Outgoing directors honored at recent board meeting
Outgoing directors honored at recent board meeting
Posted on 11/20/2019
outgoing directors

During District Highlights, Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox congratulated the PSD Board of Directors for recently being named as a Board of Distinction.

“The Washington State School Directors’ Association has established the Board of Distinction program to encourage school boards to examine their practices as governing bodies and reflect on how their actions and decisions impact the success of students,” said Fox. "Once again, the Puyallup School District Board of Directors has earned this award.”

There were 33 school boards recognized with this honor. This year, judges focused on three distinct areas:

  1. Professional Development participation by the board

  2. How the board is addressing the opportunity gap;

  3. The extent to which the board engages the local community.

For Puyallup’s directors, noteworthy activities included regularly scheduled school board study sessions in which there is a focus on lengthy presentations and two-way interaction with district leaders on a focused theme or topic, as well as regular self-assessment activities.

In addressing the opportunity gap, board members have commissioned the expansion of programs for highly capable students, and the development of a Kindergarten Academy which will begin in January.

Regarding engagement of the community, the PSD focus on public forums and face-to-face communications during the attendance boundary study, regular updates from the Boundary Review Committee, and use of Thoughtexchange were noted.

Next, Fox took time to thank School Board President Chris Ihrig and Director Dane Looker for their service on the Board of Directors given this meeting was their final meeting on the board.

Director Looker’s experience began in the fall of 2011 and in his time as a director he has served as vice-president and twice as president. “Thank you for the many hours you have spent working with members of the Puyallup community and the work you have done to improve our schools,” said Fox.

President Ihrig began his time in the fall of 2009. He served as vice-president twice and president three times, as well as legislative representative for the board. “Thank you for the many years of dedication to Puyallup and your efforts to make this a better place,” said Fox.

Knowing the commitment to the work as a school board director has had an impact, a bouquet of flowers was presented as a small token of appreciation to their wives for their support.

Superintendent Yeomans then presented plaques to each outgoing director sharing thoughts of gratitude. “I was thinking about what it means to change the starting line for children,” said Yeomans. “I think along the lines of early learning, access to a rigorous education, having the tools in which to be successful. I was at the college of education at WSU having a conversation with the dean and we were discussing what a student needs to be prepared when they come to university. They went down a list, and on that list was everything we have done over the last eight years with your leadership. When I think of all the investments and gifts the community has received under your leadership all I can say is how grateful I am personally that I have been able to work with you, and how thankful I hope everybody in the community is for your service.”

Former School Board Director Greg Heath shared appreciation for each of his former colleagues. “You have provided a very vital service to our community,” said Heath. “A quality public education is the backbone of American society . . . you have worked to create a framework for our students that allows them to be whatever they want to be. This work reflects your overarching desire to provide the necessary support for all students.”

Directors Ihrig and Looker received a standing ovation from the large audience.

Action – Instructional Leadership CTE Annual Report

Director of Instructional Leadership Maija Thiel presented a review of the report given initially at the last board meeting – required as part of the updated OSPI Perkins Grant Application Process.

See the slides used in this review here: PSD CTE Districtwide Evaluation and Annual Five Year Plan.

Directors approved the report as presented.

Action – Donation from Zeiger PTA

Chief Academic Officer Brian Lowney greeted directors and asked for consideration to accept a donation of $8,000 to Zeiger Elementary for classroom enrichment, playground supplies, and building supplies. Dr. Lowney then introduced Zeiger Principal Anthony Corrado who provided more specific details of the items which would be purchased.

Both men thanked Zeiger PTA President Jamie Wells for being at the meeting with them, and for the work done to raise these funds.

See the donation form submitted here: Policy 6114F – Gifts or Donations.

Directors approved the donation as presented.

Action – Business Services – Resolution No. 86 2019-20 2020 Levy Re-certification

Assistant Superintendent of Business and Support Services Corine Pennington shared a resolution for the board’s consideration and action. “This resolution re-certified the 2020 tax collections for the Debt Service Fund for bond payments, the Capital Projects Fund for the Technology Levy and the General Fund for the Educational Programs and Operations Levy,” said Pennington.

Each spring the upcoming calendar year’s levy amounts for the General Fund, Debt Service Fund and Capital Projects fund is estimated and included as a part of the annual budget. The Board of Directors certifies those levies as a part of the budget adoption process.

In the fall, the Pierce County Assessor’s office provides us with their preliminary assessed valuation for the current year which is used to calculate the tax rates for the next calendar year. Assistant Superintendent Pennington recommended a resolution that would re-certify the same bond and levy amounts as presented in the 2019-20 budget.  

Directors approved the resolution as presented.

Report – Executive Administration – Superintendent Mid-Search Report

Representing Northwest Leadership Associates, the search consultant contracted by the PSD Board of Directors, Mark Venn and Wayne Robertson shared a thorough review of the work done thus far.

Northwest Leadership Associates has been actively advertising the position, recruiting candidates, accepting applications and reviewing focus group and community survey responses to assemble a pool of excellent individuals for the board to consider in January 2020 as the next superintendent of the Puyallup School District.

Learn more about the superintendent search, including the timeline of events here: Superintendent Search.

Report – Business Services – August and September 2019 Financial Statements

Director of Business Services Laura Marcoe presented financial statements for the General Fund, Capital Projects Fund, Debt Service Fund, Associated Student Body Fund, Transportation Vehicle Fund, and the Private Purpose Trust Fund.

The 2018-19 year-end General Fund balance was $52,797,687. The components of the General Fund balance are:

  • - Restricted fund balance of $1.8 M. (This includes reserves for unexpended state and federal grants, debt service.)

  • - Non-spendable fund balance of $2.1 M. (This includes inventory and prepaid items.)

  • - Assigned fund balance of $3.0 M. (This includes amounts designated for unpaid sick and vacation leave balances, uninsured risk, school and department carryovers and future pension increases.)

  • - Committed fund balance of $27.7 M (This includes district compensated absences, minimum fund balance, and contingency funds.)

  • - Unassigned fund balance of $18.2 M.

The September 30, 2019 Financial Statements were also presented. Key messages include:

  • - The financial statements are presented using the adopted budget only. We expect the operating budget to be available for the October financial statements.

  • - Enrollment was budgeted at 22,399 students for the 2019-20 school-year.Actual September and October enrollment (excluding Running Start and alternative programs) came in at 22,348 and 22,538, respectively.

  • - The Capital Projects, Associated Student Body, Debt Service, Transportation Vehicle and Private Purpose Trust Funds are all operating as expected.

Report – Communications – Emergency communications protocol

Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox shared the district protocol for communications during an emergency and provided an example of such from a recent incident at Karshner Elementary School.

“In the event of an emergency situation,” said Fox, “the district takes every effort to communicate directly with parents. For example, when a school is in lockdown, parents of that school will receive a text and an email message with the use of an automated parent notification system. SchoolMessenger Communicate can rapidly alert parents and is a direct form of communication to all parents. Texts are received by parents who have opted-in to this feature while email is sent to the addresses provided during registration of students.”

Last Thursday, Puyallup Police notified the Karshner Elementary principal they were in the neighborhood in pursuit of a suspect who had an outstanding warrant. The school was placed in lockdown around 8:15 a.m., Karshner Principal Ms. Baldwin contacted the Communications Department at 8:20 and a text and email went to Karshner parents at 8:25 a.m. Updates were provided at 8:37, 8:53, 9:02, 9:19, and 9:35 when the lockdown was lifted. Updates helped parents understand the reason for the lockdown and how the district was keeping students safe.

When there is a viable threat against the safety of students and staff, the Puyallup School District follows a protocol which aligns with the event described at Karshner Elementary.

  1. Secure building and ensure students are safe.

  2. Communicate with district administrators to activate an emergency command center.

  3. Stay focused on the school until the emergency is over.

  4. Communicate accurate information with staff, then with parents.

Human Resources Report – The Human Resources report approved by the school board can be found on the HR website.

Upcoming meetings – The next meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 9, 2019, at Ferrucci Junior High, 3213 Wildwood Park Drive, Puyallup, WA 98373.