Education | KUNR

Education

President Biden has laid out his vision for the future of public education, which includes a nationwide community college tuition waiver for all Americans who want to take advantage.

That waiver would be especially impactful in states with the lowest levels of higher education attainment, including several in the Mountain West. In Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico, fewer than 30% of adults over 25 have a bachelor's degree.

The exterior of the Nevada State Legislative Building in Carson City.
Alexa Ard / KUNR

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed almost every aspect of daily life. Nowhere might that be more apparent than in the classroom. Nearly half a million K-12 students in Nevada have endured months of learning remotely or through hybrid instruction showing up to school every other day. Experts predict that when students do return to school, they will have forgotten many of the things they've learned over the last year. That's why lawmakers are considering a number of bills meant to address those issues. To talk about that and more, KUNR's Morning Edition Host Noah Glick spoke with Political Reporter Paul Boger.

An image of Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Here are your local morning news headlines for Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2021.

A stack of legislative bills being placed in cubbies.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

With less than six weeks until the end of the 2021 legislative session, the general public can, once again, enter the Legislative Building in Carson City, albeit, with some hoops. KUNR's Political Editor, Paul Boger spoke with Morning Edition host Noah Glick about the latest from the Capital City.

Student And Teacher Reflect On A Year Of The Pandemic

Mar 18, 2021
Janelle Olisea and Greg Burge stand six feet apart in a classroom.
Janelle Olisea

The pandemic has caused historic disruption to education, and many students are struggling. KUNR Youth Media alum Janelle Olisea is a senior at the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology in Reno. She sits down with her English teacher Mr. Greg Burge. They open up to each other about how they’ve been working to push through some of the challenges and reflect on a few rewarding moments along the way.

An empty auditorium for performances. There is a microphone in the foreground and seating in the background.
abbyladybug / Flickr Creative Commons

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Monday, Mar. 8, 2021.

Exterior of the Washoe County School District administration building.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

The Washoe County school board recently entertained the idea of cutting the district's gifted and talented program. With Nevada's tax revenues continuing to languish because of the pandemic, the state's public education system is facing a serious budget crunch. To get a sense of how the legislative session may impact Northern Nevada's largest school district, KUNR's Paul Boger spoke with Lindsay Anderson, the district's government affairs director, at a recent school board meeting.

A person looking at a computer screen. They are getting ready to fill out the census online.
U.S. Census Bureau

The deadline to fill out the 2020 census is quickly approaching, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Nevada has surpassed its 2010 census self-response rate.

Promotional graphic for the event, featuring the headshots of the three panelists.
KUNR

Lee en español. 

With the fall semester underway for public schools across the state, KUNR recently hosted a Facebook Live event in Spanish, with health and education experts, to answer community questions. 

Our bilingual reporter Natalie Van Hoozer moderated the Q&A and spoke with Jayden Perez to recap the main takeaways from the discussion.

A student is sitting in a desk facing the front of a classroom and is holding a pencil down on a piece of paper.
Elineriipers / Flickr Creative Commons

Lee en español.

For weeks, community members have been asking the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees to set a threshold that would use specific metrics to determine if and when the district would stop in-person instruction during the pandemic. Some trustees said in a meeting Tuesday they do not want to draw a hard line.

Rows of red school chairs placed in an empty classroom.
dcJohn / Flickr Creative Commons

As many schools across our region are turning to distance learning to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, districts are concerned about how to enforce attendance for remote students.

Una papel con fórmulas matemáticas y una pluma.
BackOnTheBus / Flickr Creative Commons

Read in English. 

En agosto, José Piceno comenzó su quinto año como profesor de matemáticas en la escuela secundaria de Sparks en el condado de Washoe. 

Este otoño, las clases en las escuelas secundarias del condado están operando bajo un estilo híbrido que significa que los alumnos asisten a clases en persona parte del tiempo y hacen la otra parte de la clase en línea. 

La reportera Natalie Van Hoozer habló con Piceno sobre su experiencia con el regreso al aula. 

A photo of a lined piece of paper with math equations, with a pen resting on top.
BackOnTheBus / Flickr Creative Commons

Lee en español. 

Last week, José Piceno started his fifth year as a math teacher at Sparks High School in Washoe County.  

High schools in the county are operating with a hybrid model this fall, meaning some coursework is in-person and some is online. 

Our reporter Natalie Van Hoozer talked to Piceno about his experience returning to the classroom. 

A photography class. Students are sitting down and looking toward a stage with lights and cameras.
Leo P. Hidalgo / Flickr Creative Commons

Hunter Rand works as a video production and broadcast journalism instructor at Spanish Springs High School in Washoe County. He’s only been a teacher for one school year, so the pandemic has already impacted a significant portion of his teaching career.

KUNR reporter Natalie Van Hoozer spoke with Rand to explore how he’s been preparing for school starting back up.

Two people hold signs. One says, “I can teach from a distance but not from a grave,” and “Please don’t kill my wife.”
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Many Washoe County teachers and parents protested the reopening of schools before the Board of Trustees’ first in-person meeting since March. Despite the teachers’ pleas, the board confirmed that school will be starting in person on Monday, August 17.


There's a lot to consider with schools reopening this fall. That's especially true for teachers and other staff members. Take Ken Hiltonhe's a middle school counselor in Laramie, Wyoming. He also has a daughter going into the seventh grade. He says he's not sure what the best approach is. This piece was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau's Maggie Mullen and was made possible with the support of America Amplified.

Una mujer desempaca una caja de tomates para una distribución de productos frescos.
El Banco de Alimentos del Norte de Nevada

Read in English.

Después de varios meses de pandemia, el Banco de Alimentos del Norte de Nevada sigue recibiendo un número récord de personas que necesitan alimentos gratuitos. 

Como muchas despensas de alimentos están ubicadas en las escuelas públicas, la disponibilidad de esta comida durante el verano es diferente en comparación al resto del año.

Carolina Juárez runs the Glenn Duncan Elementary food pantry. When COVID-19 it, she started delivering food to the homes of families in need. This self portrait shows a masked Carolina in her car, with bags of food piled in the back seat.
Carolina Juárez / Communities In Schools

Lee en español. 

Communities in Schools works directly with families experiencing hunger. With the overall mission of helping students stay in school, the organization staffs ten food pantries located in schools in Reno and Sparks.

Carolina Juárez, works for the nonprofit as a bilingual site coordinator at Glenn Duncan Elementary School. In this audio postcard, she shares what it’s like to support students and run a food pantry.

Two women hold signs that say, “It’s time to use our outside voices children are not guinea pigs!” and, “Keep our educators off ventilators.”
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Public schools in Washoe County are slated to reopen on August 17. In response, many teachers protested outside of the health district and school district buildings yesterday. They want the return to the physical classroom to be postponed, and they’re asking for increased safety measures when schools reopen. 

School board members meeting on a Zoom call.
Screenshot / Washoe County School District Via Zoom

A looming decision on whether or not the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees would honor their plans to return to in-person learning in the fall was determined late Tuesday night. Students, teachers and supporting staff will be going back to school in person this fall.

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