Education

It’s True: Books Do Make You Smarter

Dec 15, 2015
Alexa Ard

A recent study, conducted in part by University of Nevada, Reno researchers, gives us proof of what we’ve already long assumed: owning books actually makes us smarter. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports. 

For this study, researchers analyzed standardized test scores of children in 42 different nations and learned that kids who have books at home do better on tests, regardless of their country’s development, political history or ideology.

Business and construction are booming in Reno, and that means even more students for the already-overcrowded Washoe County School District. In the latest installment in our Bursting At The Seams series, we break down the complex relationship between economic development and local schools.

    

Each new home built in Washoe County generates a certain amount of capital improvement funds for the school district. But spokesman Riley Sutton says when you do the math, the numbers don't add up.

Julia Ritchey

 Washoe County voters haven't approved new school funding since 2002, and that bond expired three years ago. Without enough money to build new schools or fix old ones, the district will be at the mercy of voters yet again next November. As we continue our Bursting at the Seams series, Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey examines this imminent funding crisis.

At the end of the last legislative session, Governor Brian Sandoval passed a $1 billion tax package, the biggest tax hike in state history, to fund sweeping education reforms — but with one noticeably absent component.

Alexa Ard

Much of the debate around overcrowding in Washoe County schools has centered on the idea of shifting to a year-round schedule, also known as multi-track. But for high schools and most middle schools, even that solution won't work. Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt has the story for our series Bursting At The Seams.

Washoe County high schools that are exceeding their capacity, of which there are already seven, have various schedule constraints that take year-round school off the table.

Board Delays Year-Round Switch For Packed Schools

Dec 9, 2015
Julia Ritchey

  Four severely overcrowded Washoe County elementary schools have been spared from going to a year-round calendar next school year. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

The Washoe County School Board voted unanimously to keep Brown, Double Diamond, Maxwell and Sepulveda on a nine-month calendar for the 2016/17 school year.

The move gives school officials one more year to come up with a multi-track calendar that will be adopted by many schools in the district facing exploding student growth.

Julia Ritchey

Editor's Note: This story won an Associated Press Television and Radio Association (APTRA) award for best use of sound in a hard news story in 2015. Learn more

The Washoe County School District is facing an overcrowding crisis — with a majority of its schools at or over capacity. As we continue our Bursting at the Seams series, Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey visits Double Diamond Elementary to experience what it’s like as a student in a jam-packed school.  

School Board President Defends Davis Contract

Dec 1, 2015
Julia Ritchey

  The chairman of the Washoe County School Board says he wants to set the record straight on a controversial contract for Superintendent Traci Davis. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

Sixty-thousand parents and staff across the Washoe County School District got an email Monday night from School Board President John Mayer defending Davis' compensation package.

The note comes about a week after the board voted 5-2 to approve a $311,000 contract for Davis, which includes a longevity bonus, generous backpay and a car allowance, among other perks.

Julia Ritchey

  

  In a 5-2 vote, the Washoe County School Board approved a controversial contract with Superintendent Traci Davis after nearly four months of negotiations. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there.

The contract will give Davis a base pay of $238,000, the same as her predecessor Pedro Martinez, and more than $70,000 in benefits, including backpay, a vehicle allowance and attorney's fees.

Davis says the contract is fair.

School District Drafts Plan To Deal With Overcrowding

Nov 19, 2015
Julia Ritchey

  The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees approved a draft plan Wednesday night to address overcrowding and skyrocketing student growth. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and has the details.

The school district finally has an initial game plan for how it wants to alleviate overcrowding and critical infrastructure needs through the year 2024.

Pete Etchart, chief operating officer for the district, presented their "Strategic Blueprint" to the board of trustees on priorities for new construction.

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