HIGHLIGHTS
OF THE GOVERNING BOARD MEETING
OF THE MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016
MESA PUBLIC SCHOOLS CURRICULUM SERVICES CENTER
BUILDING 2
549 N. Stapley, Mesa, AZ

STUDY SESSION

1. Review of Agenda Items
The Board briefly reviewed the agenda.

2. Review of Board Calendar
The Board briefly reviewed its calendar through December 2016.

3. Discussion of Exempt Employees and Fair Labor Standards Act
Dr. Holmes led the discussion on exempt employees and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA). New expectations from the federal government will affect 19 current exempt employees. To qualify as an exempt employee under the administrative exemption, the position must qualify under three tests:

  1. Salary basis
  2. Salary level
  3. Duties test

As of December 1, 2016, the salary level test will increase from $455 per week to $913 per week. Currently 19 classified supervisors meet the duties and salary basis test but not the salary level test. Moving these supervisors to a non-exempt status and paying overtime is a challenging variable.

Dr. Holmes will review recommendations and provide a graph with the estimate of increased salaries and costs to the District at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. 

4. Discussion of AIA student Athlete Eligibility
Dr. Hogen led the discussion on AIA student athlete eligibility. He provided several policies from other districts outlining their procedures. The Board asked superintendency and Dr. Hogen to review the time frame of the eligibility/ineligibility for athletes. Their concern is that surrounding district’s review eligibility every two weeks while Mesa reviews every four weeks. Dr. Hogen will revise the Board policy and present to superintendency for review. 

5. Review of Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2015-2016
Mrs. Hovet made a detailed presentation on the Annual Financial Report and gave an Override Update for Fiscal Year 2015 – 2016. She stated that, pursuant to state statue, the Board must approve the financial report each year. She informed the Board that, with their approval of the consent agenda in the regular meeting, they will also be approving the Annual Financial Report.

Mrs. Hovet also presented a detailed summary of override budget expenditures which includes programs and capital improvements. She explained that, pursuant to state statute, the District is required to report on these expenditures between September 1 and October 31. 

6.  Discussion of Peachjar School Flyer Management System
Mrs. Hollands led the discussion on the Peachjar School Flyer Management System. Currently junior highs and high schools only display or don’t accept flyers. Thirteen elementary schools distribute flyers, 41 display, and two do not accept flyers. Peachjar would provide broader access to parents through email, app, and website. It would reduce expenses by eliminating copying, delivery costs, and posting fees. It would also provide easy registration, share-ability on social media, and translation support. Peachjar collects flyers in one easy-access place, sorts them by sponsor (school, PTO, community), and reduces backpack clutter. Mrs. Hollands is suggesting a launch date in early 2017.

REGULAR MEETING

1.  Minutes
On the motion of Mr. Nichols, the Board unanimously approved the minutes of a regular meeting held on September 13, 2016. 

2. Personnel Requests
On the motion of Mr. Smith, the Board unanimously approved the certificated and classified personnel requests, including an addendum.

3. Consent Agenda
On the motion of Mrs. Richardson, the Board unanimously approved the consent agenda according to the recommended action for each item.

4. Superintendent's Report
Opportunity Schools and Lead High collaborative, the event celebrated the District’s success in igniting the potential in underrepresented students and eliminating access gaps to the most rigorous college-ready pathways. Mesa Public Schools is committed to meeting the needs of all students by providing challenging learning opportunities to prepare them for college and future careers.

Josiah Lester, Mesa High School senior and a member of the Navajo Nation, represented the Phoenix Indian Center by participating in a White House gathering to engage in dialogue and provide feedback on creating a strong future for American Indian youth. The event was coordinated by the White House and Native Americans in Philanthropy, and featured innovative, solution-focused initiatives that are making a difference for American Indian youth and communities throughout the country.

Sophomores and juniors will be taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) on Wednesday, October 19. The exam is a key milestone on the path to college and career readiness. The District committed to covering the cost of the test for all sophomores and juniors to help reach the goal of college and career readiness for all students.

School staff and students have been hard at work preparing the fall theatre arts productions. The fall lineup includes:

  • Dobson High School – “One Man, Two Guvnors” on October 26-29
  • Mesa High School – “One Acts” on December 14-16
  • Mountain View High School – “Play On” on November 2-5
  • Red Mountain High School – “Little Shop of Horrors” on November 2-5
  • Skyline High School – “Big Love” on November 2-3
  • Westwood High School – “The Crucible” on October 27-29

The 2016 Latino Youth Conference will be held on Tuesday, October 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Mesa Convention Center. Latino high school students districtwide are invited to participate in a variety of workshops and discussions with community leaders.

The Latino Town Hall, hosted by the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens and Mesa Public Schools, will be held on Saturday, October 22, at the Mesa Arts Center.

Also on Saturday, October 22, the Mesa Arts Center will host the annual Dia de los Muertos Festival from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Students participate in cultural-musical exchanges that bring children together to appreciate traditional music featuring orchestras, specialty groups, duets, and youth mariachi group, Mariachi Sones del Desierto.

The 36th Annual College Fair will be hosted by Mountain View High School on Monday, October 24, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Experts from universities, colleges, technical schools, the military, businesses, and industries will be on hand to help students explore career-path options.

Due to October Break, the next regularly scheduled Board meeting will be held on October 25.

5. Student and Staff Recognitions
Brian Buck, International Baccalaureate history teacher at Westwood High School, was selected as the Arizona 2016 IB Diploma Middle Years Programme Teacher of the Year. Only one teacher in the state is recognized with this distinction annually. Brian received this award for his distinguished teaching performance and fidelity to IB principles and practices.

Althena Le and Nathan Bergman, Westwood High School seniors, were named 2016 Arizona IB Diploma Programme Students of the Year. They were selected for their distinguished academic performance and exemplary fidelity to the IB Learner Profile.

The rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a recognized leader in the field of international education, encouraging students to be active learners, well-rounded individuals, and engaged world citizens.

Jack Mix and Maia Knighton, Mountain View High School seniors, were selected as National Merit semifinalists. Less than one percent of seniors nationwide achieve this honor. Semifinalists are determined based on their performance in comparison to all other PSAT/NMQST test takers in the state. 

6. Volunteer of the Month
On behalf of the Board and administration, Mr. Nichols presented the Volunteer of the Month award for September 2016 to Carol Walton, volunteer at Stevenson Elementary School.

7. Educators and Employees of the Month
On behalf of the Board and administration, Mrs. Richardson presented the Educators and Employee of the Month awards for September 2016 to the following:

Educators of the Month: Dan Hurst, industrial technology teacher, Red Mountain High School; and Sierra Rhinehart, math teacher, Kino Junior High School

Employees of the Month: Gary Darah, night lead custodian, Irving Elementary School; and Carolen Letavec, demonstration health assistant, Health Services 

8. Presentation of MPS Operations Blue Crew
Todd Poer, Director of Operations, made a presentation on the new Operations Blue Crew. The Blue Crew provides a new method of delivery of facilities maintenance. The crew is comprised of seven employees who work 2:30 – 11:00 p.m., outside normal hours of operation, thereby eliminating the disruption of instruction. They travel from school to school, with their new mini-warehouse trailer, blitzing the school and providing preventive maintenance and A+ service. Building administrators will have some input on small projects and may even communicate a “wish list” and will be involved with the entire process.

9. Qualified Evaluators

On the motion of Mr. Nichols, the Board unanimously approved the qualified evaluators for the Mesa Unified School District teacher performance evaluation system for the 2016-2017 school year.

10. Second Hearing
A second hearing on Governing Board Policy GBEA – Use of Physical Force or Restraint for Defense/Protection was held. Dr. Holmes reviewed the changes to this policy.

On the motion of Mrs. Richardson, the Board unanimously approved the changes to Governing Board Policy GBEA. 

11. Video/Call to the Public
This item was not addressed as there were no speakers at this time.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.