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Partnerships helping push high school forward, attendance up

The local high school delivered some promising news about student development during the first Nye County School District Board of Trustees meeting of 2015 on Tuesday.

Pahrump Valley High School Principal Chris Brockman outlined several new programs at the campus designed to bolster academic achievement.

Of the roughly 1,300 student body population, Brockman said more 300 students have maintained a B-plus average.

The good news came right after Brockman reported to the board that some areas of student performance need improvement.

“Our star rating is three and proficiency exams are lagging a little bit behind the state and the district as far as reading and math, so it’s an area of emphasis for us,” he said. “We are ahead of the state and the district in writing and science proficiencies.”

He noted that the school has partnered with Great Basin College to get a jump start on their respective college careers.

“At this point in time we have 310 students who have a 3.5 grade point average at the school,” he said. “We are also looking at trying to get more of our students who are on line to graduate, to move into GBC and take some college classes. It will give them more of an opportunity with the elective part of it.”

At least two new programs now underway at the school allow students to get a taste of working in the private job sector by training through Pahrump’s Goodwill retail store.

Students can also gain additional classroom tutoring from the local AmeriCorps organization through NyE Communities Coalition.

“This is a program that should be in place by the fourth quarter,” he said. “Our self-contained classes will be going up and getting some job training at Goodwill. AmeriCorps representatives will work with some of our students in our math and English classes where those areas are needed.”

Overall faculty attendance Brockman said was up a few percentage points from last year at 92 percent, while support staff attendance stands at 82 percent, which has also increased compared to last year.

The principal also noted that student attendance slightly exceeded that of the faculty at 93 percent.

Additionally, the new credit recovery system at the school Brockman said, provides opportunities for high school juniors and seniors to redo classes they previously failed, in order to meet credit requirements to graduate.

He also spoke about the school’s new altered lunch schedule.

“We’ve moved to a two-lunch system, which has allowed us to close the campus for the ninth and tenth graders, so that we can contain them at the school,” he said. “We’ve also started credit recovery and tutoring three times a week that’s been going on since the beginning of the year, so parents and students can take advantage of that and we can try to get our credit deficient students in line.”

The implementation of brand new discipline policies at the school according to Brockman is structured to benefit students.

“The plan is to have in-house detention and we believe that is significant because it will keep the students at school with us,” he said. “Our aim is not to let students repeat classes that they failed and the fact that we are going to enroll them back that they’ve already not done well in, we’d like to offer credit recovery during the day for them to go into those classes, which will more solidify our class sizes and class loads.”

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