Employee newsletter, March 16, 2022

Upcoming events

Apply for a $1,000 grant from the state

The Arizona Department of Education is providing $1,000 for eligible PreK-12 educator DonorsChoose projects in response to COVID-19. To apply, create a project on DonorsChoose.org using the campaign code ARIZONA. Ensure your project describes how the request helps students after the pandemic's impact on learning. While funds last, eligible approved projects will see the funding automatically applied. Hurry! Funding is limited, so apply as soon as possible. The funding is available for one project per educator.

Upcoming Teacher-In-Residence program orientations

Rio Salado College is offering four virtual orientations to learn about Teacher-In-Residence program requirements, expectations and support, and the registration process. Interested in this cost-effective program, where students and working professionals with a bachelor's degree can transition into a K-12 teaching career? Learn more and register on the Rio Salado College website.

Preschool registration is now open

Have a little one or know someone looking for a great preschool? The Mesa Public Schools preschool lottery is now open. Apply by March 20 at mpsaz.org/kinderu to learn about available options.

Medical Leave Bank enrollment opens April 1

Enrollment to the Medical Leave Bank is open April 1-May 15 to current employees who qualify to earn sick leave per board policy GBBD-R(2). Members of the bank may request up to 20 working days per fiscal year for prolonged illness or injury.

An employee who enrolls in the Medical Leave Bank must voluntarily agree to contribute one day of unused sick leave to the bank every fiscal year. The employee also agrees to contribute a second sick leave day in any given year if the bank is depleted. Donated days are not returnable. Learn more at mpsaz.org/benefits.

Review board policies on staff conflict of interest

All employees are expected to perform their responsibilities diligently, legally, honestly, and with loyalty and fidelity to the district. Governing Board policy GBCA and its regulations 1 and 2 outline staff conflict of interest. More information can also be found on page 10 of the employee handbook.

Mesa Public Schools in the news

Mesa Tribune included a feature about Skyline High baseball coach Brian Gregory. 

The Mesa High orchestra and director Gregory Nichols were featured in a local Kentucky news story during a recent trip, where they collaborated with alumna and recording artist Julianna Waller. 

Kino Junior High's Nancy Parra-Quinlan, 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year, was featured in an article from Grand Canyon University.

The district's food & nutrition department was featured in an article about National School Breakfast Week on the Arizona Education News website.

Mountain View High history teacher Katherine Thrailkill spoke to azfamily about addressing current events, including the conflict in Ukraine, with students. 

The March issues of UpClose and Ranchers' Roundup featured an article about the value of certified teachers leading learning at Mesa Public Schools. 

View our 2021-22 archive of media coverage.

Cue the applause

Governor Doug Ducey proclaimed March as Arizona Purchasing Month, recognizing purchasing and supply management professionals across the state. Our district purchasing team comprises eight buyers and eight assistants, who have a combined total of 274.5 years at Mesa Public Schools. This hardworking team manages an average of 13,000 purchase orders a year, totaling approximately $250 million dollars. With ESSER funds, this year's total is even higher. Thanks to director Michelle Hamilton and her team for keeping our district running smoothly.

Send your news to:

Heidi Hurst, communications & engagement director

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