Employee newsletter, Jan. 5, 2022

Upcoming events

Welcome back

We hope you had a restful and rejuvenating winter break. If you haven't already, please review the updated COVID-19 district guidelines.

School Board Recognition Month

January is School Board Recognition Month. We join districts across the country in honoring the contributions of these advocates for our schools, students and community. Mesa Public Schools Governing Board members are elected and serve four-year terms without pay. Learn more about our five Governing Board members.

Health Office Appreciation Day

Wednesday, Jan. 26, is Health Office Appreciation Day in Mesa Public Schools. We are grateful for our school nurses, health assistants and health services team who are passionate about keeping students and staff healthy.

Zaharis Literacy Conference

The Zaharis Literacy Conference is Saturday, Feb. 5. Enjoy a full day of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, panel discussions and more. Catered lunch and six recertification hours are also included in the registration fee. Learn more and register online at mpsaz.org/zaharis.

Text messages are a great way to receive important news and updates from the district. To opt in to receiving texts, text YES to 67587.  To successfully receive text messages, your cell phone number must be on file in the iVisions employee self-service web portal. Access the portal using your active directory login information.  Need to update your iVisions password? Call the help desk at 480-472-0044. Passwords cannot be reset via email.Opt in to texting

Text messages are a great way to receive important news and updates from the district. To opt in to receiving texts, text YES to 67587.

To successfully receive text messages, your cell phone number must be on file in the iVisions employee self-service web portal. Access the portal using your active directory login information.

Need to update your iVisions password? Call the help desk at 480-472-0044. Passwords cannot be reset via email.

Employee wellness opportunities

The district benefits and wellness teams provide a variety of opportunities and programs to support employee well-being. Find upcoming offerings below, and learn more at mpsaz.org/benefits.

Uprise Health — New name, same great benefits. IBH is now officially Uprise Health. Employees and their dependents will continue to receive eight counseling sessions at no cost. The confidential counseling sessions are available in person, or via video or telephone. Uprise Health also provides resources including financial help, legal services, and child and parenting support. Call 1-800-395-1616 or visit uprisehealth.com/members and enter access code MESAUSD to see all resources.

2022 Lose and Win — The annual weight loss challenge is back. Join this friendly competition between the district sites to lose and win. Weigh in by Friday, Jan. 7, to participate. Find a weigh-in location near you.

Building Healthy Habits challenge — Join your colleagues for the fourth annual Move it Maricopa challenge. Stay active and healthy, and have fun along the way. Learn how to build and maintain wellness habits including healthy eating, a consistent exercise regimen and daily self-care. Compete against other organizations in our area. Learn more.

Virtual healthier living workshop — Starting Jan. 25, Dignity Health will offer a free six-week workshop series for adults with diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD, arthritis, asthma or any other chronic health condition. The workshop is also great for anyone interested in improving their overall health and well-being. Learn more and register on the wellness website.

Salary and benefits talks have begun

Governing Board and employee association representatives have begun talks on district salaries and benefits. All meetings are open to employees and the public.

Find the complete meeting schedule on the HR website.

Retiring or resigning at the end of the year?

If you're planning on retiring at the end of your contract this year, please be aware of the following district deadlines. By turning in your written notice to HR on or before these deadlines, you can maximize your reimbursement for unused sick leave. Employees with less than five years of service at the end of employment are not eligible for reimbursement of unused sick leave.

  • Certified staff and administrators: March 1
  • Classified staff (non-supervisor): 30 days prior to retirement date
  • Classified supervisors: 60 days prior to retirement date

Retirement or resignation letters* should include the following:

  • Last day of work
  • Whether it is a retirement or resignation
  • Your signature
  • Letters should be given to your immediate supervisor and a copy sent to HR

*Instead of writing a letter, you may use a form for classified or certified staff.

Mesa Public Schools in the news

FOX10 highlighted an 11-year-old student who will graduate from Skyline High this spring.

KJZZ featured Westwood High's ninth-grade teams initiative.

The December issues of Up Close and Ranchers' RoundUp included an article about keeping young learners engaged over winter break. 

View our 2021-22 archive of media coverage.

Cue the applause

Portrait photo of Allison Zingale in her classroomCongratulations to Superintendent Andi Fourlis, who was named a Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association. Dr. Fourlis was recognized for her innovative and effective use of technology to engage and inform the school community, and to expand two-way communication and outreach efforts. Only 19 superintendents across the nation received the award.

Three district educators were recognized at Arizona Department of Education's HOPE (Helping Our Unique Populations Excel) Conference. Mountain View High's Michelle Disbrow, Rhodes Junior High's James Murray and Eisenhower Center for Innovation's Allison Zingale (pictured) were recognized for their outstanding dedication to and teaching of English learners at their sites.

Mesa Public Schools received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The district earned the award for its comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal year 2020.

Westwood High was named a winner of the D-backs School Challenge presented by the University of Phoenix. The school will receive $5,000 for Science is Fun Club equipment.

 

Send your news to:

Heidi Hurst, communications & engagement director

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