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Schools in Brief
by Tribune Staff
May 29, 2011 | 1707 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fallon students win contest, travel to Rome 

RENO — The winners of the 2010 PlayEnergy contest left for Rome on Friday to explore the city and participate in a ceremony for their efforts.

The winning team from Fallon consists of four former E.C. Best Elementary School students, including Kevin Aguilera, Mayra Alvarado, Jessica Navarrate and Dani Whooley. The students were led by their sixth grade teacher Kristina Murphy. They won both the Nevada Play Energy 2010 contest and the overall PlayEnergy 2010 USA national competition.

Students at three Churchill County schools — E.C.Best Elementary, West End Elementary and Lahontan Elementary — created posters, PowerPoint presentations, models, written reports, games and videos. The E.C. Best team’s winning project was an informational display board with statistics, data and factoids about energy in Portugal. They also constructed a model with miniature replicas of Portugal’s most commonly used energy forms.

While in Rome, the winning USA team and their teacher will have a chance to visit Enel’s headquarters, meet contest winners from other Enel countries, explore the history of Rome and the Vatican Museum and participate in the special PlayEnergy awards ceremony.

PlayEnergy is an international educational project on energy and science set up by the Enel group, the parent company of Enel Green Power North America, for students of primary and secondary schools in all countries where the company is present. The free PlayEnergy initiative provides teachers with tools to educate their students about energy and how energy plants work. Students and teachers are given access to science and energy experiments, interesting facts from around the world and activities to be developed in the classroom, as well as expert guest speakers from Enel Green Power North America. Students also have the ability to actively share discoveries and ideas with an international community via the PlayEnergy website, http://playenergy.enel.com.

Every year schools work on projects related to the theme of energy. Projects can be developed in many different ways, such as model, text, painting, even song or dance. Thousand of students participate in the annual contest.

In 2010 PlayEnergy was held in 10 countries including Russia, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Guatemala, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil and the United States. The 2010 PlayEnergy contest challenged students to research the energy and sustainability processes, resources and characteristics of a different country. 

Washoe County high schools score on Challenge Index

RENO – Eleven Washoe County high schools, including one charter school, earned a ranking on the 2011 Jay Mathews Challenge Index of the nation’s best high schools.

This year, the following schools ranked nationally among 1,900 high schools: Coral Academy of Science at 261, Wooster High at 364, McQueen High at 518, Sparks High at 761, Galena High at 808, Hug High at 876, Incline High at 918, Reno High at 920, Reed High at 1400, Damonte Ranch High at 1595 and Spanish Springs High at 1720.

The Challenge Index’s school rankings are determined by a formula created by Jay Mathews, an education writer for the Washington Post. Mathews devised the ratio by taking the number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at the end of a school year, and dividing it by the number of graduating seniors.

“We’re always thrilled to see more of our students commit to more rigorous work by taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes,” said Ben Hayes, director of research and evaluation for the Washoe County School District’s Public Policy, Accountability and Assessment department. “We know we’re having about an 8 percent increase in the number of students accessing AP exams, so it’s encouraging to see them succeed while our schools also improve in this ranking.”

This year, the district’s average Challenge Index score went up from 1.720 to 1.793, meaning WCSD seniors are accessing more AP exams.

Of the 11 WCSD schools measured on the index, eight increased their index scores and three showed decreases. McQueen, Sparks and Hug each improved their rankings.

“It’s an honor to see 10 of our schools once again labeled at some of the best high schools in America,” Superintendent Heath Morrison said. “Our principals, teachers and support staff are working very hard to prepare their students for college and highly skilled careers. This recognition is a testament to their commitment to educating Washoe County students. As we look to the future, we hope to continue to see WCSD high schools on Jay Mathews’ Challenge Index.”

WCSD high schools not included in the Challenge Index are Truckee Meadows Community College High School, which does not offer AP or IB classes because its students are actually enrolled in college classes already, and Gerlach High School because of the size of its student population.

Bishop Manogue scholars to commit to UNR

RENO — On Tuesday, Bishop Manogue and the University of Nevada, Reno will honor National Merit Finalist Paige dePolo and Presidential Scholars Corey Croasdell and Robert Arnold at the third annual Nevada Scholars Signing Day.

Reminiscent of a high school athlete’s signing day, this event acknowledges top students who will be attending UNR. The event begins at 2:35 p.m. at Bishop Manogue Catholic High School, Christ the Teacher Chapel, 110 Bishop Manogue Dr.

Bishop Manogue Catholic High School is a four-year Catholic, co-educational high school in Reno. It is the only Catholic high school in northern Nevada, and was established in 1948. It is a separately incorporated non-profit diocesan school operated under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop Randolph R. Calvo.
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Schools in Brief by Tribune Staff


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