The BE Engaged Summit involved business leaders in the important process of improving Southern Nevada’s public education system. Business leaders are highly encouraged to attend the BE Engaged Summit and learn about the challenges, and the successes, within the K-12 public school system. Attendees learned how they, along with their company, can accelerate student achievement and educational outcomes through donations of time, talent, financial gifts or other partnerships.
Southern Nevada’s ability to attract and retain new business opportunities is directly tied to the educational achievement and technological skill of current and future students. The BE Engaged Summit sought to build partnerships between schools, students, educators and business leaders, ensuring future employees are able to meet the technological skill level required by an evolving business climate.
Business + Education (BE) Engaged Summit 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Special Guest Speaker
Jaime Casap, Google Education Evangelist
Discussion areas during the 2017 BE Engaged Summit included:
Workforce – The Southern Nevada Workforce Report Card takes a look at important and evolving workforce needs of Southern Nevada, outlining the economic development discussion on how workforce drives the economy and emphasizing the importance of attracting, developing, and retaining talent in the community. Designed to provide an evaluation of the Las Vegas workforce, the report gives insight on where efforts should be focused moving forward. This discussion will be presented by Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance President and CEO Jonas Peterson.
Mentor Opportunities – Under AB 394, school principals, parents and teachers have a greater role in determining educational programs and success at each school. With these changes, programs that are not addressing student need or improving student achievement can more easily be replaced. A number of high-level business executives — including CEOs, CFOs, COOs — are needed to help mentor principals as they navigate their new responsibilities working directly with school organizational teams, parents and administrators.
Square Panda™ – This phonics program was developed by brothers (and Las Vegans) Tom and Phil Boeckle. It offers an entertaining way to help students increase and achieve reading proficiency at an early grade level. Numerous studies have shown that children who are not proficient in reading by the third grade tend to drop out of school at a higher rate, and will often have a lower graduation rate and lower student achievement. The Square Panda phonics program utilizes an iPad to instruct children in 14 different levels of phonics utilizing tactile, visual and audio phonics lessons. The program has shown great promise in helping students — including those whose native language is not English – attain reading skill proficiency by the third grade. The program measures the progress of each student including challenges, preference and pattern of play. Square Panda is already assisting students in a limited amount of Southern Nevada schools with access to it. Business leaders can help expand this valuable program to provide students with a solid foundation in reading proficiency.
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum is essential to help Southern Nevada students prepare for the future economy. Increasingly, employers are seeking graduates who have STEM-based skills; yet the supply of STEM graduates is far short of demand. During the 2016 BE Engaged Summit, The STEM Academy, Inc. agreed to donate STEM 101 curriculum to all public middle schools in Nevada – a gift worth $1.4 Million. In the Fall of 2017, public middle school students in Nevada will have access to this curriculum. With the support of the business community, STEM curriculum can be expanded into additional grade levels.