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Superintendent Prioritizes Changes for WCSD

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Pedro Martinez started as Washoe County School District superintendent 90 days ago. Now, he is outlining some of his priorities going forward.

The general theme of Martinez' "Action Plan" is to slow down and prioritize. Three years ago, when the district crafted its strategic plan, he said they tried to do too much too fast. So he chose about 20 initiatives from their list of over 100 as priorities.

"What it really is, it's an accumulation of all the meetings I've had, including all of the many community meetings, individual meetings, meetings with our staff, principals, teachers, and support staff," Martinez said. "It's really a reflection of what I heard from everybody."

Martinez said he heard from parents who wanted better programs for special education students, more immersion programs for English Language Learners, and more options for gifted students.

He also wants to raise the graduation rate by making individual academic plans for high school seniors, and even encouraging a fifth year for students who won't be able to finish on time.

Martinez said the achievement gaps with minority sub-groups need to shrink, and parents need to have more opportunities to get involved.

It sounds like a lot, but the superintendent said the raw material is already there.

"Many of the solutions are within our district," Martinez said. "We have amazing programs right now in some of our schools, but they're isolated. They're not systemic."

Most of these priorities will require funding, and Martinez said that's why he is committed to aggressively pursuing more funding for the school district during the coming legislative session.

To see the full list of priorities in Martinez' Action Plan, click here.

Written by Arianna Bennett
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