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Local Lens – Incline Education Fund on the Potential Changes to our Incline Public Schools

April 5, 2023 | Mary Danahey

The Local Lens was written by guest author Mary Danahey from the Incline Education Fund.

As mentioned in last week’s Local Lens, our school district (WCSD) is developing a long-term plan to modernize all district school facilities and is currently considering a consolidation of our Incline Village schools. We urge ALL Incline residents – not just parents and educators – to attend a presentation on Wednesday, April 5th, @ 5pm at Incline High School to learn more about this issue and to take the opportunity to provide your input.

Unfortunately, there is a second issue that also requires community attention.

There is a revision of an Administration Regulation (7087) that is removes local input from the process for school closures within the school district. The public comment period regarding this policy change is closing on April 12thPlease see below for more information on how to submit your input regarding this change.

Why is this happening

Our school district has contracted CannonDesign, a global architecture, engineering and consulting practice to conduct a comprehensive assessment of every WCSD facility. They have created a Facility Modernization Plan (FMP) that will guide the district’s facility use and capital investment for the next 5-10 years.

CannonDesign will be presenting their findings at the April 5th meeting and will facilitate breakout groups of attendees to discuss potential options for our 3 schools. Any potential changes would take place no sooner than the Fall of 2024.

Why you should attend

Our schools are the backbone of our town. Decisions made through this process will affect not only all 3 of our schools, but our entire Incline community as well. Our schools are the anchors of our village – our families make up the bulk of our full-time residents, provide employees for our local businesses during the high season and provide support for them through the shoulder, snow, and smoke seasons.

If Incline is going to remain a viable year-round community, we need your input. If you believe in the value of public education – whether or not you have children in the system – or in the sustainability of Incline Village, please make the time to have your voice heard.  

Note: WCSD has stated that NO decisions regarding our schools have been made; but given the declining enrollment at our middle school and the age of the building, the option of consolidating our schools will be definitely be discussed.

Please attend this meeting to hear for yourself the data that has been collected and be a part of the decision process that will affect the future of Incline Village.

How to participate

Here’s how you can be a part of the decision process regarding the future of our schools and our community:

1. Attend the Wednesday meeting – 5pm at Incline High School

    Read about the Facility Modernization Plan at: www.washoeschools.net/FMP

2. Click on this link (School Closure policy change) to read the new policy on school closures (which removes input from the local community). Click on the ‘draft’ attachment to see the actual draft policy.

If you would like to voice your opinion about these changes, please do so at: 

Policy@washoeschools.net or to our Area Superintendent, Mike Paul at: mpaul@washoeschools.net

Here is a sample email that you can cut/paste regarding the policy change:

Office of the WCSD Superintendent, Staff and Board of Trustees of WCSD,

I am writing to express my concern over the proposed changes to the draft policy for Administration Regulation 7087 regarding school closure.  

The new regulation places the Zoning Advisory Committee in charge of making the recommendation for a particular school closure, but none of those committee members are required to be residents of the affected community.  This change effectively removes input from the parents/educators/residents of a potential school’s closure in question. Our WCSD district comprises a large and diversified geographic area. An established committee cannot accurately represent the diverse interests of every area within our district. I recommend the following amendments to the current draft regulation:

            -include a requirement for a committee of local representation on any school closure recommendations, not solely the Zoning Advisory Committee

            -require any public meetings about the school closure to be held at the school under consideration for closure. 

I appreciate your consideration of this regulation and its importance to the school closure process.

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