WINNEMUCCA — Summer vacation is underway, but the Humboldt County School District (HCSD) Board of Trustees is already planning for big changes in the 2022-2023 school year. At their recent meeting on June 15, the Board discussed the implementation of improvements that will be made in the district in the coming school year, as well as the updates from the alternative programs that HCSD offers. The HCSD Clerk, Nicole Bengochea was absent from the meeting, as was Assistant Superintendent, Will Jensen,  and HCSD Attorney John Doyle was present via web call, with the rest of the board present.  

In HCSD Superintendent Dave Jensen’s staff report, he explained that the district has tasked Alan Kault with POOL/PACT— Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool— with seeking grant funding on the behalf of HCSD that would allow for the purchase of seven weapon detectors to be installed within the district. Dr. Jensen explained that the board had been notified that the grant process is moving forward. 

“At the national level, there is growing concern regarding violence in schools and school shootings. As a district, we have been very proactive in increasing our school security processes. The potential of introducing weapons detection systems will be an additional layer of safety that can be implemented during incidents of a potential threat, or as a random screener. Ultimately, with student and staff safety as our top concern, we appreciate every opportunity available to us to add an additional layer of protection,” said Dr. Jensen. 

Dr. Jensen also explained that HCSD has determined that Early Release Days will be shifted from Thursdays to Wednesdays because of the numerous holidays that fall on Fridays, which cause contract issues for the teachers. The shift of days allows the alleviation of this issue. 

“After a series of conversations, the determination has been made to shift our early release days from Thursday to Wednesday, effective this upcoming school year. We were running into contractual problems where the contract talks about staff being released five minutes before students on days before holidays and most of our holidays fall on Friday,” said Dr. Jensen. 

HCSD Board Member Christopher Entwistle gave his letter of resignation, as he is taking a coaching position at Lowry High School. In accordance with Nevada Revised Statute regulations, he will no longer be able to serve on the board while he is a part of a paid position within the school district. 

“It’s with mixed feelings of sadness and joy that effective tomorrow—6/16/2022— I must resign from the Humboldt County School District Board of Trustees. I must resign because I have once again accepted the position of the Lowry High School Girls Varsity Soccer Coach and begin workouts on June 20th. Although I’m very excited to return to the position that I left nine years ago, I’m sad that I must cease my work on this great board. Over the last six years I believe that we have done some amazing things and have operated in a very open, approachable, and fiscally responsible manner and I have absolute faith and confidence in the current board and district administration that they will continue that same great work and progress towards a better and brighter future for our district and students,” said Entwistle.

The Board of Trustees received updates concerning:

• The provision of educational services in support of the Adult Education and Correction Populations programs, presented by Diana Padua and Andrea Kelly, representing the Humboldt County School District Options and Adult and Corrections Program. This year, the program has had the most outcomes since it began in 2015, according to Kelly, which is 22 Adult Diplomas, 27 High School Equivalent, or alternative to a high school diplomas, and  six individuals recognized for making significant progress. 

• The review and draft of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Guidance Document by Humboldt County Curriculum Coordinator, Colby Corbitt. This is an initiative by the HCSD to support students and staff in both an emotional and relational capacity, and to provide support in other necessary ways, such as food, clothing, and mentoring.

“The goal, when Dr. Jensen brought this to me, was to take all of the systems we have and align them in to one fluid piece so that we’re really cognizant of teachers’ time and that we’re cognizant of using actual research based procedures to work with kids and then we’re also using the data to make informed decisions. I think the ultimate goal is to match the level of intensity of our interventions to what our students need,” said Corbitt. 

• The current teacher vacancies remaining unfulfilled for the 2022-2023 school year as of June 15. Dr. Jensen explained that there are still nine vacancies remaining, four of which are at McDermitt Combined School. 

“Right now, we’re simply analyzing and reviewing each possible avenue hoping that we’re able to secure some of these individuals to fill these vacancies,” said Dr. Jensen.

The board also unanimously approved motions in regards to:

• The acceptance of the renewal of proposals from POOL/PACT and approval for payments from fiscal year 2021-2022 funds.

• A policy regarding naloxone administration for individuals who have had a narcotics overdose.

• The augmented/amended budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

• Renewal of methods by the board to increase the substitute teacher pool.