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MUSD Board - the news is 'fantastic'
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) Governing Board had a productive, positive, and informative meeting on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. All five members of the MUSD Governing Board were present and Governing Board President Scott Bartle pulled only one item from the agenda, which was expense voucher #1234 in the consent agenda section. This item was later discussed and approved in a 4-0 vote with Bartle abstaining from voting.
Before the Governing Board meeting began, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Conley said, "Our police department is amazing. I see a new level of no tolerance that is washing over the community, and part of this is due to the quick work of our police department. It sets the tone for how serious we are in protecting our students and buildings."
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Conley was all smiles as she began the Superintendent's report by announcing she had "fantastic news" to share with everyone. "Today the Samsung Company announced the top five schools in their Solve for Tomorrow's Competition. I am so very happy to tell you, our own Desert Wind Middle School placed in the top five of over 1,300 schools in the nation. This means Desert Wind Middle School will receive a $100,000 technology grant, plus a trip to Washington D.C. for some of the students and teachers who worked on the project."
Desert Wind Middle School previously won a $70,000 grant when they received news they had placed in the top 12 of the competing schools, and then they won a new Samsung computer and software when they were notified they had placed in the top 25 schools in the competition.
Editor’s Note: The Communicator and CopaNews.com congratulate Desert Wind Middle School, the students, teachers, and staff who worked together to make a dream become a reality, win a $100,000 technology grant, be recognized as one of the top five schools in the Solve for Tomorrow's competition, and win a trip to Washington, D.C. The Communicator is proud of your success and the positive image you project to the nation.
More "fantastic news"
Deputy Superintendent Conley continued, "I have also received news the state will announce and finalize in June, a 400% increase in Title One money, based on the 2010 census. This is not state but federal money, and the total could be somewhere between $750,000 and $1,250,000, to add to our budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. This money is allocated to MUSD because we have almost 6,000 students enrolled now compared to the 1,000 students enrolled when they took the previous census."
MUSD Business Director Aron Rausch told the Governing Board about additional funding becoming available from Proposition 301 money. Rausch said, "This was a voter approved action which allows the money to be used for teacher pay raises, or lower class sizes, or even distribute as performance pay for teachers. This funding is presently being evaluated by the Arizona Department of Education and will probably undergo an adjustment."
Deputy Conley added, "Between the number of staff that are leaving or retiring, we may be able to avoid any reductions in force (RIF) this coming school year. Through attrition, not RIF, we may not have to cut any staff positions. It really looks positive. I see more programs beginning to be maintained, instead of eliminated. But all of this funding depends upon when the state and federal government dispenses the money. Nothing is certain until the check is in the bank."
The MUSD Governing Board approved the $10,000 donation from the Church of Celebration to Maricopa High School. "We wish we could give more," said Pastor Josh Barrett. "We wanted to find a dollar amount that would be helpful. The money is only earmarked for Maricopa High School, not for anything else." MHS Principal June Celaya said the school will use the money to impact as many students as possible. MUSD Board President Scott Bartle thanked the Church of Celebration for their generous gift and said the District is most appreciative of their donation.
The Governing Board approved the other Expense and Payroll Vouchers and Donations listed on the Consent Agenda. Information on these items is available at the District Office upon request.
More "good" news
The Call to the Public section of the MUSD Governing Board meeting was another “good news” happening. Maricopa citizen Edward McChetle went to the podium to publicly thank MHS Principal June Celeya. "Two years ago, I met with Principal Celeya and told her and her staff, I was critical of some programs at Maricopa High School. I felt some of the classes and teachers were not meeting the needs of my two sons. We had a long talk and worked together to form a plan of what needed to be done. I want the Governing Board and everyone here tonight to know my sons graduated on June 24. It was the proudest day of my life. Principal Celeya was very supportive, and she saw that the needs of my two sons in their IEP (Individual Educational Program) were met. Since then, one of my sons passed every exam he took for entrance to college, and my other son passed most of his exams. I just want to say ‘thank you, Maricopa High School and Principal Celeya. Thanks to the School Board and the administration.’ My sons have graduated and we are all very happy and proud." As he walked back to his seat, Mr. McChetle received a standing ovation from everyone in the Board Room, including the Board members.
Closing Consent Agenda
The MUSD Governing Board approved Action Item F, which stated the Governing Board would discuss and approve the Personnel Schedule, which includes Resignation, Reclassification, Stipends, New Position Request, Employment/Ratification, and Leave of Absence/FLMA by a vote of 5-0.
The Governing Board discussed and approved Expense Voucher 1235 for $855.78 by a vote of 4-0 with Bartle abstaining from voting.
The Board discussed and approved the Annual Financial Report Revision by a vote of 5-0.
The MUSD Board discussed and approved the School Resource Officer Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Maricopa by a vote of 5-0. The School Resource Officer (SRO) is to be placed at Maricopa High School. An MHS administrator and a member of the Maricopa Police Department will both evaluate the performance of the SRO annually. The SRO will assist the school staff with instruction of law-related education, make formal and informal contact with students, assist with developing programs to control truancy, identify students who may be under the influence, and prohibit students from bringing weapons on campus. The School Resource Officer should relate with students as a role model and help instill a sense of security and self-esteem in a positive way. The Governing Board discussed the salary of the SRO to be paid by both the MUSD and the City. It was decided the MUSD will not be paying the salary for the SRO during the months of June and July because school is not in session. The rest of the year the salary will be evenly split between the city and MUSD.
The Governing Board approved by a vote of 5-0 to have a Special Study Session to review and discuss Governing Board Goals on Wednesday, April 4, 2012.
Behind closed doors
As a fat person on a diet misses their favorite desert, the MUSD Governing Board just had to go back to executive session and meet behind closed doors. On the agenda, three items were listed for discussion or consultation in Executive Session.
The first item concerned the MUSD Governing Board receiving legal advice from its attorney Jill Osbourne, relating to the Superintendent's contract that is the subject of negotiations. One wonders if that is Superintendent Kleck. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Conley? Or the new Superintendent who is supposed to be on the job July first? Or maybe all three?
The second executive item was to receive legal advice from the Governing Board’s attorney relating to pending or contemplated litigation, or in settlement discussions conducted to avoid or resolve litigation. One wonders who the MUSD wants to avoid or resolve litigation with.
The third executive item was to allow the board to convene an executive session for discussion or consideration of employment, assignment, or appointment of Deputy Superintendent. Isn't one Deputy Superintendent (Dr. Conley) or even two Deputy Superintendents (Dr. Conley and Mr. Kleck) enough? Remember Jeff Kleck, the Superintendent we used to see? Maybe Kleck is still the Superintendent -- we just haven't seen him in five months.
The next regular meeting of the MUSD Governing Board will be on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 6:00 P.M. The meeting will be at the District Office Administration Office Board Room located at 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy. You can call the District office at (520) 568-5100 for an agenda and/or more information.
Marilyn Netoskie / CopaNews.com
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ember Conley was pleased to deliver good news.