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March 14, 2014
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Trustees approve new home for ASPIRE

ASPIRE Academy High School won’t have to go far to move into its new home starting in the fall.

About two-and-a-half miles down Buckeye Road, actually, after Douglas County School Board trustees approved a proposal Tuesday afternoon clearing the way for the alternative high school to make its new home on the Western Nevada College satellite campus in Minden.

The item was part of a board meeting at the Douglas High School media center that was cut short by a power outage resulting from a motor vehicle accident on Highway 88.

Trustees voted unanimously for approval at the end of a seven-minute discussion. Superintendent Lisa Noonan said the proposal was to expand a Memorandum of Understanding between the school district and WNC that is already in place.

“This is an agreement to share the building so it can operate as a high school during the day and continue to be a community college in the late afternoon and evening,” Noonan informed trustees. “It’s a beautiful building, it’s centrally located, it’s about the right size and it’s a wonderful message for our students that they belong on a college campus.”

ASPIRE — an acronym for All Students Pursuing Integrity, Responsibility and Education — has been housed at different locations since it opened in 2006. The current campus is located in the Bently building on Water Street (across Buckeye Road from the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center parking lot), however, the school’s lease was not renewed due to scheduled renovation of the old Bently complex.

The move will also affect the school district’s professional development center.

The three-year agreement is due to take effect on June 1 and extend through June 30, 2017.

“We’re hoping to move in some time in June,” Noonan said. “The next step now is forming an organizing committee to work out all the little details.”

ASPIRE offers credit acceleration and recovery, a technology-based classroom, smaller personalized education plans and character education for 9th through 12th grade students. The school currently has 85 students enrolled.

The campus will serve ASPIRE from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. during regular school days, Noonan explained. Trustee Teri Jamin asked about the possibility of an overlap between high school and college students.

“The college faculty may come in during the day to access their offices; if they need to meet with a college student, we’re just going to ask that college student to check in when they arrive because we still have the same type of system we have in any school,” Noonan said. “We may have some of our students who stay after school for tutoring, but then that will be in a location that isn’t being used.”

The district will pay $8,900 monthly for its share of the campus, the same amount now being paid for the lease of the Bently building, according to Noonan.

“The college leadership has been very kind to work out the details,” she said. “Given that we looked high and low at commercial space around the county and just couldn’t find the right match at the right price, we were very fortunate that the college is willing to have our sister agreement expanded.”

■ Since the meeting was cut short due to the power outage at the high school, an additional meeting is scheduled to be held later this month to bring up remaining items and public comment. A time and date for the meeting is still to be determined, Noonan said.

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The Record Courier Updated Mar 14, 2014 08:54AM Published Mar 17, 2014 08:40AM Copyright 2014 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.