Education

Former Superintendent Traci Davis looks on as the WCSD Board of Trustees votes to fire her during a special meeting.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

The Washoe County School Board has voted to terminate Superintendent Traci Davis for either willfully, or through gross negligence, allowing confidential information to be leaked and, ultimately, used against the district. The firing caps off nearly two weeks of speculation and heated controversy between Davis and the district. KUNR's Paul Boger was at Monday's meeting and has this report.

A new law goes into effect next month that will extend the amount of time school administrators have to investigate allegations of cyberbullying. Karina Gonzalez has been examining bullying and its impacts on mental health in the Washoe County School District.

As a warning, this story includes conversation about bullying and suicide. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees made their decision on a revised sexual education high school curriculum. In a 5-2 vote, the board amended and passed multiple lesson plans. However, board members said no to Lesson 1, which would have included education on sexual orientation and gender identity. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano breaks down what happened.

The Washoe County School District introduced its two-way immersion program a decade ago. It’s an opportunity for students to learn a secondary language and gain respect for another culture. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano uncovers the challenges the district has had implementing this complex program.

Illustration by Stephanie Serrano

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees approved multiple lesson plans this week for the revised high school sexual education curriculum. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano was there for the vote, where multiple community members expressed that their voices weren’t being heard during the process. KUNR's Stephanie Serrano spoke to them and has this report.

 

Teacher Pay Gap Reaches New Highs

May 16, 2019
Economic Policy Institute

Public school teachers are seeing historically low wages compared to workers with similar education and skills. Noah Glick found our region varies wildly according to a new report.

Last year, the weekly wages for teachers was more than 21 percent lower than those of comparable workers. That’s according to the recent analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

A man's arm and side of face can be seen. Behind him is a large crowd of people.
Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Lee en Español.

It was supposed to be the biggest feat of the 2019 legislative session — an ambitious overhaul of Nevada’s 52-year-old education funding formula that once and for all would ensure schools are paid more for the extra cost of educating students with extra needs.

 Dos mujeres de pie fuera de un edificio.
Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Read in English.

Se suponía que iba a ser la mayor hazaña de la sesión legislativa de 2019: una ambiciosa reforma de la fórmula de financiación para la educación en Nevada que no ha tenido cambios desde hace 52 años, y que de una vez por todas, aseguraría que a las escuelas se les pague más por el costo adicional de educar a los estudiantes que tienen más necesidades.

Washoe County School Bus
Carla O’Day

Washoe County School District (WCSD) has a critical shortage of school bus drivers. The unemployment rate is low in the Reno-Sparks area, at 3.2 percent, and there is fierce competition for qualified employees. The district is seeking qualified people in the community to apply for school bus driver positions.

Erika Castro at the Nevada State Legislature
Michelle Rindels.

Lee en español.

For Erika Castro, it took years of doing odd jobs, babysitting and cleaning houses to be able to afford college. As an undocumented student, she faced more barriers in her quest for financial aid than U.S. citizens who can simply fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and land a Pell grant. Neither Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients nor undocumented students without DACA can receive federal aid.

Marisa Cooper leads a discussion at the Nevada Museum of Art.
Paolo Zialcita / KUNR Public Radio

Enrollment in science and technology programs is skyrocketing at Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno. But, as KUNR’s Paolo Zialcita reports, humanities programs are struggling to thrive and must adapt to the new educational environment.

Primatologist Jane Goodall speaks to students about conservation at a school in Incline Village.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

Some students in Incline Village are among the newest members of an organization dedicated to promoting humanitarianism, conservation and environmentalism. As KUNR’s Paul Boger reports, the group’s founder, famed primatologist Jane Goodall, was in town to welcome them aboard.

Looking Back: How The Great Recession Impacted UNR

Apr 11, 2019
A photo of the Matthewson IGT Knowledge Center at UNR.
Alexa Ard

More than a decade has passed since the 2008 economic recession. To reflect on its effect on higher education in Northern Nevada, KUNR’s Paolo Zialcita spoke with Arthur Chenin, an institutional research analyst at the University of Nevada, Reno who studied educational trends following the recession.

la Universidad de Nevada, Reno
Cortesía de la Universidad de Nevada, Reno

Lee en español.

State lawmakers want to start offering need-based financial aid to UNR and UNLV students, but officials project it will cost $126 million every two years to provide sufficient grants to all students who could use it.

Examining Greek Life After TKE Controversy At UNR

Jan 31, 2019
The cover to Alexandra Robbins' new book, Fraternity.
Penguin Random House

The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at the University of Nevada, Reno has been placed on probation, among other sanctions. The punishments are in response to the discovery of a document meant for pledges. That document contains songs lyrics that depict violence and assault against women. To learn more about state of Greek life organizations across the nation, KUNR’s Paolo Zialcita spoke with Alexandra Robbins, author of Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men.

A close-up image of a marijuana plant.
ThisisReno

Outgoing Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval wants to move a percentage of marijuana tax dollars to fund education-related programs. To learn more, KUNR News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Bob Conrad of ThisisReno about Sandoval's budget recommendations for the state.

Washoe County School District Administrative Building on a sunny day.
Carla O’Day of ThisisReno

A former administrator at Hug High in Reno has been vocal about her battle with the Washoe County School District for her job. Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been following this story and spoke to KUNR News Director Michelle Billman about recent developments.

Eureka County is among the few districts in the state that can boast a 100 percent graduation rate. It also has some of the highest reading and math scores as well as the state's highest average ACT score. With fewer than 300 students, the Eureka County School District is among the smallest and most remote in the state. Despite its size, students there out-perform their peers in larger districts. KUNR’s Paul Boger spoke with Eureka’s Superintendent Dan Wold to learn more about the district’s success and challenges.

Enrollment in the Lander County School District accounts for less than one percent of the total student population in Nevada public schools, and like most districts in rural Nevada, it receives more state funding per pupil than Washoe or Clark Counties. 

Lander County Superintendent Dan Landis sat down with KUNR’s Paul Boger to talk about how financial constraints are challenging the district.

Alexa Ard

Officials with the U.S. Department of Education will release the results of a test that’s become known as the nation’s report card. The National Assessment of Educational Progress – or NAEP – is an exam given to a sampling of fourth and eighth-grade students in every state to determine how schools across the country are doing. This year, Nevada had some interesting results. Our education reporter Paul Boger spoke to Brett Barley, Nevada’s Deputy Superintendent for Student Achievement.

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