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Education Notebook: School news and events for March 31-April 6, 2016

Construction countdown: Andre Agassi of the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen,teachers and faculty from Pinecrest Academy and executives from The LandWell Company are set to gather for a construction countdown event at 4 p.m. March 31 at the new Pinecrest Academy campus at East Lake Mead Parkway and Burkholder Boulevard. The academy will initially enroll 900 students in kindergarten through ninth grade. Each subsequent year, the academy will add a year of high school until it reaches grade 12. Upon completion, the campus will span 201,400 square feet. The first phase, the elementary and a portion of the middle school, is scheduled to open in August.

Connections academy open house: The Nevada Connections Academy open house and information session for the 2016-17 school year is planned at 5:30 p.m. April 6 at Comfort Inn and Suites Las Vegas, 4375 E. Craig Road. Other open houses are planned at: 7 p.m. April 12 at Seven Hills Conference Center, 3215 St. Rose Parkway; 5:30 p.m. April 13 at the Summerlin Library, 1771 Inner Circle Drive; 10 a.m. April 16 at Starbucks, 7541 W. Lake Mead Blvd.; 5:30 p.m. April 18 at the Aliante Library, 2400 W. Deer Springs Way; and 6:30 p.m. April 21 at Hampton Inn and Suites Las Vegas Airport, 6575 S. Eastern Ave.

National Park Service’s 100th anniversary: In celebration of the anniversary, Forever Resorts has partnered with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area to host an art contest for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. The competition encourages students to design an image incorporating both Southern Nevada’s park lands and the National Park Service’s Centennial themes of #FindYourPark or #EveryKidInAPark. One grand prize-winning student will have his or her design incorporated into a collectible item or items sold at Lake Mead’s visitor center retail store with proceeds benefiting Lake Mead. The deadline for submitting entries is April 22. Submissions may be mailed or hand-delivered to: CCSD School-Community Partnership Office, 4601 W. Bonanza Road, 2nd Floor, Las Vegas, NV 89107, ATTN: Cheryl Wagner. Call 702-799-6560.

Students with a Cause contest: The seventh annual contest is set to run through May 6. The theme is Just in Case, and currently enrolled Clark County high school students are encouraged to create a submission that illustrates how to avoid dangerous or bad situations or how to be prepared if the unexpected happens. This year’s contest offers additional entry options for students, in the following categories: a 30-second video; a work of art (painting, sculpture, cartoon, etc.); a short story or poem (maximum 2,000 words); or a website. There will be four $1,000 scholarships available, one to be awarded to the student with the best entry in each category. Additionally, $500 will be awarded to the school of each winning student. Submissions may be made in person at the Richard Harris Law Firm by 5 p.m. May 6 or online by 11:59 p.m. May 8. Visit studentswithacause.org.

School of Medicine hire: The UNLV School of Medicine has hired internationally renowned radiation oncologist and cancer researcher Dr. Parvesh Kumar to lead its cancer program and oversee its overall clinical research effort. Kumar, who joined the school in February, has a national reputation for establishing and building academic departments of radiation oncology and clinical research programs. At UNLV, he will serve as professor, chair of the department of radiation oncology, cancer program director and senior associate dean of clinical research.

Mariachi program funding: The mariachi program at Rancho High School, helmed by instructor Robert Lopez, is seeking funding for a trip to perform in Washington, D.C. The group has more than 200 students, who mostly come from low-income families and communities. A GoFundMe account has been created at gofundme.com/mariachioro.

Education survey: The city of Henderson is reaching out to residents to gather thoughts and opinions on a plan to reorganize the Clark County School District into local precincts through an online survey. The 2015 Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill 394, which would lead to the creation of new local school precincts in Clark County. Feedback from residents will be presented to a technical advisory committee formed to assist in developing a Clark County School District reorganization plan. Visit cityofhenderson.com/education.

Fashion competition: The Junior League of Las Vegas’ eighth annual Fashion Forward design challenge is planned for 2 p.m. April 2 at the Fashion Show mall. Sixty Clark County high school students are set to compete in this year’s final challenge and public fashion show. General admission tickets are $40; VIP tickets, which include champagne during the pre-show soiree, front-row seating and a special swag bag, are $80. Visit jllv.org/estore.

Academy job fairs: Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas is set to host job fairs to fill nearly 75 positions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 9 at 1051 Sandy Ridge Ave. The kindergarten through 12th-grade public charter school is seeking teachers, administrators and support staff members. The academy recently announced it will be opening new campuses in the Centennial Hills area and Nellis Air Force Base for the 2016-17 school year. Applicants are asked to bring resumes, transcripts, credentials and any other supporting documents. Visit caslv.org.

Stars of Science competition: Cox Las Vegas seeks Clark County high school students who are Stars of Science through its Science Challenge 2016. Students can participate in the challenge by creating a two-minute digital story (video) that shows science at work in one of three categories: Applied Science, Natural Science and Health Science. The entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. April 15. The first-place participant in each story category will receive $1,000, plus $1,000 for his teacher and $1,000 for their school. Second- and third-place winners, their teacher and school will also receive cash awards. Winners will be announced on May 7 during the 2016 Las Vegas Science and Technology Festival at Cashman Center. Visit coxstarsofscience.com.

Investigating History: The Mob Museum, 300 Stewart Ave., has launched Investigating History, a comprehensive educational outreach program to be offered to Clark County schools. Funded by the Las Vegas Centennial Commission, the program introduces students to the topics of Las Vegas history, constitutional law and criminal justice through interactive standards-based classroom and auditorium presentations. Designed for fourth- through 12th-grade students, the hands-on program will be presented by museum educators and will support the fulfillment of national and state curriculum standards. Call 702-229-2734 or visit themobmuseum.org.  

Instrument collection: The Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild, in partnership with Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, have launched an instrument collection program to benefit local school music programs. The initiative is intended to address the need for musical instruments for school music programs, particularly in charter schools in the Las Vegas Valley. The organization is seeking playable instruments in good condition, and because these instruments may need some refurbishing, it is also seeking interested parties for monetary contributions or donations of instrument repair services. For more information, to donate, or get involved, contact Monica Fuller at guildeducation@lvphil.com or 702-580-8528.

Degrees, internships, scholarships, enrollments and contests:

Congressional Art Competition: The nationwide high school arts competition is open to all high school students in Nevada. Winning artwork from each Congressional District will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. Each participating student from Nevada’s Fourth District will be recognized at a reception set for May 2 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 361 Symphony Park Ave. Visit hardy.house.gov/services/art-competition or call Congressman Hardy’s North Las Vegas office at 702-912-1634.

Welcome to Nevada Design Contest: The contest challenges Nevada’s high school artists to create official Welcome to Nevada signs that depict the Nevada brand and create a friendly welcome for travelers. The Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, under the direction of Gov. Brian Sandoval and in partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Transportation, is administering the contest slated to run through April 25. The contest will be conducted within Nevada’s high schools and is primarily aimed at students enrolled in the CTE Level 2 or higher graphic arts courses, although each school may determine eligibility. Approximately 50 entry points exist on Nevada’s major interstate freeways, state highways and small roadways bringing people into the state and will be divided into four regions. Designers are asked to convey the most important resources of the selected region while conveying the overarching brand, Nevada: A World Within. A State Apart., in their designs. Each participating school will select up to five finalist designs that will be submitted to a review committee composed of professional graphic artists and representatives from NDOT, and the departments of Education and Tourism and Cultural Affairs. Three finalists from each region will be selected, at which point, the public will be able to choose the winning design via an online voting tool. Once the winning design is selected for each region, the student designer and his or her instructor will work with NDOT to finalize the design and produce the sign. The winning designs will be installed on Nevada’s roadways beginning in the summer. Visit travelnevada.com/pages/2016-sign-contest.

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree: WGU Nevada is now accepting applications for its newest online master’s degree program, Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. The new program offers coursework that aligns with the latest standards from national security organizations, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency. The program is designed for experienced information systems professionals or individuals with real-world IT experience who are seeking a master’s degree and planning to become certified in ethical hacking or computer forensic investigation. WGU Nevada’s terms are six months long, and students may enroll on the first of any month, completing as many courses as they are able for a flat-rate tuition of about $3,000 per term. Visit nevada.wgu.edu/cybersecurity.

Leadership Academy enrollment: Leadership Academy of Nevada is enrolling students for the 2016-17 school year. LANV focuses on developing leaders through delivery of a liberal-arts education via cutting-edge technology in grades six through 12 throughout Nevada. Regularly scheduled Enrollment Information Meetings are held online and in Las Vegas so that parents and students can learn more. A list of Enrollment Information Meeting dates, times, and places can be found at lanv.org.

Teaching scholarships: WGU Nevada is partnering with the Nevada Department of Education to offer up to 20 full-ride scholarships to residents who wish to pursue a career in teaching. In 2015, the Nevada Department of Education provided $240,000 to WGU Nevada as part of the Nevada Legislature’s Teach Nevada Scholarship Initiative. Individuals interested in applying are required to complete WGU Nevada’s Alternate Route to Licensure program for elementary and secondary teaching. The ARL program is an accelerated pathway for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree but do not have a teaching license. After successful completion of the accelerated program, students will have completed a series of rigorous courses, in-person observations, and clinical experiences in a public school classroom that prepares them to be highly effective teachers. Winning scholarship recipients will be awarded $3,000 per term, not to exceed a total of $12,000 per student. Scholarships are available to new students who possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a non-education related field from an accredited university. To learn more about the scholarship, email scholarships@wgu.edu. Visit nevada.wgu.edu.

Latin Chamber scholarship: In collaboration with the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce, WGU Nevada is encouraging professionals to embark on continuing education by offering more than $30,000 in scholarships to members of the chamber through its Las Vegas Otto Merida Scholarship program. The scholarships, valued at up to $3,200 per student, will be applied at the rate of $800 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms. Scholarships are available to new students looking to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in any of WGU Nevada’s more than 50 degree programs in information technology, business, teacher education, or health care. Potential awardees must be a member of the chamber, or belong to a member company, which comprises more than 800 members. The WGU Nevada Otto Merida Scholarship was created in honor of the founder and chief executive officer of the Latin Chamber of Commerce. Visit nevada.wgu.edu/LVLCC.

Host families sought for exchange students: International Experience USA, a nonprofit high school student exchange organization approved by the U.S. Department of State, is seeking host families in the Las Vegas Valley to provide room and board, help with transportation and provide emotional support to exchange students. The students provide their own insurance and personal spending money. Visit ie-usa.org or contact Carol Myint at 507-301-3615 or c.myint@international-experience.net.

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