Education

Julia Ritchey

The Washoe County Board of Commissioners passed on Tuesday a resolution for a school improvement initiative that will appear on a ballot this fall. Our contributor Bob Conrad of This is Reno has the story.

School advocates made an impassioned plea before commissioners about the condition of Washoe County schools.

Shaun Carey, who chaired a school infrastructure committee, made the case for the upcoming ballot measure which will raise sales tax to 8.3 percent, making it the highest in the state.

Noah Glick

During the last legislative session, state lawmakers passed two bills that are bringing more mental health professionals into schools across the state. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick has that story.

Amber Reid is a social worker for the Washoe County School District. This year, she is joined by four new contract social workers, part of the state’s push to improve mental health services in schools, something she says is critical for improving student achievement.

Kenwyn Derby / Twitter

More than 200 educators from across the state met in Reno recently to discuss updating their curriculums to help kids overcome the effects of trauma. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick has more.

Victoria Blakeney is with the new state Office of Safe and Respectful Learning Environments, and was one of more than a dozen presenters. She says that Nevada kids are experiencing trauma at higher rates than the national average.

“Our data shows that kids, more than half, are coming from at least one ACE.”

Washoe School Board Looking For New Member

Mar 8, 2016
Alexa Ard

The Washoe County School Board is looking for a new member to fill a vacant seat. Barbara McLaury told the Reno Gazette-Journal in late January that she was resigning because of health issues.

The board is charged with appointing her replacement and will hold a special public meeting Wednesday night to hear from 12 applicants for the position. During that time, candidates will have the chance to make public comments to the board. 

Civic-Minded Kids Present Their Ideas To Reno City Council

Feb 29, 2016
Carla O'Day

Mt. Rose Elementary students recently presented their ideas to city council to solve some of Reno's more pressing problems. Our contributor Bob Conrad with ThisisReno has the story.

Fifth grade students took turns sharing their ideas with the mayor and council members on issues like increasing local food options and helping the homeless.

"They have to walk around the street and try to make a living with nothing, and we want to change that nothing to something."

Alexa Ard

Washoe County voters will see a new ballot question in November, one that could help area schools deal with repairs and overcrowding. A committee voted on that question Friday. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno was there has the story.

Julia Ritchey

The Washoe County committee charged with crafting a ballot question to raise $781 million for school infrastructure will make its final recommendation next Friday. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey has more.

The Public Schools Overcrowding and Repair Needs committee is considering two options to put to voters this fall.

The first would raise sales tax from 7.7 percent to about 8.3 percent, which would make it the highest in the state.

The second option would raise sales tax a little less, along with a boost in property taxes.

Amber Joiner / Twitter

The Washoe County School District held its annual State of Education address Monday night, and announced a major grant for local schools. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick was there and has more.

Traci Davis took the stage for the first time as permanent superintendent. And she used her opportunity to share some big news.

“Stacie Mathewson, founder and CEO of the non-profit, Transforming Youth Recovery, has announced [that] she intends to fund a 13-year project with $1 million per year.”

Rainshadow Community Charter High School

The 113 students at Rainshadow Community Charter High School in Reno will get to continue their courses this spring despite the school's teetering finances. The Washoe County School Board voted Wednesday to keep the facility open--at least for right now. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has the story.

In order to avoid a large deficit this spring, the school has proposed slashing salaries by 16% and cutting three positions. The changes will keep the school just slightly in the black, but there are risks.

Lottritz Family / hlottritz.wordpress.com

Hanna Lottritz is a journalism student at the University of Nevada, Reno and she recently wrote an essay that has gone viral. It’s called “Why I won’t be taking shots on my 21st birthday" and it candidly shares the story of how Hanna ended up in a coma after a night of drinking in Yerington.

Hanna stopped by KUNR to talk with our news director Michelle Billman about what happened.

While out with a group of friends at the Night In The Country Music Festival in Yerington last summer, Hanna joined in on a drinking contest. 

Nevada To Hire 160 School Social Workers

Jan 17, 2016
bullyfreezone.nv.gov

State officials have awarded $5.6 million in grants to hire more than 160 social workers and mental health professionals in Nevada schools.

The awards are part of a broad anti-bullying initiative coordinated by Nevada's new Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment.

Eleven districts and six charter schools received funding. Students were recently surveyed on the health of their school climate, and awards were based in part on which schools needed the most intervention.

Alexa Ard

Nevada's controversial school choice program lost its first court challenge last week. For the latest, we turn to Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey.

The Education Savings Account Program was supposed to begin doling out money to some 4,000 families in February. But last week a state court granted a preliminary injunction halting it.

"I suspect there will be a relatively lengthy legal process before this finally gets resolved," says Kim Metcalf, dean of the college of education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

He says what happens next is anyone's guess.

Washoe County School District

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt says the board of trustees for Washoe County Schools did break the state's open meeting law last March. 

At that meeting, board members approved a motion to hire Traci Davis as superintendent for the district. The problem is that they didn't inform the public that they would be taking that vote. 

Within mere hours, the board rescinded Davis's appointment. They ultimately hired Davis at their next meeting in April after including appropriate notification in that meeting's agenda. 

Judge Halts Nevada's School Choice Program

Jan 11, 2016
Alexa Ard

A judge has ordered a halt to Nevada's Education Savings Account program, just weeks before the state was to begin issuing money to families.

Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson granted a preliminary injunction on Monday that orders the state treasurer to stop implementing the accounts pending further court review. 

The Republican-backed program allows parents to claim more than $5,000 in state funds each year and use it for qualified education expenses, including religious-based private schools. 

Alexa Ard

A new law went into effect this month that now requires every school district in Nevada to provide performance-based bonuses to some of its teachers and administrators. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Steve Canavero is interim superintendent of public instruction, and he says the main goal of this new law is to find and reward the right people.

State Officials Spat Over Third ESA Lawsuit

Jan 11, 2016
www.stockmonkeys.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison is firing back after other state officials have chastised him for filing a private lawsuit against the state’s Education Savings Account program. Our Contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno reports.

The ESA law was passed last year but is being contested in two lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. The program would allow families to receive state money to attend schools of their choice, including religious-based schools.

Alexa Ard

  

After years of being near the bottom of the barrel, Nevada has finally ranked dead-last nationally for its education system, based on an annual report released this week. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

The Quality Counts report now ranks Nevada at the very bottom, citing limited education funding, low amounts of college-educated parents and high rates of non-English speaking students.

School Funding Question To Appear On November Ballot

Jan 8, 2016
Alexa Ard

Washoe County voters can expect to see a school funding question on the ballot this year to help build new schools and repair crumbling ones. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

The Public Schools and Overcrowding Repair Needs Committee unanimously approved crafting a ballot measure to hike taxes in November.

Shaun Carey is chairman of the committee, which was formed by the legislature last year to tackle Washoe's grossly underfunded facilities.  

Alex Proimos / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

A new online tool is offering healthcare data that's broken down for each Nevada county. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports the database provides snapshots on how different counties compare on everything from their healthcare workforce to how many of their residents have health insurance.

Imagens Evangélicas / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

This week, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is starting a three-year, $600,000 research project to interview human trafficking victims ages 18 to 24.

Alexis Kennedy is a criminal justice professor at UNLV and will be conducting the interview. She says when victims are identified, they need an extensive web of services even after they age out of the system, including counseling, housing, and mentors.

"You can't live in the traumatic circumstance of being a trafficking victim and then, the second you turn 18, you're a healthy, functioning adult," says Kennedy. "

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