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Highlights from PSD School Board Meeting
Highlights from PSD School Board Meeting April 2, 2018
Posted on 04/05/2018

District Highlights

In November 2017 the PSD Board of Directors agreed to change graduation requirements replacing the culminating project with a new High School and Beyond plan. In the spring, students make presentations of their High School and Beyond plan by answering these five questions:

1. What are my career interests and educational goals?

2. What have I done in school to meet these goals?

3. How do my assessment results prepare me for graduation and align with my goals?

4. How does my activity log and/or resume demonstrate that I have made connections with my community?

5. What are my action steps during the next 3,6,9 months? Where do I see myself in 1,3,5 years?

High school seniors recently participated in Exit Interviews at each of the three comprehensive high schools. One representative from each school presented an overview of the senior exit interviews to directors. From ERHS, Assistant Principal Willie Stewart Jr., from PHS Career Specialist Shelley Jellison, and from RHS, Principal Jason Smith share their perspective with the board.

Presenters shared a positive first experience with the new requirement. Specifically, 94 percent of RHS seniors passed the interview on their first attempt. This was impressive to administration. Nearly 1,000 RHS parents registered on the school’s Schoology account to find information and resources about the new requirement. ERHS expressed concern over the time allowed to prepare for this change. Staff felt the conversation was authentic and more relevant to each student’s experience. PHS leadership found the new High School and Beyond plan fits nicely into the existing structure in preparing for graduation. Use of built-in conference days scheduled in March and frees up the schedule for Advanced Placement testing. An earlier timeline also allows staff to work with students not quite making standard and help them make additional attempts until finding success.

The board was thanked for their support of high school students in preparing for their future.

Directors then heard from Director of Instructional Leadership for Athletics, Health and Fitness Rick Wells, along with Jim Meyerhoff as they provided a review of ten years of excellence by Puyallup School District student athletes.

Significant actions highlighted include:

- Automated External Defibrillators (AED) were installed at all junior high and high school athletic facilities and have been used to save lives three times since.

- Ninth grade athletes were moved to the high school for participation in every sport. This has allowed more competition, additional games, and longer seasons.

- Sport programs have increased – particularly for females (now providing for 150 more at each high school).

- Unified offerings in six different sports.

- Over the past ten years, PSD student athletes have earned individual state championship medals in 40 WIAA events.

- There have been 133 league/division championship trophies earned as members of the South Puget Sound League.

- There have been 22 West Central District or Regional Team Championships.

- There have been 81 Top Eight State Tournament finishes, eight state championship teams, 12 second place state tournament placings, and eight third place state tournament placings.

- There have been six Unified/Special Olympics State Gold or Silver medals.

- There have been 18 WIAA Academic State Championships since 2009. Fourteen of these have been earned in the last six years.

Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox then highlighted a new flier being mailed to residents living within one mile of Northwood Elementary. The Foundations For Our Future flier provides residents with facts and information about the school. For Northwood, this includes:

- 33 percent growth in the last five years.

- $4 million saved when the construction bid came in under budget.

- Current building constructed in 1974.

Fox outlined the plan to provide this information in a mailer for residents living near each of the construction projects throughout construction to keep people apprised of progress.

Lastly, Fox read a proclamation declaring the week of April 16-20 as Public School Volunteer Appreciation Week. Immediately following District Highlights the school board voted unanimously to honor volunteers across the district during this week.

Action Taken – CTE Annual Plan

Director of Instructional Leadership for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Maija Thiel presented an additional report to the board summarizing the CTE Annual Report/Plan for 2018.

To see the slides used in this report visit the PSD website at CTE Report 2017-2018.

Directors approved the report/plan as presented.

Action Taken – Emergency Response System Agreement

Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello asked members of the board to consider approval of an agreement with the City of Puyallup Police Department related to the use of an emergency response system currently in place in all Puyallup schools.

The system, which includes maps, floor plans, live camera feeds, intercom communication, and door control access can be made available to local law enforcement in the event of an emergency.

Directors approved the proposal as presented.

Action Taken – Bond Advisory Committee commissioning

Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello next asked for consideration of commissioning a Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) to oversee and make recommendations to the school board regarding the possibility of the implementation of a 2019 bond program. The committee, Casello reported, would be an advisory group to the board.

Casello shared the need to address several items at the secondary level with a focus at the high school. The BAC would study existing conditions and make recommendations along with a scope of the work necessary to accommodate safety and security measures of each comprehensive high school campus and attend to the growth of student populations and student learning needs.

To view the proposed charter for the BAC visit the PSD website: BAC Charter & Members.

Directors approved the commissioning of a Bond Advisory Committee for the purposes presented.

Action Taken – Naming the new elementary school

The 2015 Bond package provides six elementary projects, including three rebuilds at Northwood, Firgrove, and Sunrise, a remodel at Pope; and a twelve classroom addition at Hunt. It also allows the district to build a new elementary school in the Southwest region of our district.

A naming committee was commissioned by the PSD Board of Directors to solicit and recommend names for consideration.

At their last meeting the PSD Board of Directors heard from Dr. Vince Pecchia, chief instructional leadership officer, representing the work of the New Elementary Naming Committee. Dr. Pecchia provided directors with an overview of the process used in recommending names for the board’s consideration.

The naming committee was formed based on School Board Policy 6970 - Naming School Sites, Public Spaces Within, and Public Areas.

The work of the committee is to solicit names from the community, staff and students for 30 calendar days. The committee facilitated two public hearings to hear testimony from the community regarding the names suggested or recommended. The committee followed district policy and is recommending five to seven names for the board to consider.

The work of the committee was co-facilitated under the leadership of Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello and community member, Joseph Romero.

The seven names recommended for consideration were:

- Alder View Elementary

- Dessie Evans Elementary

- Legacy Elementary

- Logan Lewis Elementary

- Marge Salmon Elementary

- Hawkridge Elementary

- Tahoma Crest Elementary

Directors unanimously agreed with Director Looker’s nomination of Dessie Evans Elementary.

Report – Demonstration classrooms

Directors of Instructional Leadership Amanda Kraft presented directors a report on demonstration classrooms which provide on-going professional learning for new teachers.

The classrooms are taught by district selected mentors and provide and opportunity for new teachers and their job-alike support person to observe best instructional practices.

To see the slides used in this report visit the PSD website: Demonstration classrooms.

Report – Technology upgrade finance plan

Chief Financial Officer Corine Pennington presented directors with a plan for important technology upgrades.

“With the acceleration of Empowering Puyallup and digital curriculum,” reported Pennington, “we need to ensure our network and bandwidth is ample and reliable.”

Directors will consider taking action on this proposal at their next regularly scheduled board meeting on Monday, May 7, 2018.

Business Services Report

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.

Key messages shared by Marcoe include: 

  • February marks the half-way point of the fiscal year. The General Fund Operating Budget reflects 48.36 percent and 44.32 percent of budgeted revenues and expenditures, respectively.
  • The Transportation Vehicle Fund purchased and received two 84 passenger Blue Bird buses in February.

Human Resources Report

The Human Resources report approved by the school board can be found using the link below:

Human Resources Report April 2, 2018.

Upcoming Meetings

The next meeting the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 7, 2018 at the Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts (Karshner Center), located at 309 4th ST NE, Puyallup, WA 98372.