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WCSD Supt. Enfield launches ambitious goals at her State of Education address

In her second State of Education address as Washoe County School District superintendent, Susan Enfield shared sobering test score data and a new strategic plan to improve it.

The Hug High School Chamber Orchestra set the tone as district staff, WCSD partners, and community members filed into the Hug theater to hear Enfield’s speech on Nov. 7.

Enfield opened with an update on district test score data that showed only 41 and 34 percent of students third through eighth grade are proficient in English language arts (ELA) and math, respectively.

“We can’t ignore these scores. We know our children are capable of doing better when we, as the adults, do better,” she said. “And so that’s so much of what our plan is about. How can we collectively do better on behalf of our children?”

Enfield then walked through the district’s new strategic plan that will take it through 2026. She framed the plan as a tool that will help the district boost student achievement.

The plan focuses on five areas for improvement: a strong start in pre-K through third grade; increased student advocacy; safety and belonging; academic achievement; and clear post-graduation opportunities.

Enfield highlighted bold targets for each of those areas. She wants 75 percent of third graders to be proficient in ELA and math, and 75 percent of fourth through eighth graders meeting or exceeding standards in ELA, math, and science.

At graduation, the district wants 95 percent of its students to have participated in more rigorous college and career pathways like advanced placement classes or career and technical education programs. Other goals include boosting extracurricular participation, belonging metrics, and post-grad planning.

Assemblywoman Angie Taylor, who represents parts of Northwest Reno, North Valleys, and Sun Valley, supports the ambitious goal-setting.

“I would rather set a high goal and come just short than set a low goal and make it,” she said. “Because there’s no push, right? There’s no drive. There’s no ‘Oh, hey, I have to do everything I can because these students deserve it.’ So, yes, absolutely ambitious but our students deserve that.”

Taylor was a part of the WCSD Board of Trustees that hired Enfield. She said she is proud of her role in getting Enfield on board.

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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