MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2010
TURN A NEW LEAF CONFERENCE CENTER
3420 E. University Drive, Mesa, AZ
STUDY SESSION AGENDA
President Lane called the study session to order at 1:05 p.m.
1. Review of 2010-2011 School Utilization Study:
Dr. Cowan presented and explained the school utilization report. The report contains the
2009-10 enrollment, 2010-11 enrollment, building capacity and utilization, overhead costs, cost per student, and available seats.
Dr. O’Reilly provided an enrollment update and addressed the various factors in the decline of enrollment. He cited the economy, foreclosures, and political impacts as possible factors.
The Board provided direction to Dr. Cowan on the Defining the Future initiative. The Board supports a grade level model of K through 6th grade elementary schools, 7th and 8th grade junior high schools, and 9th through 12th grade high schools.
Dr. Monroe addressed the budget impact as it relates to the decrease in enrollment and the possible need to revisit “Plan B” of the budget that was created last year.
Dr. Cowan and Dr. Monroe shared several options with the Board that would provide a cost savings and/or a more efficient use of buildings. One example was to use a district facility to provide special education services that are currently outsourced, and offer the service to neighboring districts on a tuition basis. Another option is to discontinue the use of portables at under-utilized schools and condense the available space, which will save money on utilities and maintenance.
2. Update on the Strategic Plan:
Dr. Cowan explained the process of the Strategic Planning Committee’s development of the mission and vision statements for Mesa Public Schools. Dr. Cowan also shared the proposed vision statement, “Unprecedented Excellence in Education,” and the need to summarize the message for a communication piece to share with the community.
The Board directed Dr. Cowan to finalize a letter and/or brochure to send out to business partners and the larger community.
3. Discussion on Future District-Related Elections:
Dr. Monroe gave an election summary as it related to Mesa Public Schools bond and override elections. He explained future election considerations and the difference between a special override, capital override, and new bond authorization. He reviewed election timelines and also current propositions and their potential impact on Mesa Public Schools.
4. Communication With the Community:
Mrs. Bareiss provided a “Knock Your Socks Off Service Model” to the Board. She explained that in the world of marketing, public relations and communications studies suggest that people form a perception of an organization from personal experience (90 percent), word of mouth, (7 percent), and via the media (3 percent). She expressed the importance of setting expectations and on-going training for all staff members. Mrs. Bareiss stated that staff members need to understand why outstanding communication and service delivery are vital components to creating a positive perception of Mesa Public Schools.
President Lane thanked participants for their attendance and the work done preparing for the study session.
On the motion of President Lane, the Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 4:11 p.m.