Employee newsletter, August 18, 2021

Upcoming events

Wanted: enthusiastic supporters for United Way campaign

Do you enjoy helping others and giving back to our community? If so, we need your help! We want YOU to be a community connector for this year's United Way campaign.

We're looking for two people from each school and department to design and conduct their site's United Way campaign, raising money that helps our own students. We'll give you tools and ideas, and offer you all the support you need. You'll be asked to attend a one-hour pre-campaign training session later this month.

To become a community connector, please contact Lise Turner at 480-472-0223 no later than Friday, Aug. 20. She will tell you if your site needs a community connector and can sign you up for a training session. Thank you for caring about our community.

Win prizes in the MPS Trip Reduction Program

Save on fuel and vehicle maintenance, minimize air pollution and win prizes through the district's Trip Reduction Program. Mandated by Maricopa County, the Trip Reduction Program promotes teleworking, carpooling, taking the bus, walking or biking to work. You will automatically be entered in a prize drawing when you join and track your alternate transportation to and from work at least two days each month. Thank you for doing your part to help clean the valley's air. For more information about the program, contact communications & engagement at 480-472-0223.

Remember to sign the annual employee forms from human resources

The Annual Statement of Understanding, Statement of Awareness and Addendum, Disability Statement of Awareness, and COVID-19 Employee Acknowledgement and Disclosure forms are now published through the TalentEd/Records platform. Please log in to review and submit your electronic signature. Look for an email with "MPS Annual Statement of Understanding, Statement of Awareness . . ." in the subject line that will contain a link to the login page. For classified employees, a Spanish translation can be viewed by scrolling past the English forms. Sign electronically at the end of each form.

If at login you are not in the Records platform, click on the checkerboard in the upper right corner and select Records to get to My Tasks.

Review board policies on employee misconduct

Governing Board policies GCPD and GDPD refer to employee misconduct and procedures for administering appropriate discipline to staff engaged in misconduct. Action ranges from a written warning or letter of reprimand to dismissal. Find more information on P. 11 of the employee handbook.

Grant and freebie opportunities

Logo for Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program

Arizona State University is giving away back-to-school packs for alumni educators. Learn more and request a pack through Sept. 15.

Applications have opened for the 2021 Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program. Apply now for a $2,500 grant. The application period closes 5 p.m. Sept. 24. 

Pets in the Classroom is a grant program that provides financial support to teachers to purchase and maintain small animals in the classroom. Learn more and apply online.

Next week is Welcome Week at DonorsChoose.org. Teachers who create their first project will receive an automatic $50 donation toward their project. Returning teachers can receive an automatic $25 donation when they refer another teacher.

Plan for retirement

Is retirement on your horizon? You may want to attend one of the webinars offered by Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS). Registration is available on their Member Education webpage.

  • The Route 3: Destination in Sight webinar is for members who are within three years of retirement. Learn about your pension benefit and annuity options, along with a helpful segment on "Can you afford to retire?" to help you better prepare for the next step in your journey.
  • The Route 4: Next Exit - Retirement webinar is for those six months to a year from retirement. Learn about your annuity and health insurance options, and how to retire. Attendees receive a customized benefit estimate.

Employees hired to work at least 20 weeks and at least 20 hours per week are required to enroll in ASRS. Contributions are set up automatically through payroll deduction for eligible employees.

It is important to establish an online ASRS account to ensure your contributions are correctly posted. Enrollees can review account statements, use benefit estimation tools and manage beneficiary information. Visit the ASRS resource page to learn more and build your retirement timeline.

Questions? Contact Deb Herman in human resources at 480-472-0404.

Mesa Public Schools in the news

Franklin East Elementary music teacher Cory Trout was featured in an azfamily segment promoting the Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers program.

12News featured the Pawsitive Peers program in a recent segment filmed at Rhodes Junior High.

azfamily interviewed director Jen Echols and sixth-grade teacher Kim Prock in a story about Mesa Virtual Campus.

Elementary Area Assistant Superintendents Arlinda Mann and Monica Mesa appeared on a Univision Facebook Live program to discuss back-to-school and general district information.

Dr. Randy Mahlerwein, assistant superintendent of secondary schools, appeared on the Getting Unstuck - Educators Leading Change podcast

Watch videos about the district's preschool furniture update and first week of school

View our 2021-22 archive of media coverage.

Cue the applause

Superintendent Andi Fourlis has been named a 2021 Leader of the Year by Arizona Capitol Times. Dr. Fourlis will be honored at an awards ceremony in September and featured in a special edition of Arizona Capitol Times.

Eisenhower Center for Innovation and Stevenson Elementary received Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants to support after-school programs on site. The schools have partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley to provide enriching and supportive after-school opportunities.

View the August 10 Celebrating Success video.


Send your news to:

Heidi Hurst, communications & engagement director

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