HIGHLIGHTS
OF THE GOVERNING BOARD MEETING
OF THE MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 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 the Governing Board Calendar
The Board briefly reviewed its calendar through January 2017.

3. Discussion on Additional Compensation for Translation/interpretation Services
Dr. Holmes led the discussion on additional compensation for translation and interpretation services. He stated that individuals who serve as translators and interpreters will be identified at each school to receive additional compensation. Both certificated and classified personnel will be eligible for this compensation. Dr. Holmes is working closely with Mr. Tom Pickrell, General Counsel, to work on policies relating to this issue. A first hearing will be placed on the next regularly scheduled Board agenda and a second hearing and request for approval will be included on the December 13, Board agenda.

4. Discussion on Proposed Bond Projects for 2017-2018
Mrs. Sylvester-McCarroll led the discussion on proposed bond projects for the 2017 – 2018 school year. The District has the capacity to sell $35 million worth of bonds in March from the 2012 voter-approved authority of $230 million. The $35 million is recommended to be appropriated as follows:

  • $5 for technology
  • $8 million for security/other
  • $22 million for construction projects.

Mrs. Sylvester-McCarroll provided a comprehensive list that was gathered by the New Construction and Maintenance departments identifying 465 needs within the District. With the availability of $22 million for this year from bonding and another $1.3 million from other funds, 158 projects have been identified for completion. Priority was given to the top ten oldest and highest poverty elementary schools as well as the completion of Dobson and Westwood high schools’ renovations. 

5. Updates from Board Members/Superintendents
Mrs. Sylvester-McCarroll provided a brief update on the Operations Department “We Care Program.”

Dr. Cowan shared his experience at the League of Innovative Schools Conference in Baltimore, MD, last week.

Dr. Holmes shared the District’s efforts in recruiting and retaining staff.

Mrs. Hollands shared the “By the Numbers” District highlights for the 2015 – 2016 school year. 

REGULAR MEETING

1. Minutes
On the motion of Mr. Nichols, the Board approved the minutes of a regular meeting held on October 25, 2016. Dr. Whiting abstained as he was not present at the meeting. 

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 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: 

Last week, Dr. Cowan spent several days in Baltimore collaborating with colleagues from access the nation at Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools fall meeting. The days were packed with opportunities and information to help close the digital learning gap.

Later in the meeting, the Board will acknowledge the efforts of educators, education support professionals, substitute teachers, and parents through a proclamation recognizing November 14 – 18 as American Education Week.

Jefferson Elementary School recently hosted a site visit for AVID district leaders from across the western United States. Representatives spent the day learning about AVID implementation, observed strategies in use, and discussed successful schoolwide implementation. This is Jefferson’s first year as an AVID National Showcase School.

Students from across the District participated in Read for the Record’s literacy campaign. Guest readers delighted them with “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich” by Julia Sarcone Roach. Read for the Record is sponsored by Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation and celebrates the joy of reading and the impact of national service in our country.

This Friday, schools and District offices will be closed to celebrate Veterans Day to honor the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces. The Dobson, Mesa, Mountain View, and Westwood high school marching bands will participate in the East Valley Veterans Parade.

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

  • Rachel Barney – Johnson Elementary School
  • Rhiannon Gore – Lincoln Elementary School
  • Maggie Moore – O’Connor Elementary School
  • Ali Estrada – Pomeroy Elementary School
  • Zitali Castro Saldivar – Stevenson Elementary School
  • Cicily Watkins – Zaharis 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. Proclamation
On behalf of the Board, Mrs. Richardson read a proclamation in recognition of November 14 – 18, 2016, as American Education Week; November 15, as Parents Day; November 16, as Education Support Professionals Day; November 17, as Educator for a Day; and November 18, as Substitute Teachers Day.

On the motion of Mr. Nichols, the Board unanimously approved the American Education Week Proclamation. 

The meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.