By Sharon Snell
THE NEW ACTIVITY VEHICLE IS COMPLETE WITH WI-FI AND READY TO GO—IT WILL BE USED BY SMALLER GROUPS FOR VARIOUS EVENTS
SUPERINTENDENT HESS GOT GLOWING REVIEWS FROM STAFF AND IT IS RECOMMEND THAT HIS CONTRACT BE EXTENDED
SUPT. HESS IS LOOKING AT REFINANCING SOME OF THE SCHOOL’S DEBT
NEGOTIATIONS WITH CERTIFICATED STAFF ARE COMPLETE AND THERE WILL BE RAISES THIS YEAR AND DEFERRED RAISES NEXT YEAR
As always, the complete Board Packet is available on the Storey County School District website in the dropdown menu under “Community.” Following opening routines, Consent Items approved included paying warrants and minutes for the Board meeting held on July 10, 2019.
Supt.Todd Hess stated that the schools are ready for students! The elementary, middle and high school campuses received a number of upgrades! (The Friday, August 23rd edition of the Chronicle has an excellent article on its front page detailing much of the work completed this summer). One exciting addition is the arrival of an Activity vehicle, which is fully equipped with Wifi and more. This vehicle will be a big help when smaller groups need transportation to events, saving wear and tear on the big buses as well as gas.
Supt. Hess was happy to announce negotiations were completed with certificated staff (essentially teachers) who will enjoy a raise this year along with a deferred raise next year. Negotiations have begun with classified staff (office and support personnel) and are expected to be completed soon. Todd expressed appreciation for the cooperation of both groups in this process.
Todd announced possible consideration for refinancing the District Bond, with the benefit being a better rating.
Supt. Hess and Board members thanked Patrick Beckwith for the work done this summer readying the sports programs and tutoring.
Board member Tom Thompson reported on his first meeting as a member of the Fourth Ward School Board of Trustees. He had been asked to share with the District Board that Fourth Ward has been disappointed lately with how few Storey County classes have taken advantage of this local historical resource. Todd expressed support for improving that statistic.
Gary Hames wondered about the ability to compare District test scores with other Districts and the State. He also asked about Intersession this year, and Todd stated that would be addressed in a staff meeting soon.
Colleen Conley was grateful for the new Activity vehicle that was available for the high school students who took advantage of a Communication class at WNCC late in summer. She also reported the Wednesday Lockwood Food Bank was able to feed more families. Jeff Nevin was happy to welcome everyone back and is looking forward to a great year.
The policies and/or plans approved were standard ones that need to approved annually. There were no changes compared to last year, only some streamlined language to provide better clarity.
Policies and/or plans approved were the following:
NIAA Sports Policy
Test Security Plan
Policy for the District’s Use of an Attorney
Variance Policy clarifying responsibilities for students accepted in a Storey school but who do not live in Storey County.
The Jump Start Contract was continued due to waiting for feedback from past participants.
The final topic under New Business was the acceptance of findings in the annual evaluation of Superintendent Hess. Consultant Jim Huge reviewed the implementation of a first time 360 evaluation tool which asked both certificated and classified employees to respond to survey questions honestly.
The percentage of surveys returned was 59%, a very high percentage according to Mr. Huge. Positive attributes included Todd being responsive to stakeholders, being fair, receiving respect from other Superintendents, looking to others for input, and improving the District fiscal health through receiving thousands of dollars in Grants awarded and adjusting the budget responsibly. Todd appreciates the efforts of his staff and puts them before himself. Therefore, Mr. Huge recommended extending his contract (before some other District tries to take him away!). Action on the terms of extending the contract was continued until a later meeting to give time to research salaries.
The next Board Meeting is scheduled for Sept. 18, 2019, 5:30pm at Hillside Elementary Multi-Purpose Room.