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RHS quartet sets the tone at recent school board meeting
RHS quartet sets the tone at recent school board meeting
Posted on 06/21/2017
RHS quartet

District Highlights

The school board meeting was opened with a performance by a unique group of musicians from Rogers High School. Members of the small men’s ensemble called “The Four Horsemen” included Nathanael Atkins, Caleb Johnson, Saige Maiava, and Tyler Ward. The group recently placed 2nd in state at the solo and ensemble contest at Central Washington University.

Kerry and GeraldDirectors then recognized Kerry Sawyer, owner of Toyota of Puyallup (pictured with Chief Equity and Achievement Officer Gerald Denman), for a new scholarship program supporting seniors at each of the district’s high schools including Emerald Ridge, Puyallup, Rogers, and Walker.

The Toyota of Puyallup A.V.I.D. Inspirational Scholarship recognizes students who inspire others through their leadership and strength of character. 

Advancement Via Individual Determination (A.V.I.D.) is a secondary elective class designed for all students. The purpose of this scholarship is to reward A.V.I.D. students who demonstrate personal and community responsibility and will use those qualities to inspire others.

Two thousand dollars have been awarded at each high school for a total of $8,000 of support for Puyallup students.

Recently, students were made aware of their scholarship during awards ceremonies. Students earning the Toyota of Puyallup A.V.I.D. Inspirational Scholarship include:       

Brianna Armenta, Rogers HS      

Sandra Diaz, Emerald Ridge HS

Marguarita Daisy Gonzales, Puyallup HS         

Liadela Valencia-Moran, Walker HS

Kramer with DaneDirectors also thanked Gateway realtor Kramer Smith (pictured with President Looker) for his financial support of Puyallup students. Mr. Smith a product of the Puyallup School District and lives in the area with his family. Recently he started a new program in an effort to give back to the schools in which he grew up.

For each closed sale of a house within a school’s attendance area, if the buyer or seller is a parent or district staff member, Mr. Smith gives $500 to the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

Thus far Woodland, Stewart, and Spinning have received checks thanks to this program.

Directors then honored Pierce County Sheriff Deputies Jeff Papen and Gregory Marty. As School Resource Officers in the Puyallup School District for several years these men have worked hard to build the capacity of students and staff to understand and apply best and current practices in safety and security.

Papen with CharDeputy Marty was not present, but Director of Student Services Char Krause thanked Deputy Papen in person (pictured). “Deputy Papen has never lost sight of the big picture of service to others and the importance of building trust and relationship,” said Kraus. She then presented him with a plaque in appreciation.

retireesFinally, directors had the chance to recognize some of the 53 staff members retiring from the Puyallup School District. With a combined total of more than 1,250 years of service to the district, the retirees include teachers, librarians, specialists, paraeducators, business services staff, office personnel, bus drivers, mechanics, operations staff and custodians, maintenance, and special services employees.

District administrators crafted brief biographies for each retiree and read them aloud in honor of each. Afterwards, retirees were thanked with a handshake from each director and received a yellow rose.

A reception followed in the Edgemont Junior High commons.

Public Hearing on Surplus Properties

The Board of Directors held a public hearing on the sale of a property known as the “Lidford property.” Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello reported the many efforts made to communicate the possibility of selling district-owned properties. An advertisement was made in the Tacoma News Tribune newspaper, as required by law, indicating that the board of directors would be holding a hearing to take public comment regarding surplus property and the sale of such properties.

The public notice began a 45-day waiting period as outlined in RCW 28A.335.120 which gives the directors of the board the authority to declare the property as no longer required for school purposes.

Public notice

Action Taken

Following the public hearing directors approved a resolution to authorize the sale of the Lidford property.

In other business the board:

  • Approved the recommendation of Core Instructional Materials for Advanced Placement Capstone Seminar courses offered at Puyallup High School beginning in fall of 2017.
  • Approved educational specifications for secondary school construction.
  • Accepted a donation of $18,500 from the Ridgecrest Elementary PTA which will contribute to the purchase and installation of an electronic reader board.
  • Approved the superintendent’s 2016-2017 evaluation and renewed his contract covering 2017-2020.

Board Policy Updates

Directors were presented with a second reading of school board policies which have been revised due to legislative changes, suggestions by the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), or to implement district efficiencies and effective use of available resources. These policies include:

Policy 2151 - Interscholastic Athletics & Activities Eligibility

Policy 4260 - Use of School Facilities

Policy 6540 - School District Responsibility for Privately Owned Property

Policy 6920 - Construction Design

Policy 6950 - Contractor Assurances, Surety Bonds, and Insurance

Assistant Superintendent Casey Cox provided directors with a brief overview of the changes being recommended.

Following discussion among directors, all policies were approved. Directors asked Superintendent Yeomans to provide directors with a fee schedule recommendation for review at the next regularly scheduled board meeting on July 10, 2017 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Education Services Center (ESC) located at 302 2nd Street SE, Puyallup.

High School Accreditation

Chief Academic Officer for Regional Learning Community I Brian Lowney reported that all four high schools, including Emerald Ridge, Puyallup, Rogers, and Walker, have passed accreditation.

Washington State school accreditation began to ensure that the state’s high schools were adequately preparing students for college. Accreditation is intended to document high program quality for colleges and for the students and families.

In Washington, the State Board of Education establishes accreditation procedures for schools. Schools voluntarily seek accreditation through the Association of Educational Service Districts.

The accreditation process supports a long-term vision for a performance-based educational system that aligns accreditation requirements to the continuous improvement of student learning, achievement and growth. The process provides for collaboration and deep reflection by the school community, for external review and validation of the school improvement plan, and the process that led to its development. It also provides a statement of accountability to the public. Accreditation status is granted for a period of six years if approved.

Spanish Dual Language Program

Chief Instructional Leadership Officer Vince Pecchia reported the Instructional Leadership Department is piloting a Spanish Dual Language Program at Karshner Elementary school beginning in the 2017-18 school year in one kindergarten classroom. He asked Director of Instructional Leadership Arturo Gonzalez to provide greater detail.

Dr. Gonzalez reported that Karshner’s student body and community provide the most ideal characteristics required for successful implementation of a Spanish Dual Language Program since at least one third of Karshner students are Spanish speakers and multiple staff members also speak Spanish. This provides English speaking students the opportunity to hear Spanish from native speakers in the classroom as well as from adults in a variety of settings throughout the school. 

The Spanish Dual Language Program will focus on one kindergarten classroom during the 2017-2018 school year that will be designated as a “pilot year” in order to assess the necessary resources to expand the program in future years.

Dr. Gonzalez explained that students enrolled in a Spanish Dual Language Program are taught to the same academic standards in all content areas found in the general classroom.  Similarly, students enrolled in a Spanish Dual Language Program participate in common district and state assessments as students receiving English only instruction. Students have the additional benefit of learning to speak, read and write Spanish in addition to English. The program is designed for students to become bilingual, bi-literate, and bi-cultural.

Boundary Review Committee Update

Director of Facilities Planning Brian Devereux provided an update from the Boundary Review Committee (BRC) which has been commissioned to review and make recommendations to the directors regarding adjustments to school attendance areas.

To learn more about this report visit the PSD website to see the slides used.

Human Resources

Human Resources Department Activity Memo for June 19, 2017.

The next regular school board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 10, 2017 at the Education Service Center (ESC), located at 302 2nd Street SE, Puyallup.  This meeting is very short, for consideration of the consent agenda only.

PSD Board of Education Meeting Schedule and locations.