HIGHLIGHTS
OF THE GOVERNING BOARD MEETING
OF THE MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2016
MESA PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULUM SERVICES CENTER
BUILDING 2
549 N. Stapley, Mesa, AZ

EXECUTIVE SESSION

1. On the motion of Mr. Nichols, the Board agreed to enter executive session at 5:01 p.m., pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03.A.01, Discussion of Dismissal of Classified Employee.

The executive session ended at 5:12 p.m

STUDY SESSION

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

2. Review of Governing Board Calendar
The Board briefly reviewed its calendar through January 2017.

3.  Update on On Bond Program
Mrs. Sylvester-McCarroll gave a brief update on the bond program. Per state statute, each school district that issues bonds is required to hold a public meeting to provide an update of the progress of capital improvements financed through bonding. The original bond authority was for $230 million (2012). Sales are as follows:

  1. First Sale - $46 million in April 2013
  2. Second Sale - $50 million in April 2014
  3. Third Sale - $35 million in April 2015
  4. Fourth Sale - $35 million in April 2016

Mrs. Sylvester-McCarroll provided an overview of the purchases and technology upgrades made with these funds.

The Board is asking that a community group be established to provide input on the 2018 bond renewal. 

4. Update on Initial Administration of the STARS Assessments
Superintendency and District staff provided an update on the administration of the STARS assessments. Mrs. Richardson shared some concerns expressed by teachers and administrators. Dr. O’Reilly stated that this is the first year of the STARS assessments and a survey will be administered to receive input from teachers. The feedback will be used to adjust and monitor the assessments in future years. Dr. Foley stated that the assessment provides instantaneous and formative feedback to teachers to use in their teaching. Staff will provide the results of the survey within their weekly status reports to the Board. 

5. Discussion of Exempt Employees
Dr. Holmes provided information on exempt employees and the recommendations to adjust the salaries of classified supervisors as per the Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act requirements. 

Dr. Holmes reviewed recommendations and provided a graph with the estimated increased salaries and costs to the District. Additional compensation for administrative exempt employees and the distribution of funds in relationship to all employees is basically the same as the current model. The total cost to the District is $270,000. This item will be placed on the November 22, 2016, Board meeting agenda for approval. Policies relating to this item will also need adjustments and Board approval.

6. Presentation on Consolari Project
Senator Bob Worsley and his wife Christi made a presentation on the Consolari Project. Consolari would provide a campus for music performance and education. It would be adjacent to the Mesa Arts Center and would help anchor a vibrant arts corridor that will be a rich cultural destination for area residents and tourists. An arts school is also included in the Project proposal. It proposes that Mesa Public Schools and Arizona State University work together to bring a Herberger school to downtown Mesa. 

7. Updates from Board Members/Superintendents
This item was not addressed.

REGULAR MEETING

1. Minutes
On the motion of Mr. Nichols, the Board unanimously approved the minutes of a regular meeting held on September 27, 2016.

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

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

4. Superintendent's Report
Dr. Cowan reported on the following:

On Tuesday, November 8, our community has the opportunity and responsibility to weigh in on an important decision that will affect the future of Mesa Schools. In addition to the presidential, state, and local elections, three Governing Board seats will be determined.

Elaine Veatch, Longfellow Elementary School fifth grade teacher, was named a 2017 Arizona Teacher of the Year semifinalist by the Arizona Educational Foundation. Elaine is a product of Mesa Public Schools, has worked as a professional educator for 22 years, and currently is a candidate for her National Board Certification in literacy.

Gina Nuñez, Jefferson Elementary School first grade teacher, is one of four outstanding Arizona Latino educators who was named an Esperanza Latino Teacher of the Year by Chicanos Por La Causa. This award recognizes Latino educators for their impact on future generations.

Jeannine Kuropatkin, social studies teacher, formerly at Rhodes Junior High School and currently at Red Mountain High School, joined her colleagues from Rhodes Junior High School: Alexis Dopudja, math teacher; Amethyst Hinton Sainz, English teacher; Janet Kovach, math teacher; and Allison McIntosh, science teacher; for an intense summer institute sponsored by the Arizona Geographic Alliance. The hands-on training incorporated geographic content and experiential learning in the STEMSS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Social Studies) fields of earth and space sciences, geospatial technology, mathematics, and natural disaster preparedness and sustainability, with an emphasis on implementing and disseminating STEMSS lessons at their schools.

Jeannine is currently refining her STEMSS lesson on the top-secret “World War II Manhattan Project.” Once her lesson is vetted, critiqued and edited, it will be published on the Arizona Geographic Alliance’s website.

Briton Tarter, Mesa High School industrial technology teacher, enlisted the help of the Link Crew and the talent of senior Bryce Brown to produce a video that was selected as a 2016 PBISAz Film Festival winner. The video was featured at the Behavior Education Technology Conference. The Mesa High team identified campus behavioral situations that needed to be addressed and used the M.E.S.A. matrix to model appropriate behaviors in the video.

Tyson Henry, Mountain View High School senior, traveled to the Pentagon to receive the Fulcrum Shield Award on behalf of the East Valley Young Marines, recognizing the group for its youth-based drug demand reduction program. This award is given annually by the Department of Defense during Red Ribbon Week to recognize military-affiliated youth organizations around the world that have made significant efforts in sharing anti-drug messages in their communities. The East Valley Young Marines is part of a national organization for youth ages 8 to 18 who educate individuals on the dangers of gateway drugs. The group partnered with the Mesa Police Department for training, and developed a relationship with the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley and of Greater Scottsdale. Their outreach presentations touched more than 43,500 children, teens, and adults.

October is manufacturing month and more than 2,000 Manufacturing Day events take place across the country, educating communities about the career options available in manufacturing. Westwood High School kicked off the month by celebrating the opening of its Career and Technical Education (CTE) manufacturing plant. The facility was built to bring businesses, industry, and education together to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Earlier today, CTE hosted the third annual Manufacturing Day at the Mesa Arts Center. Junior high engineering and industrial technology students participated in this event designed to pique their interest in the manufacturing field and allow them to explore continuing education opportunities. Students were able to speak directly with a variety of industry professionals as part of the activities.

Students from nine elementary schools joined other students from around the world to celebrate International Walk and Bike to School Day. Crismon, Hermosa Vista, Jefferson, Lincoln, Longfellow, Lowell, Pomeroy, Sousa, and Zaharis elementary schools participated in this event sponsored by the City of Mesa, which raises awareness about walking and bike safety while increasing physical activity.

The fall issue of our national award-winning magazine, Achieve, was just released and delivered to home mailboxes.  

5. Students of the Month
On behalf of the Board and administration, school staff presented Student of the Month awards for October 2016, to the following for their accomplishments:

  • Karina Muñoz Vega – Kino Junior High School
  • Jeremiah Castro – Smith Junior High School
  • Porter Jefferies – Emerson Elementary School
  • Mia DiCristofaro – Las Sendas Elementary School
  • Chantal Saldana – Longfellow Elementary School
  • Vincent Helsel – Wilson Elementary School

Each student received a plaque from the District displaying their award certificate, and a $25 Amazon gift card provided by the Mesa Foundation for Educational Excellence. 

6. Presentation on the Career and Technical Education Tech Squad
Marlo Loria, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director, made a presentation on the CTE Tech Squad. CTE offers a variety of programs. Computer maintenance is a CTE offering that feeds into the tech squad program. Students must take computer maintenance and advanced computer maintenance classes, as well as provide a recommendation from their teacher to apply for a position as a tech squad member at their school. Members assist with troubleshooting and repair of computers as well as technology issues on campus. CTE, in partnership with the Information Systems (IS) Department, provide internship opportunities for students. Over 30 students participated in an internship over the summer and worked on all the campuses while paired up with an IS supervisor. Tech squad members completed over 1,500 work orders. A few members now work 29 hours or less with the IS department and continue honing their computer maintenance skills. Computer maintenance is where students are learning the skills. Tech squad is where they are getting real world experience and applying them on their home campus and throughout the District.

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

The meeting adjourned at 8:01 p.m.