Volume 47, No. 11, May 2, 2019

Budget increase on the ballot Nov. 5

At the April 23 meeting, the Governing Board voted to place a 15% maintenance and operations budget increase (formerly referred to as an override) on the Nov. 5 ballot. It will be a mail-in only election. The district currently has a 10% budget increase in place. If it is not continued in the November election, the 2020-21 district budget will decrease by approximately $13 million, with a total of $37 million cut over the next three years.

Information about what the budget increase will support will be shared with our employees, parents and community now and when we return from summer break. If you are interested in being a site representative to help share the facts about the budget increase, please let us know.

In the meantime, here are a few important reminders from Arizona state law and district Policy GBG - District and Staff Participation in Political Activities and its regulation:

  • Employees and board members must not use district resources, including school or district social media pages, to influence the outcome of an election. While on duty, employees also may not wear political buttons, T-shirts, hats or other items designed to influence the outcome of an election.
  • Employees acting on the district's behalf must not give students written materials to influence the outcome of an election or to advocate support or opposition to pending or proposed legislation.
  • Employees must not use the authority of their positions to influence the vote or political activities of any subordinate employee.
  • Any distribution of materials about the election must come through communications & marketing.

Learn more at mpsaz.org/info.

Join us at the Resilience screening and discussion

Graphic for Resilience film

Join us at East Valley Academy for a free screening of Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope Tuesday, May 7, at 6 p.m.

Following the one-hour film, a panel of experts, including district leadership and guests from Child Crisis Arizona and Phoenix Children's Hospital, will discuss how our community can work together to help overcome the effects of adverse childhood experiences. Watch the Resilience trailer.

Celebrate 25 years of Montessori

Montessori in Mesa Public Schools is 25. Visit with students, parents, and current and former staff at the May 7 anniversary party. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Pomeroy Elementary School.

Don't forget to accept your contract

Contracts for the 2019-20 school year have been published. The contracts are available to electronically accept through the iVisions Employee Portal. Please follow the instructions to register, access and accept your contract.

The contract you receive is based on your current salary. While no decision has been made and a budget has not been finalized, it is the intention of the district to provide raises to employees for the upcoming school year. If the finalized budget includes a change to the compensation plan, you will be notified by July 31, 2019. You will not need to sign a new contract.

Please review and accept your contract as soon as possible and no later than 15 business days after receiving notification it has been published. If you need to reset your active directory password, please call the help desk at 480-472-0044. Passwords cannot be changed via email.

Transcripts due for certificated employee salary credit

To receive salary credit for eligible coursework completed between June 2018 and May 2019, certificated staff must submit their official transcripts to human resources no later than July 2019. Questions? Contact Ginger McCarty at 480-472-0408.

Complete the quality service survey

The annual employee quality service survey is now available online. Employees have the opportunity to provide feedback for up to five departments other than their own, as well as the district's overall service. Responses are confidential. The survey is open until May 15 and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

Discount movie tickets for sale graphic

Thanks for your feedback on movie tickets

We asked, and you answered. In the last issue, we polled employees to determine interest in Harkins Theatres VIP gold tickets. More than 160 employees responded, with 75% expressing interest. A stock of VIP gold tickets will be available to purchase by end of next week.

As a reminder, Harkins red Classic and blue Ultimate tickets have been discontinued and are no longer available. Only VIP gold tickets will be available for purchase, at $8.50 per ticket.

VIP gold tickets are valid for any regular-priced show, films designated Special Engagement and Tuesday Night Classics.

Customer service rockstars

Satisfied customers recognize staff for stellar customer service in the district's customer service survey. The schools and departments that received the most responses in April were:

  • Student records, 6 responses
  • Westwood High, 4 responses
  • Guerrero and Lindbergh elementary schools, 2 responses (tie)

Customers praised fantastic service, including this comment from a parent at Eagleridge: "I love our office staff! They are always friendly, cheerful and helpful."

The online survey is available on the district website. Consider placing a link on your school or department home page.

Cue the applause

Ember Conley, Allison McIntosh and Patty Christie at the April 23 Governing Board meeting

Yvette Orozco, executive secretary for human resources, was named the 2019 Support Professional of the Year by Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association. She was recognized for her outstanding contributions as an HR professional.

Larissa Talamantes, physical education teacher at Roosevelt Elementary, is the 2019 district Wellness Champion. Stevenson Elementary won the Healthiest Site of the Year award.

Congratulations to the employees honored during the spotlight recognitions program at the April 23 Governing Board meeting. Educators of the Month were Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies math teacher David Alexander and Rhodes Junior High science teacher Allison McIntosh (pictured, center, with Superintendent Ember Conley and Principal Patty Christie). Employee of the Month was Longfellow Elementary secretary to the principal Carolina Parra. Customer Service Champions were Longfellow Elementary facility assistant Raymond Sandman, former Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies secretary to the principal Eva Miller and Rhodes Junior High secretary to the principal Dana YursiSee all honorees and view spotlight videos on the communications & marketing webpage.


Send news to

Heidi Hurst, communications and marketing supervisor

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


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