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Incline residents voice concerns again with possible Incline Middle School closure

Signs hang on the end of the stage in front of three empty chairs, a microphone, and a screen. Some people sit in chairs in front of the stage, chatting, at right.
Jose Davila IV
Signs demonstrating opposition to a possible Incline Middle School closure hang on the end of the stage in the Duffield Theatre at Incline High School before the start of the meeting on May 3, 2023 in Incline Village, Nev.

At a Wednesday evening meeting, Incline Village residents loudly voiced their concerns about the possible closure of Incline Middle School and criticized Washoe County School District’s process of gathering input.

Last month, the school district hosted a meeting where it shared possible options to address what it calls declining enrollment and aging infrastructure at its three schools in Incline Village. That meeting turned fiery and as a result, the district set up Wednesday’s meeting to hear more comments and gather additional information from village residents.

The second meeting was just as tense as community members roundly criticized the school district for how it has handled the process and the option on the table to move seventh and eighth graders to the high school and sixth graders to the elementary school.

Kristina Zuvic is an Incline Village parent. In regards to the possible closure, she echoed a major concern for the safety of younger students at the high school.

“I think part of us are very fearful of the younger kids being exposed to what the high school students have been prepared to deal with,” she said.

Residents were also frustrated with the lack of communication about the start of the process, the fact that officials did not bring much new information to the meeting, and that the district still has not answered many of their questions from the initial meeting.

They also shared that the pre-kindergarten population in the town seems to be booming, calling into question the district’s focus on declining enrollment. Multiple residents shared anecdotes from local daycares about current waiting lists.

WCSD Board of Trustees President Beth Smith defended how the district approached the second meeting.

“We did talk about, ‘Do we come with more data right now?‘” and we didn’t feel that was the right time. There was still more listening that needed to happen,” she said. “And some really good questions that came out tonight and how can we have a fact sheet if we don’t have all of the knowledge that the community wants to share with us?”

Smith promised that a fact sheet addressing questions about enrollment and facilities would be distributed before the end of the school year.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV reports on K-12 education with a focus on Latino students and families in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. He is also a first-year Report for America corps member. Es bilingüe, su familia es de Puerto Rico, y ama los tostones de su padre más que nada.
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