Employee newsletter, January 10, 2020

Upcoming events

Superintendent search update

At the Jan. 7 special meeting, the Governing Board voted to launch a national search for the next superintendent of schools. View the board discussion, starting at 16:44. Selection of the search firm is underway.

A timeline and additional information will be posted on the district website. Learn more in upcoming issues of Mesa Agenda.

Governing Board meetings now begin at 6:30 p.m.

Starting with the Jan. 14 meeting, Governing Board meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. Study sessions will begin at 5 p.m. The visual communications department broadcasts meetings and study sessions live and makes them available later on YouTube.

Meetings are held in the Board Room, located at the Curriculum Services Center, 549 N. Stapley Dr. Find agendas, videos, highlights and minutes on the district website.

HSA contribution reminder

The second half of the district's 2019-20 contribution to eligible employees' health savings accounts will be distributed Jan. 16. Learn more on the benefits webpage.

Free online learning resource

Did you know that LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda.com, is free for Mesa Public Library cardholders? The platform includes courses in topics ranging from technology and software to customer service and communication. Browse the list of current learning opportunities.

A regular subscription is $30/month, so use your library membership and save. It is also free for Chandler Public Library cardholders (listed under Lynda). Anyone who lives or works in Maricopa County is eligible for a Mesa Public Library card. Chandler Public Library cards are available for any Maricopa County resident, or any nonresident who works in Chandler.

Interested in National Board Certification?

The district's National Board Certified team is on the lookout for teachers to join the spring 2020 cohort, beginning Jan. 27. The cohort will collaborate to complete the pre-candidacy course and pursue certification with support from district coaches and the Arizona K12 Center. Register today through GROW (search for course #10807 - section #10885). Find more information on the NBCT webpage, or contact Lauren Cluff  or Becky Thorpe

Screenagers: The next chapter Uncovering skills for stress resilience; Screenagers: Next Chapter screening Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 6-7:30 p.m. Stapley Junior High 3250 E. Hermosa Vista Drive Visit mpsaz.org/parentu to register and learn more. district logoJoin us for Screenagers: Next Chapter

Next up in the parent engagement series is a free screening of Screenagers: Next Chapter January 23 at Stapley Junior High. The film discusses building resilience in youth. The event, hosted by Parent University, begins at 6 p.m. in the auditorium. Register online to save your spot.

Apply to teach summer school

Applications are being accepted to teach community education tuition-based summer high school, location TBD. Teachers are needed June 1 to July 10 for 7:30 a.m. to noon morning sessions and 12:30 to 5 p.m. afternoon sessions. Submit your application before Feb. 7. Please remember to download the form before completing it.

Intel 40 for 40 Teacher Grants program now open

Arizona Educational Foundation is partnering with Intel to award teachers 40 grants up to $2,500 for STEAM projects, which may include robotics, field trips, sensory gardens and more. The application takes less than 10 minutes and can be found online. The deadline to apply is March 6. 

Arizona Teacher of the Year nominations are due April 30

Nominations are open for the 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year. Find eligibility information on the Arizona Educational Foundation website. The deadline is 5 p.m., April 30, 2020. The 2021 Teacher of the Year awards will be held the evening of Oct. 23 at the Hilton Tapatio Resort.

Free Canvas consortium Feb. 13

The Arizona Canvas Consortium is a free day of professional learning and collaboration. Meet and work alongside other professionals using the Canvas Learning Management System. This year, Instructure is partnering with Mesa Public Schools for the consortium, which will include a keynote speaker and schedule of activities. Instructure will provide a light breakfast and lunch for attendees. The consortium is 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 13, at the Student Services Center. Learn more and register at mpsaz.org/canvas/2020.

Report suspected child abuse

All district staff are required by law to report suspected child abuse. This applies to both employees and volunteers when acting in the scope of their employment. If you suspect abuse, immediately notify your supervisor or administrator. Reporting to your school resource officer (SRO) fulfills your mandated reporting requirements. Failure to report is a crime. 

Report suspected child abuse to police, Department of Child Safety or both, depending on the circumstances. This report must also be followed by an online report, which can be found on the OnBase system. The online report does not replace your requirement to report to police or DCS. Remember, child abuse must be reported immediately.

Find additional information and guidance on the school safety & security webpage. Unsure if the situation constitutes abuse? Call Al Moore, security director, at 480-472-1152.

Mesa Public Schools in the news

Arizona Republic visited the PAWSitive Peers program at Mountain View High School (story for subscribers only). Associated Press picked up the story, and it ran nationally in markets including Albuquerque, Chicago and Orlando, and on EdWeek.org. East Valley Tribune also highlighted the program at East Valley Academy.

Babette Haynie and students in classroom

East Valley Tribune published an article about the district's recent school safety grant award, which maintains 13 SROs and adds 19 counselors. The same issue included a story about Red Mountain High senior Bella Moya's nomination for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education program, submitted by digital communications specialist Elliott Adams.

Media communications specialist Laurie Struna interviewed Falcon Hill Elementary's Babette Haynie (pictured) and Las Sendas Elementary's Rachelle Sears for an article promoting kindergarten enrollment at Mesa Public Schools. The article ran in January issues of The Groves Report, The Breeze and The View.

Rhodes Junior High English language arts teacher Elizabeth Kittredge wrote about how mentoring positively impacts students and staff on educationpost.org.

FOX10 Phoenix interviewed members of Red Mountain High's Dreamcatcher Club as they helped a hospice patient and her family take a dream trip on a hot air balloon.


Send your news to:

Heidi Hurst, communications & engagement director

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