OF THE GOVERNING BOARD MEETING
OF THE MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2011
1. Review of Agenda Items
The Board briefly reviewed its agenda.
2. Review of Governing Board Calendar
The Board briefly reviewed its calendar through February 2012.
3. Update on Defining the Future III
Dr. Cowan stated that the superintendency is moving forward with Defining the Future III (DTF III) implementations. He informed the Board that the larger DTF III committee will begin meeting on December 9 for biweekly meetings.
He informed the Board that the Planning and Boundary Design Advisory Committee (PABDAC) met on November 17 and has scheduled another study session for November 29 at 5:00 p.m. to review junior high school boundary revisions. Public hearings have been scheduled for December 1 at 6:00 p.m. at Brimhall Junior High School, and December 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Mesa Junior High School. Dr. Cowan stated that he is hopeful that the PABDAC will make its recommendation on December 6. President Peterson expressed his appreciation of the PABDAC members and their willingness to serve on the committee.
4. Employee Incentive Plan
Mr. Cox reviewed the request for adoption of the 2011-12 Mesa Public Schools Employee Incentive Program. He demonstrated how the program aligns with the required elements of a performance-based compensation system, as defined in A.R.S. § 15-977, that includes the following elements:
- School district performance and school performance
- Measure of academic progress toward the academic standards adopted by the State Board of Education
- Other measures of academic progress
- Dropout rates
- Attendance rates
- Ratings of school quality by parents and students
- Input of teachers and administrators
- An appeals process for teachers who have been denied performance-based compensation
- Regular evaluation for effectiveness
5. Employee Compensation
Dr. Cowan reviewed the availability of federal EduJob monies which were allocated two years ago. With the assistance of the Mesa Education Association and Mesa Education Support Personnel Association, a proposal for additional compensation for staff was developed. Approximately $6 million is available for this one-time compensation. Dr. Cowan suggested that this compensation be divided between two payments. The first payment would occur on December 8, and a second at the end of July. For the December 8 payment, certificated and classified staff would receive between $125 and $375 based on full-time contracts and/or hours worked. Dr. Cowan also reminded the Board that these monies can only be used for employee compensation.
Action on this item will take place later in the public session of this meeting.
6. Programs for Students with Emotional Disabilities
Mrs. Cawthorne and Mrs. Geraghty gave a brief overview of services for students with emotional disabilities in the district. They informed the Board that placement is determined by identifying areas of difficulty and needs. Mrs. Cawthorne explained that a traditional ED program places students with emotional disabilities on a comprehensive campus, and an ED-P program places them on a comprehensive campus or in a special school. An ED-P program offers extra services and enables district personnel to work collaboratively with students, their families, and community agencies. She also informed the Board that with the traditional ED Program, the district receives an extra $10.78 per student per year, while with the ED-P program the district receives an extra $17,322 per student per year.
7. Updates from Board Members/Superintendents
Dr. Cowan commented on recent conferences that he has attended. He stated that, at the technology conference, he, Dr. DePrez, and Ms. Sylvester were able to network with other district leaders. He observed that finding the right people to lead, funding, and the need for professional development were key issues in developing a blended learning environment using technology.
On the motion of Mr. Nichols, the Board unanimously approved minutes of a regular meeting held November 8, 2011.
2. PERSONNEL REQUESTS
On the motion of Dr. Whiting, the Board unanimously approved Certificated and Classified Personnel Requests, including an addendum.
3. Consent Agenda
On the motion of Mr. Hughes, the Board unanimously approved the consent agenda.
4. SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT
Dr. Cowan expressed his appreciation of the Board, members of superintendency, staff, students, and community members and wished them a happy Thanksgiving. He then reported on the following:
In September, the Southwest Stringers from Entz Elementary School, under the direction of Richard Worcester, greeted Petty Officer Zach Henning on his return from Afghanistan. Petty Officer Henning had taken his violin with him to the war zone, where it was damaged. Thanks to the generosity of Andre's Fine Violins, Milano Music, and The Music Store, Petty Officer Henning's violin was restored and he was able to join the Southwest Stringers from Hale and Entz elementary schools in performing the National Anthem during the Veterans Day assemblies at each of the schools on November 10.
Jefferson Elementary School is one of only 34 schools nationwide to receive an $11,000 PLAY 60 Super School Grant from the NFL to combat childhood obesity. PE teacher Amy Blevins applied for the grant, which will be used for nutrition kits for every classroom, pedometers for the students to wear to assess their daily physical activity, obstacle course equipment, and equipment for recess and intramurals. Arizona Cardinals player Calais Campbell was on campus last Tuesday to present a $10,000 check. He also presented a $1,000 check to the school on behalf of Araceli Balderas, who was named Jefferson's Super Parent.
Dr. Cowan asked the Board to join him on the floor for the following recognitions:
Aaron Done, who could not attend the Board meeting, was recognized as the recipient of the Arizona Science Teachers Association's New Science Teacher of the Year Award. The award recognizes outstanding first-year teachers, based on content knowledge, instructional strengths, innovative practices, and the potential for a life of quality science teaching.
Tyson Sorenson and members of the Red Mountain High School Chapter of the FFA, who were not present at the meeting, were recognized for a number of awards from the National FFA Career Development Event in Indianapolis, Indiana. Team and individual awards were earned at the national conference in the categories of Agronomy, Nursery Landscape, and Environmental and Natural Resources.
Coaches Rob Ronan, Glen Coy, and Mike Peterson introduced their varsity swimmers from Mountain View and Red Mountain high schools and were recognized for their various accomplishments.
5. Volunteer of the Month
On behalf of the Governing Board and administration, Mr. Nichols presented a Volunteer of the Month award for November 2011 to Patty Galaz, volunteer at Redbird Elementary School.
6. Take Time for People
On behalf of the Governing Board and administration, Mr. Peterson presented Take Time for People awards for November 2011 to the following:
Educators of the Month: Bradley Peterson, Career and Technical Education Teacher and Technology Specialist, Fremont Junior High School; and Amy Drake, Second Grade Teacher, Webster Elementary School
Classified Employees of the Month: James Lucero, Lead Electrician, Maintenance and Operations Department; and Irma Armenta, Cafeteria Worker, Carson Junior High School
7. Perfect Attendance Awards
The Governing Board, Dr. Cowan, and Mr. Lesar presented perfect attendance awards to employees who had five, ten, and twenty-five years of perfect attendance, as well as the following five schools, whose staff had the highest percent of attendance for the 2010-2011 school year: Franklin at Alma, Franklin West, Franklin East, Franklin South, and Franklin Junior High. Principals accepted plaques in recognition of their schools' accomplishments.
8. Employee Incentive Plan
Mr. Cox presented the administration's recommendation for the Mesa Public Schools Employee Incentive Program for the 2011-12 school year.
On the motion of Mr. Hughes, the Board unanimously approved the administration's recommendation.
9. Employee Compensation
Dr. Cowan presented the administration's recommendation to the Board to provide staff with additional compensation using federal EduJobs monies. He proposed that the funds be paid in two payments, with the first payment on December 8, 2011, and the second after the 2011-12 budget year ends. Dr. Cowan also thanked the Mesa Education Association and Mesa Education Support Personnel Association for their collaboration in working through the details of this plan.
On the motion of Mr. Nichols, the Board unanimously approved the administration's recommendation.
The meeting adjourned at 8:04 p.m.