Volume 45, No. 1, August 12, 2016

First day crossing guard

Welcome back!

Thank you for helping to ensure Wednesday was a successful first day of school. We'd like to welcome our new employees and welcome back our returning employees. 

Incredible things are happening in our district, and we look forward to sharing them with you in Mesa Agenda, your employee newsletter. We also love to share great news with our external communities, too. That's where you come in. Help us let the district and community know about the wonderful things happening at Mesa Public Schools. If you have an award or recognition to submit, or if you'd like to tell us about a special event, please complete our good news form.

We will consider submissions to feature in an upcoming Mesa Agenda, through the district news feed or on district social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). If you have questions about submitting information, feel free to email Heidi Hurst or call 480-472-0224.

MEA pay change

Employees covered by the MEA working conditions document are now paid one week in arrears, which aligns with all other district employee groups. The state recommends that all school districts establish a delayed payroll system allowing adequate time for payroll adjustments to ensure employees receive the appropriate amount of compensation. To see an estimate of your gross pay distribution, use the pay calculator. Questions? Contact Deb Herman at 480-472-0404 or Leann Heaton at 480-472-0402.

Make sure you approve your time in TimeClock Plus

Remember, it is mandatory to approve your hours before 9 a.m. every Friday in the new district timekeeping system, TimeClock Plus. If you're a TimeClock Plus manager, you must also approve your employees' hours by 9 a.m. every Friday. Thank you for helping ensure a smooth transition to this new system. Find resources, guides and training videos on the Payroll website, or give the department a call at 480-472-0444.

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 Miguel Flores at 480-472-0223.

Customer service training

Missed customer service training? Catch up now!

If you're a new classified employee or a current classified employee who missed last year's customer experience training, sign up for a session on ERO. Certified employees, you're invited, too. Stay tuned for announcements about additional training sessions, including conflict management and communications skills. 

Wanted: enthusiastic supporters for United Way campaign

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 helps our own MPS families in the Mesa community. We'll give you tools and ideas and offer you all the support you need. You'll be required to attend a one-hour pre-campaign training session in late August.

To become a Community Connector, please contact Miguel Flores at 480-472-0223 no later than Friday, Aug. 19. He can tell you if your site needs a Community Connector and can sign you up for a training session.

Vendor payment update

Accounts Payable now processes vendor checks on Wednesdays. Invoices requiring Wednesday payment must be received no later than noon Monday. Invoices received after this deadline will be processed the following week. These deadlines will be strictly adhered to due to process changes with the conversion to Infinite Visions. Any questions? Call 480-472-0129.

Mesa Arts Center hosts annual free Educator Preview Night

Explore arts and culture offerings for elementary, junior high and high school students at Mesa Arts Center's Educator Preview Night Thursday, Aug. 18, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Enjoy drinks and treats, 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 engagement@mesaartscenter.com, calling 480-644-6540 or completing the online form. The Mesa Arts Center is located at 1 E. Main St., immediately west of the MPS Administrative Services Center.

Beth Hunt board meetWatch 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. Aug. 30 in the board room, located in the Curriculum Services Center building, 549 N. Stapley Dr. Agendas, videos, highlights and minutes are available on the MPS website.

Know a great invocational speaker?

If you know a Mesa-based faith leader who would be interested in giving the pre-meeting invocation at a future Governing Board meeting, please complete this Google Form or contact Miguel Flores at 480-472-0223.

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 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 29 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 the special education department at the Student Services Center. You can also fax your application to 480-472-0705. Applications are accepted throughout the school year. Questions? Contact Jill Helms at 480-472-0723.

Cue the applause...

Kudos to 19 district schools for being named 2015-16 Arizona Civic Engagement Schools by Arizona Department of Education. The designation supports schools in their efforts to prepare their students to be active and responsible citizens. 2015-16 Schools of Excellence are Red Mountain and Westwood high schools. Schools of Distinction are Dobson High School, Franklin Junior High, Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, Rhodes Junior High and Shepherd Junior High. Schools of Merit are Carson Junior High, East Valley Academy, Fremont Junior High, Kino Junior High, Mesa High School, Mountain View High School, Sirrine Elementary, Skyline High School, Smith Junior High, Stapley Junior High, Summit Academy and Taylor Junior High.

Send news to:

Heidi Hurst, district communications supervisor

Submit an award or recognition or tell us about a special event via our good news form.


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