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CCSD Students Shine at “Shark Tank” Style Business Pitch Competition

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As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, three Cimarron-Memorial High School students “solved a Rubik’s cube-level challenge with cubes of their own, beating out two other teams Friday (Jan. 12) in a ‘Shark Tank’-style business pitch competition at CES.” Students Aspen Anderson, Morgan Hershey and Ajaya Branch designed “Conditional Cubes,” which can be programmed to do various tasks. Second place went to Southwest CTA students Anish Chejerla and Ishaan Raja. Northwest CTA students Jaslin Estavillo and Cherese Lisama came in third.

CCSD Holds Ribbon-Cutting to Celebrate New School in the Southwest

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The Clark County School District (CCSD) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 9 to commemorate the opening of Don and Dee Snyder Elementary School at 8951 W. Ford Ave. in Las Vegas. It is one of seven new schools that opened during the 2017-18 school year. The ceremony gave families and the community a brief look at the new school. Funds for the new schools were made possible by Nevada legislators through the passage of SB 207 in 2015, which allows for 10 years of bonding authority for new school construction and renovation projects and is expected to provide $4.1 billion during this period. CCSD will open four additional schools at the start of the 2018-19 school year. For more information about CCSD’s Capital Improvement Program, visit cip.ccsd.net.

Mabel Hoggard Elementary School to Hold Special Celebration March 10th

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Mabel Hoggard Math and Science Magnet Elementary School will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a Magnet School on March 10 from 10-1. Mabel Hoggard was the first elementary Magnet School in the state and is celebrating this silver anniversary with a time to visit with former teachers and friends and tour the campus. There will be special guest speakers, entertainment and activities. To register for this event, visit www.mabelhoggard.net. For more information, call Stacey Scott-Cherry at (702) 799-4740.

Nevada Housing Division Honors Winners of “Where I Live” Art Contest

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Students from Darnell, Allen, Ronzone, Glen Taylor, Elizondo, Vanderburg, Tomiyasu, Wilhelm, Cozine, Bartlett, Derfelt and Christensen Elementary Schools won the annual “Where I Live” art contest, sponsored by the Nevada Housing Division in cooperation with CCSD. The winners were honored at a reception Dec. 7 at the Venetian. This year there were more than 2,800 entries from 22 schools. The event featured a performance by the Lawrence Junior High School Jazz Band.

Two CCSD Schools Honored as National Title I Distinguished Schools

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The National Title I Association has honored a pair of Clark County School District (CCSD) schools as National Title I Distinguished Schools. Walter Bracken STEAM Academy and Gordon McCaw STEAM Academy are among 61 schools throughout the United States to receive national recognition for exceptional student achievement in 2017.

A project of the National Title I Association, the National Title I Distinguished Schools Program publicly recognizes schools for their positive educational advances in one of three categories:

Category 1: Exceptional student performance for two consecutive years
Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups
Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g. homelessness, migrant, English language learners, etc.)

Bracken STEAM Academy was recognized in Category 3 and McCaw STEAM Academy was honored in Category 1. It was the second year in a row that Bracken STEAM Academy received this honor, and these two schools were the only National Title I Distinguished Schools in Nevada to be recognized for their achievements in 2017. The selected schools will be officially recognized in February as part of the National Title I Association convention in Philadelphia.

McCaw STEAM Academy Principal Jennifer Furman-Born was thrilled with the national recognition. “We are honored and excited to have received this honor. It is a result of the hard work and dedication of our staff and teachers who are committed to our students setting individualized goals. Our families and community take pride in our school’s academics and help guide students into becoming positive and productive citizens.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Katie Decker, who serves as principal of Bracken STEAM Academy, Howard Hollingsworth Elementary School and Walter V. Long Elementary School. “The staff, parents, and community partners (of Bracken STEAM Academy) were all extremely honored to get this recognition last year.” Decker added, “Receiving this again is a huge honor, and we are excited to share this with our community.”

Chief Student Achievement Officer Dr. Mike Barton offered praise to the two schools. “Their innovations have resulted in gains in student achievement. Their success is a testament to the hard work and determination of our educators working in collaboration with their school communities.”

McCaw STEAM Academy teacher Kelli Akes said, “I am excited and thankful for this National Title I recognition. This is truly an accomplishment for the entire community to celebrate.” Bracken STEAM Academy teacher Vicky Zblewski noted, “It is an honor to have our efforts recognized again. We teach a diverse population and strive to help each student find success.”

The National Title I Association has been selecting examples of outstanding Title I school programs for national recognition through its National Title I Distinguished Schools program since 1996. According to the association, “These schools demonstrate a wide array of strengths, including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success and strong partnerships between the school, parents and the community.”

University of Chicago Names Green Valley High School Teacher an Outstanding Educator

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Thane Webb loves to teach science. And that may be an understatement.

The Green Valley High School teacher’s enthusiasm was so influential on former student Robyn Myers that Myers – now a student at the University of Chicago – nominated him for the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award.

The award is given to educators who have influenced, challenged or helped University of Chicago students along the path toward intellectual growth, and Webb was selected as one of the 2017 winners.

“An award like this, where it came from a student who thought highly of me, means a lot to me,” Webb said. “It’s humbling to realize how much of an impact you can have on someone else’s life.”

According to Myers’ nomination form, one thing stood out about Webb’s teaching style: the unwritten curriculum of helping young people develop into adults. Webb cared for each student’s needs, taught them how to advocate for themselves and how to develop a work ethic that fits them.

Webb teaches the material in a way applicable to life and not solely for test preparation. It was those traits in addition to teaching the Advanced Placement curriculum that Myers found helpful from Webb.

“Knowing I can help another human on this planet move forward and live a life of curiosity and imagination is what makes teaching science worth my effort,” said Webb. “Really, it’s the students that make the choice to pursue their dreams. I’m just glad I can be there to help them do that.”

Las Vegas Sun Spotlights Liberty High School Football Star Kenyon Oblad

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An article in the Las Vegas Sun spotlights Liberty High School football star Kenyon Oblad, Nevada’s all-time leader passer who has chosen to attend UNLV “over the likes of BYU and San Diego State.” As reported by the Sun, “The 6-foot-2 pocket passer helped Liberty move into the national top 25 with wins against ranked opponents from Texas, Arizona and Hawaii and surpassed more than 11,000 career yards to establish a new Nevada record.”

The Review-Journal Spotlights Outstanding Green Valley High School Athlete Izzy Madrid

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Green Valley High School athlete Izzy Madrid is featured in a Las Vegas Review-Journal article that describes her as “a soccer, flag football and track standout for the Gators.” The R-J said Madrid “will conclude her high school career with 12 varsity letters and a soccer scholarship to Division-II Cal State-Monterey Bay.” Madrid also serves as senior class president and a member of the GVHS student council. She told the R-J, “I try to make time for (everything). Thankfully, my coaches are very understanding of when I need to go.”

Website Provides More Guidance to Help Schools Implement New State Law Requiring Volunteer Fingerprinting

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In an effort to assist school personnel and parents who have questions regarding a new state law pertaining to volunteers at schools, the Clark County School District (CCSD) has established a web page with more guidance and information.

Senate Bill 287, passed in the last Nevada Legislative session, requires all volunteers and representatives to be fingerprinted if they have “unsupervised OR regular contact with students.”

Information on the law, including links to start the fingerprinting process, can be found at ccsd.net/community/protect-our-kids.

School districts in the state define “regular” contact with students as anyone who volunteers or works around students at least four times a month if they are supervised by a CCSD employee. The law also requires that a volunteer who has unsupervised contact with students even one time to go through the fingerprinting process.

CCSD is aware that some parents who would like to volunteer are unable to cover the $60 fee that goes with getting fingerprinted, so the district is currently looking for external sources to help fundraise to offset those costs for those who cannot afford it.

The law also requires volunteers to act as mandatory reporters of child abuse and sign a document acknowledging that responsibility.

Employees who receive questions from volunteers should refer them to the ccsd.net/community/protect-our-kids website, which contains a helpful FAQ section that can be reviewed before they begin filling out their online application.