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Through teams, schools aim to put students’ needs first

This year brought a new resource to the schools in Boulder City — school organizational teams.

These teams are the result of the Legislature creating a committee to research and create a plan that would allow the Clark County School District to provide better service to students and their families.

“They wanted to break up the school district because it was too big,” said Boulder City High School Principal Amy Wagner.

The committee did this by essentially making each school its own precinct with its own school organizational team. With this setup, individual schools in the district can make site-based decisions on how to use their research to meet their goals through their school organizational team.

Each school organizational team is responsible for providing assistance and advice to the principal in developing and carrying out the school’s plan of operation, assisting in the discussion of any additional authority to be transferred to a local school to carry out responsibilities, and assisting with the selection of the next principal when a vacancy occurs.

The team consists of voting members, which includes three to six parents, two to four licensed staff and one to two non-licensed staff. Each team also includes nonvoting members, who are the school principal, student representative for secondary schools and an optional community member.

Going forward each member’s one-year term runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

Mitchell Elementary School Principal Benjamin Day said the process is still very new for him and his team, but they are making progress with their goals to increase early enrollment.

“We had a low projection for enrollment and would have had to lose some teachers,” he said of the 2017-2018 school year budget. “I found a way to create a teaching position within the new budget.”

In order to keep the teaching position, Day said Mitchell’s school organizational team canvassed the families of rising kindergartners to find how many were planning to enroll in the coming school year. They determined the incoming kindergarten class would be larger than the state’s estimate.

To change the projection and increase the budget, which would allow the school to keep all its teachers, as many incoming kindergartners as possible need to sign up through early registration, which begins April 17.

King Elementary School Principal Tony Gelsone said his school’s school organizational team was just an extension of the current relationship between the school and parents.

“We’ve always communicated with our parents and included them in decisions … Now it’s just a formality of forming that committee,” he said. “The communication helps with transparency.”

Gelsone said the school organizational team has been making decisions with spending the strategic budget, specifically with the EnVision math program and the Leader in Me curriculum.

School operations at Garrett Junior High School in Boulder City are similar to how the school organizational team does things.

“The only difference is that it has a different name and a more formal process with scheduled meetings. … I think it’s a great experience … because it allows anyone to come those meetings,” said Principal Jamey Hood.

“We have three great parents who are active members of the community at all the schools,” she added.

All school organizational team meetings are open to the public. To find out when they meet, check each school’s website.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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