Live now: WCSD says most employees have been invited to a COVID-19 vaccine clinic

5:45 p.m. update: The Washoe County School District said by today most of its employees will have received an invitation to a vaccine clinic. 

The district is the largest employer in the county with 8,000 employees. 

Between district-sponsored vaccine clinics and health district drive-up clinics, more than 2,800 have already been vaccinated. 

“We are the top of the list and available vaccines will be given to educators,” said Chief Human Resources Director for the district Emily Ellison, about the lack of vaccine supply in Nevada. 

Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue's Daniel Boyer fills a syringe with the Moderna vaccine as Washoe County School District employees receive a COVID-19 vaccination at North Valleys High School in Reno on Jan. 23, 2021.

District officials have warned distribution is based on the supply.

“We are developing stand-by lists,” Ellison said of working toward not wasting any of the allotted vaccines. 

This weekend the district will work with the Reno and Sparks fire departments to administer more than 500 doses including at Reed High School. The health district will also vaccinate 2,000 district employees this weekend. 

By the first weekend in February, the district said almost all employees will have had access to the vaccine.

3:55 p.m. update: The Washoe County School Board meeting begins at 4 p.m. Also on the agenda is the expansion of the district’s online school, North Star. The district is talking about expanding the school and will talk about costs and future enrollment projections. 

This story will be updated throughout the day including live coverage of the Washoe County School Board meeting at 4 p.m. Please consider supporting local journalism like this and more through a subscription to the RGJ

The Washoe County School District superintendent is recommending cuts to the district’s gifted and talented department.

The item is one of many on the agenda when the school board meets today at 4 p.m. Before that meeting, the board will get an overview at noon of the budget and impacts expected as the state faces a financial crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The RGJ will carry the livestream of the 4 p.m. school board meeting at Wooster High School here, with news updates.

Students line up while waiting for the official start of the WCSD 2020 school year at Greenbrae Elementary school in Sparks.

The proposed cut to programs for gifted students is to save money and to deal with facility capacities. It comes following surprise cuts statewide by lawmakers to funding for gifted programs during the special session in July. 

About 60 percent of funding for gifted and talented programs, or about $1.2 million, was cut in July. The district was able to move money to help support programs immediately but moving forward it is unlikely it would be funded fully in the coming legislative session.

The district will give a presentation on the program and plans to cut staff and eliminate gifted programs at elementary and middle schools and to phase out the program at Hug High School.

Also on the agenda will be an update on the district’s COVID-19 cases and vaccination updates and plans moving forward to provide access to one of two vaccines to 8,000 employees. 

Siobhan McAndrew tells stories about the people of Northern Nevada and covers education in Washoe County. Read her journalism right here. Consider supporting her work by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal