School board accepts $12,800 donation
School board accepts $12,800 donation
Posted on 10/04/2017

Highlights of the school board meeting held on October 2, 2017

District Highlights

Over the past several years the PSD Transportation Department has undergone an incredible transformation. With a focus on efficiency and improved communications, staff have implemented a number of new practices and programs to better serve students and families.

Directors recognized the work of leaders in the Transportation Department including:

  • Cathy McDaniel, director of transportation
  • Mike McMillan, assistant director of transportation
  • Wally Lochrie, shop foreman

Chief Financial Officer Corine Pennington then shared an overview of changes which have recently taken place in the Transportation Department.

Implementation of bus bulletin software in February of 2017 allows the district to notify families and schools by phone or email when there is a bus delay due to mechanical issues, traffic congestion, accidents, or driver shortages. This has reduced the number of phone calls from concerned parents or staff members.

Fleet upgrades have continued for several months, especially following the bus barn fire in 2016. In addition, the department has upgraded and replaced equipment such as a cold saw, air compressor, forklift, utility mechanic truck, two-way radios, and a snow plow attachment to meet district needs more efficiently and in a timely manner.

Maintaining an updated fleet has allowed the district to keep more buses on a depreciation schedule, which actually results in revenue for the district. In 2012 the district’s bus depreciation revenue was $529,219 annually. For the 2017-18 school year the depreciation revenue is projected to be $1,161,170. This action has eliminated the need to ask taxpayers to support a transportation levy.

In August, 2017 the Washington State Patrol conducted an inspection of the district’s fleet. Of the 172 buses inspected, 99.98 percent passed the inspection. Two buses were placed out of service due to unsatisfactory findings including: emergency exit door buzzer, heater switches, light bulbs not working properly, and a hole in one seat.

Following Pennington’s update Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox spoke with directors about a new partnership between the school district and City University of Seattle. This new work is providing the opportunity for several Puyallup teachers and others in the south Puget Sound to take part in an Educational Administrator Preparation Program with courses offered locally and taught by current PSD administrators.

Students in the current cohort, along with instructors were asked to stand. Fox then introduced Associate Program Director Mike Walker and Program Director Margaret Chow. Dr. Chow was invited to speak to the board of directors about the successful implementation of this new program. She spoke of the benefits for Puyallup in training their own administrators for future possible employment.

Action Taken – Acceptance of donation

PSD Board of Directors approved a donation of $12,800 from the Carson Elementary PTA for the purpose of classroom enrichment. The school board must approve any gift to the district or individual school having a value of $5,000 or greater as per District Policy No. 6114, Gifts.

Chief Academic Officer, Regional Learning Community II John Parker spoke to directors about the work of Carson PTA and introduced building administrators Abigail Chandler, principal, and Stephany Brown, assistant principal.

Action Taken – Amendment to the superintendent’s 2017-2020 contract

On July 19, 2017 the board of directors completed their annual evaluation of the superintendent and renewed his contract extension to cover 2017-2020. PSD Board of Directors approved an amendment finalizing the extension through 2020.

Board Policy Updates

Directors were presented the first reading of several 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 2021 - Library Information and Technology Programs

Policy 2255 - Alternative Learning Experience Programs

Directors will consider taking action on these policies at their next regularly scheduled board meeting at 6 p.m. on October 16, 2017 at Ballou Junior High.

Report – Tax Rate Planning

Chief Financial Officer Corine Pennington presented an informational report regarding tax rate planning for calendar years 2018 and 2019.

In January 2018 the State will begin assessing a new 80 cent tax to support school districts statewide. This will coincide with the final year of the Puyallup School District’s four-year Educational Programs Replacement Levy approved by voters in 2014.

The special election on February 13, 2018 is the first opportunity the district has to ask voters to renew the Educational Programs Replacement Levy to continue collection for 2019-2022.

Because of revisions made during the last legislative session, beginning in 2019 the district’s legal maximum levy rate will be reduced to $1.50 per thousand. The current rate is about $3.72.

Because of these changes in tax rates and collection, there will be an “overlap year” in 2018 in which the district will be collecting the current rate of about $3.72 and the State will start collecting their new tax of about 80 cents.

This will result in a total tax of approximately $7.06 per thousand which is higher than that which was promised to tax-payers in the last election.

To reduce this spike in taxes and smooth the rates for the next several years, the district is proposing an inter-fund loan with interest from the Capital Projects Fund to the Debt Service Fund. This loan of $10 million will smooth the tax rate proposal for the next few years, significantly reducing the 2018 taxes.

This informational report suggests that in November 2017 the board will be presented with a resolution to recertify the tax assessment for outstanding bonds by an amount which is $10 million less than what it needed for principal and interest payments for 2018, thus reduces taxes.

In November 2018 the board would be presented with a resolution to authorize a $10 million short-term inter-fund loan with interest from the Capital Projects Fund to the Debt Service Fund. In addition, the board would be presented with a resolution to re-certify the tax assessment for outstanding bonds by the amount needed for outstanding bond principal and interest payments for 2019 and an additional $10 million plus interest to repay the inter-fund loan.

Finally, in May 2019 the Capital Projects fund would be repaid $10 million plus interest from the proceeds of the first half of tax collection in 2019. Thus, the inter-fund loan would be initiated and repaid within the fiscal year 2018-19.

Directors indicated appreciation for the planning and look forward to additional conversation at future school board meetings. The next meeting of the Board of Directors is scheduled for 6 p.m. onMonday, October 16 at Ballou Junior High.

Human Resources Report

The Human Resources report approved by the school board for the last two board meetings can be found using the links below:

Human Resources Report October 2, 2017

Human Resources Report September 18, 2017

Upcoming Meetings

The next meeting the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be on Monday, October 16, 2017 beginning at 6 p.m. at Ballou Junior High School at 9916 – 136th Street East, Puyallup, 98373.