Chairman Walter Brinkerhoff tapped his gavel on the table. He called the regular monthly meeting of the Pershing County School District to order on Monday.
Board members Mike Mancebo, Joe Crim, Shayla Hudson, James Evans and Superintendent Russell Fecht attended.
Student representatives from each school took turns speaking to the Board.The kids talked about the highlights of the past month at their respective schools. They also peeked around the corner at future events.
Unpaid Meal Charge Policy
Parents can go to the district website to check and pay their child's lunch balance. Once the unpaid meal charges reach $30, the school will offer the child an alternative meal.
"Our policy does not turn students away," said Fecht. The Board also sought to avoid the "meal shaming" prevalent in some districts.
"That's been my big concern all along," said Crim. "With our system, kids can't make fun of peers with different meals."
Board approves San Fran trip and request for funding
Valdine McLean's physics class takes a field trip to the San Francisco Bay area every spring.
They research their senior thesis projects with stops at the Marine Mammal Rescue Center, Alcatraz, the California Academy of Science and the Exploratorium. This year they hope to attend a Warriors game.
The students raise most of the money themselves. The Board pays for a chartered bus to transport them to and from the adventure.
On Monday the Board approved McLean's request for $5,643.40 in funding.
Jim Sciarani presented his audit of PCSD's financials for the fiscal year 2016 – 2017. The document will be available for online viewing.
The independent auditor found no inconsistencies or red flags.
Lisa Clark is the finance officer for PCSD.
PCHS Principal Tom Brooks spoke about hosting the recent Northern Nevada Leadership Conference.
"When we took on the job, people throughout the state told us there was no way we could pull it off," he said. "They thought we were out of our minds."
But Lovelock rallied to host nearly three-hundred teenaged leaders. Brooks thanked the Lion's Club, the Pershing County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) and Port of Subs for feeding the students.
Ted Wells stepped up as principal at Lovelock and Imlay Elementary Schools (LES) this fall. On Nov. 13, the leadership conference visited LES to host activities for the younger children.
"The LES students had practically 1:1 attention," said Wells. "Our school population doubled in size but the event was so well run you could hardly tell."
Superintendent Fecht noted that the district's new website is up and running.
He also gave a brief update on the track and field project.
Next fall the Pershing County Mustangs will play their home games on an NFL Grade FieldTurf System instead of grass.
Tom Donaldson and his crew will add an NCAA compliant synthetic track. A Musco LED stadium lighting system will brighten game nights.
The school district is paying for the renovation with money from its Capital Project Fund.
"As long as the weather holds, we'll keep moving," said Fecht.
The meeting closed with a discussion of the State of Nevada's recent $6.6 million dollar accounting error. The State inadvertently shorted Washoe and Carson City on per-pupil money.
The Board of Examiners voted to use $1.679 million from the Interim Finance Contingency Fund to make the two districts whole.
But for the other 15 school districts, including Pershing, the situation is murkier. They got more money than the funding formula allows.
"The State decided we could keep the money this year," said Fecht. "But next year they will lower our allocation," said Fecht.
The State overpaid Pershing County by about $111 per student. "We're not the worst off- there are some on that list that got $200 per student over their allocation," said Fecht. “The error impacts every school district in the state.”