despite the economic obstacles, Mangum is determined to provide Selma’s students with a quality education. Her previous experience helped prepare Mangum for the challenges of educating students in economically depressed communities. “I obtained a deep understanding of the key programs, processes, expectations and other factors that are associated with high-poverty schools,” she said.
Mangum said, “My goals include making strides in student achievement, improving parent engagement, improving school and district pride and bringing about continuity and consistency in leadership practices, teaching, learning and support systems for children.” Toward that end, she has been meeting with students, parents, district employees, community partners, elected officials and other stakeholders. She said, “It’s going to take a community to ensure that students receive a great education.”
Mangum said things are going well in her second month on the job. “We have already accomplished a lot. We have laid down a very challenging but attainable roadmap for our vision and what we hope to achieve within the next few years. I’ve had induction meetings and talked about the vision that I have and the fact that we need to share in our vision of having a stellar school system and that it all starts with high expectations.”
Selma is best known for the 1960s Selma Voting Rights Movement and marches. This activism brought national attention to social justice, and Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Mangum said, “Within our school district, there is a sense of pride about the historical significance of the voting rights movement. Because of that pride and the rich history of activism in civil rights, we have a perfect context for growth and improvement in the district, because I see education as the next platform for civil rights. We want to afford all children a high-quality education that prepares them to live out the American dream.”
Mangum moved from Las Vegas in 1979, but still visits her hometown every other year. “My mother and my five brothers and sisters live there, plus I have cousins and an aunt and uncle in Las Vegas. My aunt is an Instructional Coordinator for Performance Zone 3 and Prime 6 schools.” When asked what message she would share with CCSD graduates, she said, “Find your purpose and your passion and pursue it relentlessly. Once you find what makes you happy, what gives you joy, what connects you to your purpose in life, the sky’s the limit.”
Each week, the Clark County School District (CCSD) responds to some of the emails it receives from parents and district employees. This week, the district responds to an inquiry about Summer School.
A parent asked, “My daughter is behind in credits and I would like to know if there are any opportunities for her to catch up this summer so she will graduate on time?”
CCSD will have 11 summer learning sites where students can earn credits to catch up or to get ahead during two different sessions. The first session will take place June 15 – July 2. The second session will take place July 6 – 23. Classes will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The cost is $100 per one-half credit and students must provide their own transportation.
Summer School site locations:
Arbor View High School
7500 Whispering Sands Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89131
Boulder City High School
11011 Fifth St., Boulder City, NV 89005
Canyon Springs High School
350 E. Alexander Rd., N. Las Vegas, NV 89032
Clark High School
4291 W. Pennwood Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89102
Foothill High School
800 College Dr., Henderson, NV 89002
Legacy High School
150 W. Deer Springs Way, N. Las Vegas, NV 89084
Liberty High School
3700 Liberty Heights Ave., Henderson, NV 89052
Spring Valley High School
3750 S. Buffalo Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89147
Sunrise Mountain High School
2575 Los Feliz St., Las Vegas, NV 89156
Valley High School
2839 S. Burnham Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89169
4601 W. Bonanza Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89107
Online courses are also available through Nevada Learning Academy from June 15 – July 23. The last day to request a course is June 12. The cost is also $100 per one-half credit. For more information on online summer classes, click here.
The summer sessions are open to middle and high school students who must register with the counselor at their respective schools.
To learn more about CCSD’s 2015 Summer School sessions, click here.
During a special meeting on May 20, the Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of School Trustees adopted the 2015-16 budget that takes effect July 1. The $2.3 billion spending plan incorporated an $88 million budget deficit for the upcoming school year. Chief Financial Officer Jim McIntosh stated that as education budgets were finalized by the Nevada Legislature on May 16, that deficit has been reduced to $52 million. There was not enough time to incorporate these legislative changes into the final budget, however, an amended final budget will be produced after the current legislative session ends which will include any adjustments made by lawmakers.
The Legislature provided a $13 million boost to CCSD when lawmakers increased state funding by $34 per student at the May 16 education budget hearing. The deficit was further reduced by new formulas for textbook expenditure and adjustments to special education spending resulting in the current shortfall of $52 million.
Total enrollment for 2015-16 is expected to reach nearly 323,000 students, an increase of approximately 5,000 students or a 1.5 percent increase from the current enrollment. To accommodate the higher enrollment, the new budget provides $29.8 million to hire 374 new licensed employees and 84 support staff workers, as well as instructional supplies. An additional $12.3 million will be available for special education, which will gain 149 new teachers and 75 support staff positions.
The budget also will allow for expanding seven Magnet Schools and adding five Select Schools, with a price tag of $7 million. An additional $1.5 million is allocated for an additional 23 bus drivers and fuel for additional routes associated with those schools.
The budget also includes other items for diversity training, Discovery Education and Cultural Competency. Discovery Education is a program that accelerates CCSD’s digital transition through comprehensive standards-based content, professional development and community engagement. The Cultural Competency funds will continue the district’s training to help students and teachers interact more effectively with people of different cultures and backgrounds.
In order to close the deficit and assuming there are no last-minute changes by the Legislature, CCSD will cut $9 million from the new budget by increasing secondary classes by an average of 0.5 students each. McIntosh said the current student-teacher ratio is 33.5-1 in high school, 34-1 in middle school and 32-1 in fourth and fifth grades. The cost savings will mean the district will not have to fill 118 teaching positions.
No other classroom-related cuts are anticipated. However, Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky plans to order administrative budget cuts of one percent as well as other non-classroom cuts to help meet the $52 million deficit. About 85 percent of the budget goes to salaries and benefits for the district’s employees, while the remaining 15 percent is used for other expenses including textbooks, supplies and utilities.
McIntosh said, “The 2015-16 final budget, which was sent to the Nevada Department of Taxation, reflects the continued financial planning and alignment of expenditures in support of the Board of School Trustees’ Strategic Imperatives and the district’s focus areas in accordance with its governance policies.”
McIntosh added, “We are very grateful to the Nevada Legislature for providing us the authority for a new capital program and also for additional funding in the next biennium for the expansion of full-day kindergarten, Zoom Schools, Victory Schools and additional supplements for other educational programs.”
The Board of School Trustees is expected to file an amended budget based on any changes the Legislature may institute. This amended budget must be presented to the state within 30 days after the end of the legislative session, expected on June 2. For more information on the CCSD budget, visit openbook.ccsd.net.