OF THE GOVERNING BOARD MEETING
OF THE MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4
TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012
MESA PUBLIC SCHOOLS CURRICULUM SERVICES CENTER
549 North Stapley Drive, Mesa, AZ
1. Pursuant to A.R.S §38-431.03.A.1, Discussion of the Post-Dismissal Hearing Officer's Report Regarding 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
1. Review of Governing Board Calendar
The Board briefly reviewed its calendar through August 2012. They scheduled a study session for May 15, 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the CSC North Conference Room, and an extended study session for June 19, 8:00 a.m.-noon in the Administrative Services Center 7th Floor Conference Room. President Peterson also asked Board members to hold the evening of June 5 open for a possible additional meeting.
2. Review of Agenda Items
The Board briefly reviewed the agenda.
3. Presentation on Facilities Planning Committee Recommendations
Dr. Cowan informed the Board that the Facilities Planning Committee has worked deliberately and conscientiously over the last two months to develop the recommendations presented to the Board. He stated that the committee was comprised of 39 community members who represented parents, students, staff, and local businesses.
Ms. Sylvester presented a summary of the recommendations from the committee for a $285 million bond. She stated that for a median home of $113,258.00 full cash value, the additional tax rate would be $4.79 per month for a $250 million bond and/or $5.56 per month for a $285 million bond. She also informed the Board that for a commercial property of $830,077.00 full cash value, the additional tax rate would be $70.17 per month for a $250 million bond and/or $81.43 per month for a $285 million bond. Dr. Whiting and Mr. Nichols, Board Members who served on the committee, both stated that the community cares about the district and expressed the importance of investing in our schools and community.
4. Discussion on Benefits Plan Adoption Proposal
Mr. Lesar introduced Ms. Cato who provided the Board with the RFP review process that was used for the proposed purchase of employee medical plan services. Ms. Cato stated that 25 responses were received. Responses were reviewed by Segal Consulting, which prepared response summaries for each group. An evaluation committee comprised of people representing the employee associations, and the Benefits and Human Resources, Purchasing, and Finance departments recommended that CIGNA Network be awarded the medical benefits contract; Total Dental Administration (TDA) be awarded the dental insurance contract; and Vision Service Plan (VSP) be awarded the vision insurance contract.
5. Update on Pay to Participate
This item was not addressed and will be brought back at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
6. Updates from Board Members/Superintendents
Mr. Cox spoke about the teacher evaluation training that he and many other administrators are attending this week. He stated that the training is data-based and will improve instruction and reward collaboration among teachers.
Dr. DePrez informed the Board that US News and World Report ranked Mountain View High School as number nine in the top ten high schools in Arizona.
All-State Music Recognitions
Dr. Cowan asked the Board to deviate from the regular meeting sequence and join him on the floor to present some student recognitions prior to conducting Board business, as many of these students need to leave for previously-scheduled performances.
Dr. Cowan introduced Mrs. Ruth Argrabright, Music Coordinator, who reported on the following:
Mesa Public Schools has a rich tradition of excellence in the arts. Ten Mesa students were first chairs in the 2012 All-State Music Festival. Also, three students were recognized for their participation in the festival every year of their high school career. Mrs. Argrabright introduced each student and presented them with a certificate and a pin. She congratulated the students on their accomplishments and thanked the teachers and parents for their guidance and support.
On the motion of Mrs. Udall, the Board unanimously approved minutes of a regular meeting held on April 24, 2012, and a special meeting held on May 1, 2012.
2. Personnel Requests
On the motion of Mr. Hughes, the Board unanimously approved the personnel requests, including an addendum.
3. Consent Agenda Items
On the motion of Mr. Hughes, the request to purchase employee medical benefits was removed from the consent agenda for separate further discussion.
On the motion of Dr. Whiting, the unanimously approved the consent agenda.
After discussion and acknowledgement from Mr. Munch that any appeals regarding consent agenda item approvals must be made within ten calendar days, the Board recommended approval of encumbrance of Employee Benefit Trust funds for the purchase of employee medical benefits from various vendors, up to an amount of $2,238,407.00 as per RFP 12-43MP.
4. Superintendent's Report
Dr. Cowan reported on the following:
During the summer break, Mesa Public Schools is offering a broad array of opportunities to students. Summer school, Kidz Camp, and sports and music camps are being provided through the Community Education Department.
The Mesa Public Schools' class of 2012 has 15 National Merit Scholar finalists who were recently honored. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation grants a small number of scholarships and this year three Mesa students received a $2,500 scholarship to use at any accredited college or university.
The Mountain View High School Academic Decathlon team placed fourth in the large school division and seventh overall out of a field of 32 in the national competition in Albuquerque.
Two Mesa students competed in the Arizona 2012 Ford/Triple-A Auto Skills Competition. EVIT's two-person team earned a top ten score on the state qualifying written exam, beating out more than 1,000 of their peers representing over 30 schools.
The ASU Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center recently presented the 2012 Community Leadership Award for Dedication to the Elimination of Health Disparities to Theresa Price, Director of Native American Education Program. Mrs. Price was selected for her outstanding leadership and engagement in the local community and for her efforts to prevent and reduce the burden of health disparities and improve health conditions in communities of the Southwest.
Douglas Prentice, special education transition facilitator, will be heading to Washington D.C. at the end of the month to present his paper, "Yours, Mine, and Ours: Integrating K-12 and Community College Services to Ensure Successful Transitions," at the 2012 National Transition Conference. Mr. Prentice will be highlighting the partnership between Mesa Public Schools and Mesa Community College that is fostered by Mesa Counts on College, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant that Mesa Public Schools, Mesa Community College, and the City of Mesa are collaborating on.
Valerie Segerson, Montessori teacher at Johnson Elementary School, was surprised by KEZ-Radio and Rio Salado College with an Excellence in Education Award. She was nominated by parent, Lynn Cormier.
Current and former Franklin South Elementary School students, staff, families, friends, and neighbors are invited to a reunion on May 10 from 6-7 p.m. at the school.
5. Recognitions - Students and Staff
The 2011-12 Westwood High School Junior ROTC Unit has received the Distinguished Unit with Merit Award from Air Force headquarters. This year's 85 cadets earned more trophies than any other unit in the school's history. They also logged more than 1,600 hours of community service. The Distinguished Unit With Merit Award recognizes the cadets' personal growth and accomplishments, the contributions of the instructors as the cadets' mentors, and the support of their school and community. This is the third time in the last four years that Westwood has been so honored.
The Crossroads team won two out of three state awards for first place in Model United Nations competition, in which students compete from the perspective of an assigned country, researching the country, their topic for resolutions, and any prior resolutions about their topic. They prepare food from their countries and dress in native attire. Model UN prepares students for public speaking and debate, hones their reasoning skills, and fosters creativity.
Students competing in the stock market game participate in a number of competitions throughout the year. They develop an understanding of the stock market and learn when to buy and sell stocks. Crossroads had a shutout in the most difficult game, taking first, second, and third place.
Crossroads art students swept the Maricopa County Fair Art Contest this year under the guidance of their exceptional teacher, Jeff LaRosa. Jared Urban's drawing "Lennon" won Best in Show, Best in Class, People's Choice, and 1st place in his division. Clifton Welsh won 1st and 2nd place awards.
Shepherd Junior High School and Whittier Elementary School were named Arizona A+ Schools by the Arizona Educational Foundation. This honor is given to celebrate education and success stories that happen each day in the classroom. Winning schools are recognized for their superior ability to meet the needs of the student population. Mrs. Cahoon and Mr. Starkey accepted congratulations from the Board and administration and acknowledged the hard work and dedication of staff and students.
A. Review of Quality Service Survey Results
Mr. Cox made a presentation on the district's Quality Service Ratings. Each year parents, students, and staff are surveyed and all comments are reviewed by superintendency and shared with the school or department. A minimum of 20% response rate is required to rate a school or department. A high number of A+, A, and B grades, 95%, was given to the district. Based on the results for the district as a whole, employees will be receiving a bonus in their May 17 paychecks.
B. Presentation on Health Services and Audiology
Mrs. Nadine Miller, Director of Health Services, gave an overview of the Health Services and Audiology Department. School Health Services treats students for illnesses or injuries, administers medications, and communicates with parents. They provide audiology services and health screenings for scoliosis, blood pressure, and vision. Mrs. Miller stated that there is a growing need for training for special medical concerns such as asthma, behavioral diagnosis, diabetes, allergies, heart problems, tracheostomys, gastrostomy devices, epi pens, and catheterizations.
The meeting adjourned at 8:39 p.m.