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CCSD Highlights Students and Staff During American Education Week

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The Clark County School District (CCSD) is celebrating American Education Week this week through events aimed at highlighting the hard work and accomplishments of students and staff. American Education Week is a nationally celebrated movement to honor public education and those who make a difference every day in the lives of young people.

On Monday, Green Valley High School hosted the National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist Reception, in which CCSD recognized its 62 National Merit Scholar semi-finalists. These students are among the less than one percent of high school seniors nationwide to be chosen for this prestigious honor. CCSD Trustees Deanna L. Wright, Linda Cavazos and Carolyn Edwards were on hand for the event.

On Tuesday, Spread the Word Nevada (STWN) presented free books to all students and their families who attended a special event that included CCSD Trustee Deanna L. Wright reading a book to those in attendance. The Breakfast with Books literacy program aims to increase the awareness and importance of reading as a family activity.

Also on Tuesday, there was an Advanced Placement (AP) Celebration at Cheyenne High School, recognizing the achievements of 200 AP students. AP classes provide students the academic skills they need to succeed in college and also provide students with more time to concentrate on the subjects that interest them. Among those in attendance for this event was CCSD Trustee Carolyn Edwards.

On Wednesday, seven outstanding support staff employees were honored for outstanding service during a surprise celebration at West Career and Technical Academy. CCSD Board of School Trustees member Linda Cavazos presented each honoree with a certificate from the Board of School Trustees. The honorees also received a customized portrait created by West Tech students Catelyn Kaufman, Ziad Abou-Nasr, Ben Abrea and Sierra Lowell under the direction of art teacher Mary Beth Heishman.

Thursday’s big event was the 4th Annual “Diced!” Culinary Competition (pictured) at Southwest Career and Technical Academy. Culinary Arts students from four CCSD high schools put their kitchen skills to the test during this friendly competition, as they battled to see which team had the best looking and tasting final dish. Chefs from local restaurants served as guest judges for the competition. The event coincided with the 25th anniversary of Magnet Schools in CCSD.

Winners of the “Diced!” competition were as follows:

1st place – ECTA Team 2
2nd place – NWCTA
3rd place – SWCTA Team 1

CCSD Highlights Students and Staff During American Education Week

By | Employee Info, In The News, Schools Info | No Comments

The Clark County School District (CCSD) is celebrating American Education Week this week through events aimed at highlighting the hard work and accomplishments of students and staff. American Education Week is a nationally celebrated movement to honor public education and those who make a difference every day in the lives of young people.

On Monday, Green Valley High School hosted the National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist Reception, in which CCSD recognized its 62 National Merit Scholar semi-finalists. These students are among the less than one percent of high school seniors nationwide to be chosen for this prestigious honor. CCSD Trustees Deanna L. Wright, Linda Cavazos and Carolyn Edwards were on hand for the event.

On Tuesday, Spread the Word Nevada (STWN) presented free books to all students and their families who attended a special event that included CCSD Trustee Deanna L. Wright reading a book to those in attendance. The Breakfast with Books literacy program aims to increase the awareness and importance of reading as a family activity.

Also on Tuesday, there was an Advanced Placement (AP) Celebration at Cheyenne High School (pictured), recognizing the achievements of 200 AP students. AP classes provide students the academic skills they need to succeed in college and also provide students with more time to concentrate on the subjects that interest them. Among those in attendance for this event was CCSD Trustee Carolyn Edwards.

On Wednesday, seven outstanding support staff employees were honored for outstanding service during a surprise celebration at West Career and Technical Academy. Each honoree received a certificate from the Board of School Trustees plus a customized portrait created by West Tech students under the direction of art teacher Mary Beth Heishman. Pictured are the seven honored employees, their supervisors, the student artists, Mary Beth Heishman, West Tech Principal Amy Dockter-Rozar and CCSD Trustee Linda Cavazos.

 

Nominations Accepted for the 2017-18 LifeChanger of the Year Awards

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Nominations are being accepted for the LifeChanger of the Year 2017-18 awards program, which will honor an outstanding teacher or school employee. To be considered for LifeChanger of the Year, one must demonstrate:

A proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students
The ability to positively add to the development of the school’s atmosphere
Leadership within his/her school and/or district
A record of excellent performance at the professional level
Commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere
Adherence to high moral and ethical standards

For more information, click here.

Message from CCSD Regarding Fingerprinting of Volunteers

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A new state law is now in effect requiring adults who volunteer at our schools or during school activities to be fingerprinted.

Senate Bill 287 requires all volunteers with unsupervised OR regular contact with students to be fingerprinted. Regular contact is defined as volunteering at least four times a month.

For those volunteers who have unsupervised contact with students or who regularly volunteer, an application process has been put into place district-wide.

This process includes completing the online application at ccsd.net/protectourkids, processing payment to complete a background check including fingerprinting, acknowledgment as being a mandatory child abuse reporter, and being issued a CCSD volunteer badge.

We understand that some parents and volunteers may have concerns with this process. You can express your opinion at ccsd.net/protectourkids. CCSD is implementing this process in order to comply with the new state law.

We encourage parents to continue to be engaged in their child’s education.

If you have any additional questions, contact your child’s school directly. We thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Teacher Celebrates 42 Years of Educating Special Needs Students at Helen J. Stewart

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After 42 years of teaching at Helen J. Stewart School, Ritha Burroughs remains as enthused about her job as the day she started.

Stewart is a special school that focuses on a functional curriculum for students with special needs. Its students range in age from six to 22.

Burroughs, a Detroit native who joined the teaching staff in 1976, takes great delight in her students’ accomplishments, whether big or small. “I teach students how to tie their shoes, recognize their names, act appropriately in public and many more things. We cover it all,” explained Burroughs. “The other day, one of my students successfully used a broom and dustpan, and it made my day.”

A nationally board certified teacher, Burroughs presently works with middle school students but has taught students of all ages at Stewart. “I feel I’m making a difference, helping the students become more independent and making the parents’ lives easier. Our mission is to prepare these students for life.”

Burroughs and her colleagues are helping to shape behaviors and skills. The best thing, said Burroughs, is helping students accomplish something and gain self-confidence. “I’m always trying to come up with new ways of addressing their needs and helping them reach their goals.”

Burroughs’ love of teaching extends beyond the walls of her school. She also works with adults, teaching them English and how to read. “Many of my adult students are from other countries. Helping them is very rewarding.”

Principal Dr. Patti Schultz has nothing but praise for Burroughs. “She is an exceptional teacher who works closely with transition agencies, offers district-wide training on functional curriculum and works closely with families to help them access wraparound services. We are proud to have her on our staff.”

So, how does someone stay at the same school for 42 years? “This school provides me with everything I need to teach students and also assist their parents. I’m so happy here, which is why I have stayed all these years.”

Nonetheless, everything comes to an end, and Burroughs expects to retire at the end of this school year. “I say that every year, but it’s probably going to happen this time.” She plans to spend her retirement doing a lot of traveling. Burroughs has already been to such far-off places as Cuba, the Gobi Desert and the Amazon River.

Regardless of where her future travels take her, Stewart School will always have a special place in Burrough’s heart. “I love my job and feel blessed to be here.”

CCSD Holds Training Event for School Organizational Team Members

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As the role of the School Organizational Teams (SOT) evolves, the Clark County School District (CCSD) continues to provide support for those who are serving their respective school community in this important position.

School Organizational Teams are made up of teachers, support staff, parents, students and community members who meet monthly in an advisory role to assist principals on where to focus resources and priorities for their individual school community.

Last week, more than 150 SOT members participated in a districtwide training event that focused on providing important information that will help them in their duties.

The key areas of information they received included:

• An overview of the law (AB469) and the roles and responsibilities of SOTs.
• The opportunity to network and share best practices with other SOT members from around the district.
• Question and Answer time with district leaders during breakout sessions.
• The opportunity to speak with and obtain materials from representatives from 25 CCSD departments and community groups.

School Associate Superintendent Grant Hanevold was one of those who led a breakout session and he shared his impressions.

“Many principals were there along with other members of their SOT,” said Hanevold. “The breakout sessions were designed to meet the specific needs and questions of each membership group. It was a great way for members of teams from different schools to network and share successful practices.”

Employees who are not involved with their SOT, but who would like to learn more about the role and the processes, can visit reorg.ccsd.net/sots for additional information.

Nominations Accepted Now through 1/18/18 for The Heart of Education Awards

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The Smith Center and the Rogers Foundation are once again shining a spotlight on great teachers in CCSD. Nominations are now open for the Heart of Education Awards for Clark County teachers. To be eligible, licensed teachers must be full-time, in good standing and have completed at least three consecutive school years of teaching in CCSD by the date of their application submission. Teachers in after-school, private schools or studios, or other educational settings are not eligible at this time. Substitute teachers are not eligible. Winners of previous Heart of Education cash awards are not eligible for three years following their award. For more information, visit TheHeartOfEducation.org.

Moapa Valley High School Launches Food Science Technology Program

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In 2015, 21 million full- and part-time jobs were related to the agricultural and food sectors in the United States. That’s 11.1 percent of total U.S. employment. This fact is not lost on Moapa Valley High School (MVHS), a leader among Nevada high schools when it comes to agriculture education.

As of this school year, MVHS added food science technology to its agriculture education program, because agriculture entails a lot more than just farming. Food science, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) course, focuses more on the manufacturing and marketing of food. As explained by agriculture teacher Denise O’Toole, “It involves taking a new product to the consumer, or as we say, from the farm to the fork.”

According to O’Toole, only two Clark County School District (CCSD) high schools offer food science as a course: MVHS and Virgin Valley High School. MVHS is unique in that it has the only working farm in CCSD, giving students many different opportunities for hands-on experience.

The 40-acre Ag Farm, located about a mile from MVHS, grows a variety of fruits and vegetables. The farm, which also has cows and chickens, is managed by O’Toole’s husband, Kevin.

O’Toole, who graduated from MVHS in 1986, said food science is an exciting area because it’s a huge part of the ever-growing agribusiness industry and provides countless jobs in the U.S. As she explained, “Manufacturing careers in agriculture and ag-related fields, including food science technology, represent a growing job market for today’s students.”

Food science students work in a variety of areas. One day they might be designing a new type of bratwurst. On another day they may be learning how to safely wash vegetables prior to packaging. And some other time, they may be studying the oxidation of potato chips.

Yet another interesting project for O’Toole’s students involves developing products that could be made from the prickly pear cactus.

The MVHS Ag Farm also has a hydroponic greenhouse in which students grow tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. Students are often at the farm, working on one project or another.

O’Toole pointed out that the new food science technology course does not take away from the culinary program at MVHS, but instead complements it. She said everybody eats, and the global population continues to grow. Her students are learning skills that can help them be part of the ever-expanding agriculture industry.

The Public Education Foundation Honors “Education Heroes”

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The Public Education Foundation’s 2017 Education Hero Award Gala, held Sept. 23, honored the following organizations and individuals:

Michael J. Brown & Barrick Gold Corporation – Education Hero Award

Hall of Fame Boxing Referee Richard Steele – Champion of Children Award

Senator Debbie Smith (posthumous) – Lifetime Education Achievement Award

For more information, click here or call Mike Campbell at (702) 799-1042.

Construction Begins on New Elementary Schools for 2018-19

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The 2015 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) allows for 10 years of bonding authority for CCSD. The bond funds can be used solely for construction projects that include: new school construction; replacement school construction; and classroom additions, renovations, modernizations and technology upgrades and transportation.

The impact of the CIP is being felt in all areas of the district as there are construction projects around the valley and in rural areas as well. These projects are being done in an effort to relieve overcrowding and to provide upgrades at some of CCSD’s campuses with the greatest need.

In addition to the four new elementary schools that will open in August 2018, there is one more brand new school that will open in January, 2018 – Don and Dee Snyder Elementary School. The students at that school started the year at Robert L. Forbuss Elementary School and will shift over to their new facility once they return from Winter Break.

The four new schools to open next year are located at Dean Martin and I-15; Beltrada and Via Italia; Farm and Jensen; and Spencer and Pyle. While construction has begun at those sites, the district anticipates having names for them in the near future, as the Board of School Trustees is expected to decide on namesakes at their Oct. 5, meeting.

At that time, the trustees will consider the four finalists put forward by the School Name Committee. They include: Shirley Ann Barber, a former CCSD trustee; Kenneth Divich, a former teacher; community benefactors Robert and Sandra Ellis; and former teacher Dennis Orton Ortwein. Once the trustees have made their selections, the namesakes will be matched with the four locations.

“The focus for building new elementary schools has been on addressing over capacity in some of the fastest growing areas in the county,” said Associate Superintendent of Facilities Blake Cumbers. “We also know some of our existing schools are in need of more space and currently have a number of classroom additions planned, including four that are estimated for completion in January.”

The four schools Cumbers referenced are Will Beckley Elementary School, Paul E. Culley Elementary School, Bertha Ronzone Elementary School and Elaine Wynn Elementary school.

There are many other schools that will be receiving classroom additions to open within the next two years and the district will also have a number of replacement schools that will open by 2020. To see a full list of extensive construction projects in the 2015 CIP, visit capitalimprovementplan.ccsd.net.