Washoe County School District to improve student proficiencies in math and English

The 2022 to 2023 Nevada Report Card shows that more than half of the students in Washoe County are not proficient in math or English.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:31 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Superintendent Susan Enfield presented Washoe County School District with a three-year plan following data reports that showed students lacked proficiency in English and math. “We do need to ground ourselves in where we are because we know we have work to do,” said Enfield in her speech.

“We definitely need to improve,” said Troy Parks, the chief academic officer of the district. There are over 60,000 students spread across over 120 schools in the district. Teachers and students face many challenges, similar to other schools nationwide. “We can not shy away from the hard reality. That is where we are academically,” said Enfield.

The 2022 to 2023 Nevada Report Card shows that more than half of the students in the county are not proficient in math or English. The district says they are facing challenges with funding, retaining teachers and chronic absenteeism. Thirty-one percent of students miss 10% or more of enrolled school days per year, which is still below the state average of 34%. “It’s not only just student disengagement but also parent disengagement,” said Brent Busboom, an English teacher at Reno High School. “We’ve had some shifts in policies too. We used to have an attendance policy. We do not have that anymore.”

Enfield wants 75% of students to be proficient in math and English by the end of third grade. “One of the biggest reasons sometimes our students disengage, don’t show up, don’t excel to the degree that they are very capable of... because they’re bored, they are bored. We need to challenge our kids. At Least 19 out of every 20 students participate in dual credit, AP, IB, or CTE pathways and JROTC.”

The district has rolled out new technology, called i-Ready. “My wife is a fifth-grade teacher and she has students in front of the computer 90 minutes a week. 45 minutes for Math, 45 minutes for Reading,” Parks said. This technology is to improve student test scores. “That gives us information about how the student is learning and what standards they have mastered and what standards they need to work on,” added Parks.

For more information on how the district plans to improve, click here.