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Two Washoe County Schools Avoid State Takeover

Alexa Ard

Two low-performing Washoe County schools are no longer at risk of being taken over by the state next school year. Our reporter Sarah Parks explores why that won’t be happening anytime soon.

The State Board of Education identified Natchez and Desert Heights elementary as two schools in need of improvement, and recommended them as candidates for state takeover through the Achievement School District Program.

That program can only help six schools in any given year, and ASD leaders have determined that these two schools aren’t the most severe cases.

“We look at a school’s current performance. We also look at the culture and climate of the school measured by suspensions and expulsions, teacher vacancies, attendance, and we look at community input and community information,” says Jana Wilcox Lavin, a representative with the Achievement School District.

Lavin says that when a partnership occurs, a team will come in and work with faculty, who will have to reapply for their jobs. The next step is to work with the community to get the school back on track.

“Along the way we talk to families about their hopes and dreams for their student’s future in education, and we use that as a starting point.”

An ASD takeover can last up to six years, and every year at-risk schools, like Natchez and Desert Heights have to go through a review. 

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