Volume 43, No. 1, Aug. 5, 2014

Happy new school year; MPS policy covers political activities; Watch board meetings and stay informed; Wanted: enthusiastic supporters with great ideas; MAC hosts annual free Educator Preview Night; Win prizes in the MPS Trip Reduction Program; Special education needs Spanish interpreters

Mendoza marquee

Mike Ragsdale, district sign specialist, and Kent Ashton, principal, discuss the installation of the new Mendoza Elementary marquee, one of many summertime improvement projects.

Happy new school year

Welcome new employees! We are thrilled you chose to join the MPS team.

For those of you who worked all summer to ensure a smooth start to another great school year, thank you for all you did. And for those who enjoyed some well-deserved rest and relaxation this summer, welcome back.

It's another school year and another year of Mesa Agenda, your employee e-newsletter. Fabulous things are happening in Mesa Public Schools, and we want to share them with our internal and external communities.

That's where you come in. Please send your news and information to Courtney Mollineaux at . Or call her at 480-472-7224. We'll feature it in Mesa Agenda, media releases and on our official Facebook page and Twitter feed.

MPS policy covers political activities

This fall's elections will enable voters to make decisions that impact Mesa Public Schools. With the election season already active, employees must remember that election or campaign activities are generally not permitted at schools and district departments. Here are some important guidelines.

Vote

Employees may not engage in election or campaign activities when on duty or otherwise carrying out official duties. Examples of activities include:

• distributing or displaying campaign literature
• soliciting campaign contributions
• advocating for a particular candidate or ballot proposition
• wearing campaign T-shirts, hats or buttons while at school
• using school mailboxes, telephones and email accounts for election or campaign communications

Employees may advocate for candidates or ballot propositions when they are off duty or acting in their private capacity.

It is also against policy to place campaign signs on school property, including fences. But displaying campaign bumper stickers on a personal car while parked at school is permitted, and election and campaign literature may be distributed at school events to which the public is invited, such as football games.

If your school is a polling place, different rules are in place on Election Day only. On that day, people may engage in electioneering activities and post campaign signs on school grounds, near the polling place but outside a 75-foot limit. Campaign workers and volunteers are not allowed to wander around the school or disrupt traffic.
For more information, see Administrative Regulation GBG-R in the MPS Policies and Regulations Manual.

Watch school board meetings and stay informed

The Educational Television Department broadcasts school board meetings live and makes them available later through EdTV99's on-demand feature. The next meeting begins at 7 p.m. on Aug. 12 in the board room, located in the Curriculum Services Center building at 549 N. Stapley Dr. Agendas, videos, highlights and minutes are posted on the MPS website.

Wanted: enthusiastic supporters with great ideas

Are you a "people person?" Do you enjoy helping others and giving back to the community? If so, we want YOU to be a Community Connector for this year's United Way campaign! Communications and Marketing is seeking two people from each site or department to work together to design and conduct their United Way campaign, raising money that goes right back to help our own MPS families in the Mesa community. We'll give you tools and ideas and offer you all the support you require.

United WayThis year's campaign runs from Sept. 2 through 16 and you'll be required to attend a one-hour pre-campaign training session on Aug. 19, 20 or 21.

To become a Community Connector, please contact Carol Herz at 480-472-0224 or caherz@mpsaz.org no later than Friday, Aug. 8. She can tell you if your site still needs a Community Connector and can sign you up for the training session of your choice.

Mesa Arts Center hosts annual free Educator Preview Night

Explore arts and culture offerings for elementary, junior high and high school students at the Mesa Arts Center's Educator Preview Night on Thursday, Aug. 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Enjoy drinks and desserts, tours, goodie bags, door prizes, giveaways and entertainment, plus get a sneak peek at this season's shows and museum displays.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot today by emailing outreach@mesaartscenter.com or by calling 480-644-6540. The Mesa Arts Center is located at 1 E. Main St. immediately west of the MPS Administrative Services Center.

Win prizes in the MPS Trip Reduction Program

Save on fuel and vehicle maintenance, minimize air pollution and win prizes to boot when you participate in the district's Trip Reduction Program. Mandated by Maricopa County, the Trip Reduction Program promotes carpooling, taking the bus, walking or biking to work. You will automatically be entered in a prize drawing when you join and when you track your alternate transportation to and from work at least two days each month.

Thank you for doing your part to help clean the valley's air.

For more information about the program, contact Kathy Easter at 480-472-0223 or kjeaster@mpsaz.org.

Special education department needs Spanish interpreters

The special education department has an ongoing need for Spanish speakers to serve as interpreters for meetings across the district. Interpretation requires a high level of skill in both English and Spanish. In addition, interpreters must have the flexibility to work hours before and after the typical school day and be willing to interpret at schools other than their home base.

Due to wage and hour restrictions, only classified employees working less than 40 hours may apply. Certified staff may also apply. The department does not pay any overtime.

Interpreters must take and pass a short oral interpreting test and complete a training session.

If you are interested, please print, complete and interoffice mail the Bilingual Interpreter Application to special education at the SSC. You can also fax your application to 480-472-0705. Applications are due by Aug. 29.


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Send news to Courtney Mollineaux, communications specialist,

Communications and Marketing Department

 

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