Employee newsletter, April 27, 2020

Dr. Andi FourlisSuperintendent search update

At the April 14 meeting, the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board voted to enter into contract negotiations with Dr. Andi Fourlis (pictured) as the next superintendent of schools. Dr. Fourlis is the district's current deputy superintendent. Pending contract negotiations, she will assume her duties as superintendent July 1. Learn more about Dr. Fourlis and the superintendent search process.

Governing Board election

On Nov. 3, voters will select candidates to fill three seats on the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board. The board sets policies for the administration of the district and oversees the superintendent, who is responsible for the day-to-day operations. The five board members are elected by the voters of the district and serve a four-year term without pay.

Ensure your voice is heard by updating your voter registration. Want to vote by mail? Register for the permanent early voting list (PEVL) and you will automatically receive an early ballot by mail approximately 27 days prior to any election in which you are eligible to vote.

Don't forget to review your benefits before May 7

The benefits open enrollment period for eligible employees ends Thursday, May 7. If you enroll or make changes during this time, the coverage you elect will begin July 1, 2020, and remain in effect through June 30, 2021. Learn more on the benefits webpage.

Medical Leave Assistance Program

The Medical Leave Assistance program enables eligible employees to receive donations of sick leave from other employees so that income can be received during a period of absence due to prolonged illness or injury. Find the form and active notices on the human resources website.

Free summer school for students in seventh- to 12th-grade

District students in grades seven to 12 can take up to two semester-length summer courses through Mesa Distance Learning Program at no cost. Students currently assigned a district device may retain the device throughout summer. All MDLP courses started after March 16 are considered summer courses and can be taken to address credit deficiencies or for advancement. Learn more and please encourage your students to participate in this special opportunity.

Remote learning resources and info

Canva.com offers a variety of templates and resources for remote learning. Learn more and sign up for free.

Make it easier for colleagues to recognize you by adding a photo to your Webex Teams profile. Need help? Follow these simple instructions.

To expedite the resolution of online help desk work orders, please include current contact information, district phone extension and school/department, along with a detailed description of the technology request.

For security reasons, the use of Zoom with students is not permitted in Mesa Public Schools. Learn about a recent Zoom data breach, which has made user information vulnerable. If you have a Zoom account, it is highly recommended that you change your password to ensure your personal safety and security.

Transcripts due for certificated employee salary credit

To receive salary credit for eligible coursework completed between June 2019 and May 2020, certificated staff must submit their official transcripts to human resources no later than July 2020. Questions? Contact Susan Seiferth at 480-472-0408.

Staff counseling support through Everybody Matters

It is a stressful time for many. If you need additional social and emotional support, our partners at Everybody Matters are available to help. Learn how to schedule free 30-minute telehealth sessions with Everybody Matters counselors.

Professional learning update

All summer institute courses have been moved online. Course offerings and registration will be available through GROW on May 1. Please contact Suzy Harrelson at slharrelson@mpsaz.org for assistance with registration.

Three new trainings for special education instructional assistants are now available in GROWLearn more on the classified learning page, which also includes guidance about using GROW and Canvas. If you have questions or difficulties with registration, email Suzy Harrelson at slharrelson@mpsaz.org.

Mesa Public Schools in the news

Red Mountain High and Westwood High engineering teachers Shane Bycott and Tom Saxon, along with CTE specialist Randall Kirby, made 1,000 headbands for face shields at Banner Hospitals. Their work was featured in the Mesa Tribune and on ABC15.

Dr. Andi Fourlis, incoming superintendent, was interviewed by ABC15 and Mesa Tribune.

Irving Elementary PE teacher J.D. Guerrero was interviewed by FOX10 about the district's PE at Home Facebook video series.

Interim Superintendent Pete Lesar was a panelist in the City of Mesa's Digital COVID-19 Education Summit on Facebook Live. District communications specialist Nina Allred also participated in the City's Spanish-language program.

Cue the applause

Roger LymanCongratulations to our district staff honored as the Best of Mesa in the East Valley Tribune. Mendoza Elementary kindergarten teacher Felice Davis was named Best Elementary School Teacher, and Mountain View High jewelry teacher Joe Sullivan was named Best High School Teacher. The Toro was named Best Mascot, with the Mountain Lion as a runner-up. Mountain View High Principal Greg Milbrandt was a runner-up for Best School Leader/Principal.

For the third year in a row, Mesa Public Schools has been named as one of the 2020 Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music part of a well-rounded education.

Carson Junior High social studies teacher Roger Lyman has won the John J. Ross Memorial Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education. Lyman (pictured) was honored for his work with Kids Voting Arizona and for providing civic engagement opportunities for his students.

Red Mountain High was the only school to have two students on the list of 2020 Flinn Scholars. Congratulations to seniors Heather Jensen and Roxanne Dyer.

Congratulations to the four district teachers who received Intel Intel 40 for 40 Grants: Kino Junior High's Shawn Hardina, Lincoln Elementary's Jennifer Burton, Rhodes Junior High's Marissa Felix and Westwood High's Rachel Collay.

 

Send your news to:

Heidi Hurst, communications & engagement director

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