OF THE GOVERNING BOARD MEETING
OF THE MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4
TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2011
MESA PUBLIC SCHOOLS CURRICULUM SERVICES CENTER
549 North Stapley Drive, Mesa, AZ
1. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.03.A.1, discussion and consideration of dismissal of a classified employee.
2. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.03.A.5, direction to representatives of the school district regarding Meet and Confer.
3. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.03.A.1, discussion of evaluation of the superintendent.
President Peterson called the study session to order at 5:34 p.m.
1. Review of Governing Board Calendar.
The Board briefly reviewed its calendar through July 2011. The Board scheduled their retreat for June 21, 2011, from 12:00-5:00 p.m. at the Administrative Services Center.
2. Presentation on Education Technology.
Mr. Myers, Department Specialist, gave a presentation on SMART Boards, a new interactive whiteboard that helps improve teaching and learning by simply touching the whiteboard. Students and teachers are able to interface via the whiteboard, which allows multiple users at one time. Dr. DePrez stated that any school purchasing a SMART Board using federal monies must have their staff receive training on the many uses of the SMART Board.
3. Agenda Items.
The Board briefly reviewed the agenda.
4. Teacher and Principal Evaluation System.
Dr. DePrez briefly reviewed the courses offered by the district and explained the assessments currently in place. She stated that the areas with the biggest concerns are creative arts, physical education, and technology courses. Dr. DePrez also stated that the district has much work to do to develop new assessments to meet the new state statute that goes into effect for the 2012-13 school year.
5. Updates from Board Members and Superintendents.
Dr. Cowan introduced Mr. Alex Macdonald and Mr. Jeff Abrams. He informed the Board that, with their approval of the personnel sheets in the open meeting, they would be appointing Mr. Macdonald’s lateral transfer to Edison Elementary School for the 2011-12 school as the new principal and Mr. Abrams' appointment as the new principal at Franklin Northeast/Franklin Junior High School.
On the motion of Dr Whiting, the Board unanimously approved minutes of a regular meeting held on April 12, 2011. Mr. Hughes abstained from voting as he was not present at that meeting.
2. Personnel Requests.
On the motion of Mr. Hughes, the Board unanimously approved certificated and classified personnel requests as amended, including an addendum.
3. Consent Agenda.
At the request of President Peterson, the encumbrance of bond funds for the purchase of school buses from Canyon State Bus Sales was pulled from the consent agenda to be voted on separately.
On the motion of Mrs. Udall the Board unanimously approved the consent agenda (see below).
4. Encumbrance of Funds.
On the motion of Mrs. Udall, the Board approved the encumbrance of bond funds for the purchase of school buses from Canyon State Bus Sales, up to an amount of $3,758,474.92, as per Mohave Contract 08E-CSBS-0924. President Peterson abstained from voting, citing a possible conflict of interest.
5. Superintendent's Report.
Dr. Cowan reported on the following:
Salk Elementary School was named an A+ Award of Excellence school by the Arizona Educational Foundation. Only a handful of schools in Arizona are selected each year to receive this honor.
Laura Boelter, Dobson High School Economics Teacher, will study economics this summer in Washington D.C. and the Republic of South Africa. She was selected to participate in the study tour by the Council for Economic Education.
Keith Kuczynski, Rhodes Junior High School Band Teacher, and the Rhodes Jazz Band, earned the Judges Most Outstanding Award at the Highland Jazz Festival. The group was selected from 41 musical ensembles that represented students in elementary through high school.
Nancie Lindbloom, Skyline High School History Teacher, received a $24,000 James Madison Fellowship to assist her in pursuing a master’s degree directly related to the Constitution. In addition to her fellowship, Ms. Lindbloom was selected to attend a three-week presidential academy for American history and civics in Philadelphia.
Jonattan Alarcon, Franklin South Elementary Schoolstudent, earned second place for his essay for the Maricopa County Bar Association. He was honored by the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court for his essay “The Legacy of John Adams: From Boston to Guantanamo.”
Vicky Rivera, Robson Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher, was recognized by the Arizona Education Association’s Foundation for Teaching and Learning. She received a 2011 Promise Grant of $1,000 for her classroom workshop, “Look Who Lives in the Desert.”
A Mesa teacher and student were recognized at the Mesa Chamber of Commerce awards banquet. Dee Brown, Skyline High School Math Teacher, was named the 2011 teacher of the year. She will purchase software to help students learn calculus with the $500 she received for the award. Stephanie Kha, Red Mountain High School senior, was recognized as the 2011 student of the year. She is a National Merit finalist, athlete, and musician.
Dr. Cowan asked the Board to join him for recognitions.
The Employee Benefits Department, led by Ms. Judy Cato, sponsors a wellness program to encourage employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Each year, a Wellness Champion is selected. This award recognizes an employee who embraces a healthy lifestyle personally and also encourages healthy habits in family, friends, and peers by their example. This year’s winner is Janet Clark, Cafeteria Cashier at Mesa Junior High School. She was presented a plaque and tickets to a Daimondbacks baseball game.
There are also two Honorable Mention awards. Ben Orwin, Spanish Teacher at Skyline High School, was team captain for the Fat Burning Ninjas who won the district’s Lose and Win Challenge earlier this year. Sheri Armstrong, Resource Center Specialist at Fremont Junior High School, was team captain of the Booty Busters who also competed in the Lose and Win Challenge. They received a plaque for their positive attitudes and for encouraging others
Pat Urdialez, Longfellow Elementary School, was named the National Family Literacy Teacher of the Year. This $10,000 award is sponsored by Toyota and the National Center for Family Literacy. Her picture is appearing on the big screen in New York City’s Times Square. Ms. Urdialez teaches parenting classes to moms and dads so they can better understand the important role they have in helping their children succeed in school, to work on skills to pass their high school equivalency test, and to learn how to use computer software.
Dr. Joe O’Reilly presented the American Educational Research Association Outstanding Publication Award for assessment training materials to the Research and Evaluation staff for the Acuity training system. This award is to recognize, honor, and share exceptional work that increases our understanding and contributes to the practice of applied research, evaluation, assessment, and accountability in our nation’s school system.
The district’s educational communications team received five awards from the Arizona School Public Relations Association. These awards for communication programs combine publication, writing, video, and website to ensure that the community has up-to-date information.
6. Volunteer of the Month.
On behalf of the Governing Board and administration, Mr. Hughes presented a Volunteer of the Month award for April 2011 to Jackie Johnson, volunteer at Falcon Hill Elementary School.
7. Take Time for People.
On behalf the Governing Board and administration, Dr. Whiting presented Take Time for People awards for April 2011 to the following:
Educators of the Month: Gabe Marquez, Advanced Placement Psychology Teacher and Assistant Football and Track Coach, Red Mountain High School; and Kathy Ray, Title I School Improvement Specialist, Taft Elementary School
Classified Employees of the Month: Regina Blalack, Library Resource Center Specialist, Hawthorne Elementary School; Jan Glover, Secretary, Crismon Elementary School
8. Presentation to Outstanding Students.
The Board and Dr. Cowan recognized the following:
The Dobson High School speech, theater, and debate team, led by Jane Martinez, which won second overall at the 5A state competition. Five students earned individual state championships, and nine students qualified to represent Arizona at the National Forensics League competition this summer in Dallas.
The Mountain View High School speech, theater, and debate team, led by Meg Howell, which had two state champions and two national qualifiers.
The Biotechnology Academy at Mesa High School and the Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, which had award-winning students at the statewide Arizona Science and Engineering Fair. The district had many first-place winners and two of the three grand award winners.
A Mesa High School junior, Giovanna Alba, who received first place in the state biotechnology competition. This activity is sponsored by HOSA, a national organization that promotes career opportunities in the health care industry.
Xan Simonson, who was a founder of the biotechnology program and has built its success over the past few years, will retire at the end of the school year. We congratulate her for her successes and wish her well.
At the all-state music performances, our students represented 34 percent of participants in the all-state choir, 17 percent of the orchestra, and 10 percent of the band. Students who were selected as first-chair musicians were recognized along with Ruth Argabright, Music Coordinator.
9. Proclamation in Recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week.
Dr. Whiting read a proclamation in recognition of May 1-7, 2011, as Teacher Appreciation Week, and May 3, 2011, as Teacher Day. On the motion of Dr. Whiting, the Board unanimously adopted the proclamation.
10. First Hearing on Governing Board Policies.
The first hearing was held on proposed changes to the following Governing Board Policies:
GCB – Professional Staff Contracts and Compensation Plans
GDB – Contract Support Staff
IGA – Instruction
IGAK – Native American Education.
IGDJ – Interscholastic Athletics and Activities
A second hearing and action on these policies will take place at the next regular Board meeting.
11. Certificated and Classified Rehires.
On the motion of Mr. Hughes, the Board unanimously approved the following:
a. Subject to the implementation of a reduction in force, authorization to rehire all certificated employees for the 2011-12 school year, other than those designated as exclusionary or for non-renewal on the list of excluded certificated employees.
b. Authorization to rehire all classified employees for the 2011-12 school year, other than those designated for exclusion on list of excluded classified employees.
12. Reduction In Force.
On the motion of Mr. Hughes, the Board unanimously approved the following:
a. A reduction in force pursuant to A.R.S. §15-544 to effect economies in the operation of the district and to improve the efficient conduct and administration of the schools.
b. A notice of non-renewal of employment pursuant to A.R.S. §15-544 to certificated teachers designated for non-renewal (RIF) by delivery of a letter substantially in the form attached as an exhibit to this agenda item.
13. 2011-12 Salaries and Benefits.
On the motion of Mrs. Udall, the Board unanimously approved salaries and benefits for all employee groups for the 2011-12 school year.
The meeting adjourned at 8:44 p.m.
District/special fund/auxiliary operations warrants, period of April 9, 2011, through April 15, 2011 as follows:
04/14/11 Payroll $17,439,504.64
04/15/11 Warrants for services and materials $ 3,117,028.62
b. Purchases/Encumbrance of Funds
1. Encumbrance of Food and Nutrition funds for the increased purchase of food service equipment for schools throughout the district from various vendors, up to an amount of $275,000.00 as per Bid 11-38FN.
2. Encumbrance of bond funds for the purchase of contracting services to renovate various areas at Mesa High School form KWS Construction, up to an amount of $437,786 as per RFQ 26-03C, Project 1111019JOC.
3. Encumbrance of bond funds for the purchase of contracting services to renovate various areas at Red Mountain High School from Woodruff Construction, up to an amount of $418,892.00, as per RFQ 26-03C, Project 1111023JOC.
c. Mileage Reimbursement
Addition to the Mileage Reimbursement List for 2010-11:
Brereton, Carol Creative and Performing Arts
d. Student Activity Funds Report
Revenues, expenditures, and changes in the Student Activity Funds Report for all schools, period of March 1, 2011, through March 31, 2011.
e. Grant Requests
1. Requests from the Native American Education Program to submit the following grant proposals and, if awarded, accept funds in the amounts as noted, for the 2011/12 school year:
a. Johnson O’Malley Academic Support $ 27,922.00
(Arizona Department of Education)
b. Impact Aid: Regular and Special Education $ 25,273.00 (Reg.)
(U. S. Dept. of Education) $130,078.00 (Sp. Ed.)
c. Indian Education Title VII $515,697.00
(U. S. Department of Education)
d. Fort McDowell Academic Support $ 97,678.00
(Fort McDowellYavapai Apache Nation Gaming
e. Academic Opportunities for Students $120,000.00
(Salt RiverPima-Maricopa Indian Community)
2. Request from the Title I and School Improvement Department to submit a Hawthorne Elementary Tier III School Improvement grant proposal and, if awarded, accept the funds in the amount of $160,733 from the Arizona Department of Education, for the 2011-12 school year.
f. Summer Rate Schedule
Approved the Classified Employment Rate Schedule for the Summer of 2011.