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MUSD Governing Board: A lot accomplished in a short time
Monday, February 20, 2012
The Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) Governing Board, had another comparatively brief meeting on February 8, 2012. City Council member Julia Gusse led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and the meeting took off like a two-year-old race horse breaking from a starting gate for the first time. All Governing Board members were present, and attended the work session earlier.
MUSD Board President Scott Bartle did his usual agenda shuffle. He is improving, however – only two items were pulled, the trip for Dessert Wind Middle School’s 8th grade students’ upcoming visit to Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA and the monthly report from the HMA Public Relations group.
Call to the Public
City Council member Julia Gusse, who is also a veteran, told everyone about the program called "Operation Welcome Home." City Council approved the program at the November 1, 2011 meeting. This program, suggested by Councilmember Gusse, will honor members of the military who are returning home to Maricopa from overseas deployment. City staff will plan and conduct four ceremonies each year, working with local veteran organizations. They will seek out family members of these returning members of the Armed Forces to serve as sponsors. Local veteran organizations will also review requests and coordinate attendance at the event. If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, you can reach Councilmember Julia Gusse at (520) 568-6823.
Teachers from Desert Wind Middle School reported they have been selected as a Top 12 School in the “Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest," and have been awarded $70,000 in science equipment for Desert Wind Middle School students. Desert Wind will be prominently featured online for voting in a "People's Choice" category, which could result in being awarded a $100,000 technology grant. Desert Wind Middle School needs the support of Maricopa citizens. You can vote daily for the school. However, you will need to register and confirm your email address before voting. After you have registered, you can vote once per e-mail address per day. The video with the most votes wins the popular vote and receives funds for their school. To vote visit www.maricopausd.org/ DWMS/ or pages.samsung.com/us/sft./video/ index.jsp#top.
If you have questions, can call Desert Wind Middle School at (520) 568-7110 and ask to speak to Principal Joe Veres or Assistant Principal Manny Barajas. You can also ask to speak to Mr. Mike Russoniello or Mr. Willy Lange, the two teachers who worked and helped the students compose videos addressing how to improve the air quality of Maricopa.
MUSD Director of Human Resources Tom Beckett introduced Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ember Conley. Even though Dr. Conley was in San Francisco, California, attending a "Train the Trainers" Workshop, she was able to give her report by speaking to the audience via video on computer. Dr. Conley briefly discussed student discipline procedures, and the MUSD Governing Board voted approval (5-0) of the student expulsions hearing. Hearings will be conducted before a hearing officer selected from a list of officers approved by the Governing Board. Other topics discussed briefly by Dr. Conley were homework policies, the March 1, 2012 Art Walk, and the March 29th Grand Opening of the Performing Arts Center.
Governing Board Members' Activity Reports
Patti Coutre stated she has visited three elementary schools since the last MUSD Board meeting. She visited the kindergarten classroom in each of the three schools.
James Irving also stated he has visited three elementary schools in the past four weeks. He likes to just stop by unannounced and visit with the students.
The newest member of MUSD Board, Leslie Carlyle-Burnett reported she had made her first school visit and found the students, staff, and teachers to be interesting and informative.
Update on National Board Certification Teacher Compensation
Tom Beckett reported that the MUSD has another National Board Certified teacher, bringing the total to four teachers in the district who have National Certification. Margaret Bryant, a third grade teacher at Santa Cruz Elementary School, joined three other MUSD Board Certified teachers and Master Teachers during the Third Annual Celebration of Accomplished Teaching at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown. The event was on February 11, 2012. Bryant received her bachelor degree in history from Arizona State University and her master in education from Northern Arizona University. She is an Arizona native and involved in the Arizona Education Association and Emerald Chariot Literacy Foundation. She has been teaching since 2001 and came to MUSD in 2009. She has also taught second and fifth grades.
In an informational update on National Board Certification Teacher Compensation, Director Beckett gave an update based upon a comparison with a number of other Arizona School Districts. After reviewing the data, Beckett reported the District Administration is satisfied that MUSD is offering a reasonably competitive compensation for the NBC (National Board Certified) teachers. National Board Certification represents the gold standard for teacher excellence in the classroom. Most Arizona teachers who complete this rigorous training receive an annual $2,000 stipend for their accomplishment.
The consent agenda was approved by a vote of 5-0. These items included approval of vouchers, donations, previous minutes of MUSD meetings, and travel. There was discussion about the travel for Desert Wind Middle School 8th graders to Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. This trip is a turnaround trip that would leave May 18, 2012 at 12:30 A.M. and return May 19, 2012 at 7:00 A.M. There will be one certified chaperone per 10 students. A registered nurse will be attending the field trip to help with any student needs that may arise. First Aid kits will be brought in addition to the ones that are on the charter buses. At the conclusion of the trip, students will be able to explain the importance of responsible healthy behavior required for an outdoor school field trip. Students will be able to solve problems involving conversions within the same measurement system. They will be able to understand the relationship between force and motion by calculating the velocity of a roller coaster, and students will also be able to write an essay describing the events based on a personal experience. The students will lose no instructional time. The MUSD Governing Board approved the trip by a vote of 5-0. If you want information about items on the Consent Agenda, the information is available at the District Office upon request.
Closing Consent Agenda
The Personnel Schedule, which includes Resignation, Reclassification, Stipends, and Leave of Absence/FMLA, was approved by the Governing Board by a 5-0 vote. Additional information is available at the District Office upon request.
There was some discussion of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) Marksmanship Program. MUSD Board Vice President Torri Anderson asked if the air rifles will be carried by the participating students on campus. James S. Alonzo, Major, USAF (Ret.) Senior Aerospace Science Instructor (who will be teaching the marksmanship classes) said, "All the rifles that will be used are my personal property and will be kept in a locked cabinet in a secure storage area. For practice, the rifles will be transported to and from their practice site under the direct supervision of myself and/or Master Sergent Gregory. Only approved ROTC students will be participating in the program and will be using the rifles provided by myself. It is not allowed for any ROTC student to bring their own rifle to school." After Major Alonzo’s statement, a motion was made and seconded for approval of the AFJROTC Marksmanship Program.
The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
The February 8, 2012 meeting was adjourned at 6:50 P. M. The next meeting of the MUSD Governing Board will be on Wednesday, February 22, 2012, at 6:00 P.M. The meeting will be in the District Office Administration Building Board Room located at 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. You can call the District office at (520) 568-5100 for additional information.
Future items for the February 22 meeting that are listed on the February 8 agenda are:
Note: Superintendent Kleck has been conspicuously absent from recent MUSD Governing Board meetings. This leads one to wonder: Will Superintendent Kleck will be at the next meeting to give information and updates? Will Superintendent Kleck ever appear again at an MUSD Governing Board meeting?
- Principal and Teacher Evaluations
- Mid-Year Data Review
Marilyn Netoskie / CopaNews.com
Board President Scott Bartle is shown here checking the agenda prior to the meeting.