Friday, June 29, 2012

CCSD designates four new Turnaround schools

For Immediate Release      June 29, 2012

Contact Michael T. Rodriguez, (702) 799-5304   

CCSD designates four new Turnaround schools

Initiative supports student growth, achievement at district’s lowest performing schools

LAS VEGAS – Anything less than success is not acceptable for the Clark County School District as evidenced by the creation of a new Turnaround Zone and the announcement of four new Turnaround Schools. Dr. Owen C. Roundy and Sunrise Acres Elementary Schools, along with Mike O’Callaghan Middle School and Canyon Springs High School will be the newest participants in the district’s turnaround efforts, which provides additional resources and support for the community’s lowest performing schools. As part of the initiative, all four schools have named new principals:

•           Dr. Owen C. Roundy Elementary                                    John Haynal

•           Sunrise Acres Elementary School                                  Margarita Gamboa

•           Mike O’Callaghan Middle School                                    Belinda Jones

•           Canyon Springs High School                                          Ron Guerzon

The announcement comes on the heels of news that Nevada will receive approximately $3.5 million to turn around persistently low-achieving schools through the U.S. Department of Education’s School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. While funding details are being determined, Canyon Springs High School has submitted an application for grant funding and is awaiting word on whether its application has been accepted. Roundy and Sunrise Acres Elementary Schools, and O'Callaghan Middle School did not apply for SIG funding. In addition to new principals, Roundy and Sunrise Acres Elementary Schools will have the option of reassigning and rehiring for five staff positions. O’Callaghan Middle School can reassign/rehire for eight positions and Canyon Springs High School has the option to reassign/rehire for up to 10 positions. Some of these positions are being funded by federal grants.

The new turnaround schools will be joined in the Turnaround Zone by Kit Carson, Raul Elizondo and Doris Hancock Elementary Schools, along with Chaparral, Mojave and Western High Schools, all of which are currently using the turnaround model to improve student achievement. Newly appointed Turnaround Zone Academic Manager Dr. Jeff Geihs will assist the schools in achieving sustainable change and provide guidance to the principals as they begin the process of engaging their respective school communities on this exciting new direction. Clear, consistent communication is vital to the success of school turnaround and each school has a plan in place that will be shared with staff, students and families throughout the summer to educate and inform them of the changes.

“This is about creating environments in which all students have an opportunity to achieve and every member of our school team is in sync with the goal of having students ready for college or career,” said Superintendent Dwight D. Jones. “Although we expect results, these changes are not quick fixes. Instead, they represent a long-term commitment to putting the needs of students at the center of school campus and every district initiative.”

The district expects to see immediate growth from the schools. Factors such as subject proficiency, testing, graduation rates and student growth will be carefully analyzed to ensure the school is on the path to success. Utilizing the lessons learned from previous incarnations of the turnaround school model, and capitalizing on the best practices implemented by other turnaround schools, principals will work closely with staff to produce positive achievement results and lay the building blocks for continued success. Additionally, the Turnaround Zone could be used as a springboard for initiatives at other schools throughout the district.

“We are especially appreciative of all our dedicated teachers and staff for making these positive changes possible,” said Jones. “They’ve embraced the challenges that lay before them and committed themselves to providing the quality of education that our children deserve.”