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Board Meeting Highlights
Board Meeting Highlights
Posted on 09/18/2018

Highlights of school board meeting – September 17, 2018

Students and staff are recognized for their work


The audience of several hundred was welcomed by the playful sounds of steel drums as student musicians in the district’s Pans of Steel performed under the direction of Mr. Sebastian Hernandez. Representing nine schools, including Kalles JH, Ballou JH, Glacier View JH, Stahl JH, Emerald Ridge HS, Hunt, Pope, Maplewood, and Edgerton elementaries and including students in grades five through ten, Pans of Steel has become a popular performing group in the Puyallup School District. Interest in the Pans of Steel has grown tremendously in the last couple of years. Mr. Hernandez has 162 students who have recently expressed interest in joining the group. The audience clapped along, and some even sang aloud.

 The regular meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors began with a student performance and continued to honor both students and staff during the District Highlights portion of the agenda.

 District Highlights - Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox presented newly posted PSD Family Albums which include several photos taken during the first week of school. Featured on the landing page of the PSD website, the PSD Family Albums show parents and students on their first days of school and include a special feature of kindergarten students on their first day, September 13.

 Next, Nancy Nelson, instructional coach for technology, and Mark Vetter, executive director of instructional technology shared with directors about a new partnership between the school district and Common Sense Media, which is a non-profit organization providing resources for teachers, students, and families as they navigate an online world. With this partnership, teachers are able to formally focus upon internet safety, protecting online reputations, personal privacy, managing online relationships, and respecting creative copyrights.

“Showing kids what the internet can be if everyone is a good digital citizen and giving our kids these tools is so important as we give them all access to computers,” said Nancy Nelson. “Most of the work to teach these critical skills was done by our librarians and Office teachers, so every single school in our district is Common Sense certified.”

Vetter confirmed, “Puyallup School District is the first in the state of Washington to be certified as a Common Sense Media school district.”

 On August 20, 2018 directors approved a donation of $10,000 from the PTA at Brouillet Elementary. Representing Brouillet, Kris Diamond greeted directors and praised Brouillet PTA leadership for the donation which will be used for installation of an electronic reader board.

 Next, Chief Assessment and Accountability Officer Glenn Malone addressed the board providing highlights of thePuyallup Special Services accomplishments in the PSD Special Education Department. Malone’s emphasis was on the promise to provide quality  -support with care and kindness.

The school district was randomly selected by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) last year for the Washington Integrated System of Monitoring (WISM). Malone reported the very positive findings for Puyallup including:

 - A remarkably low number of non-compliance issues.

 - An overwhelmingly positive response in staff interviews indicating positive job satisfaction and noting a feeling of support.

 - A noteworthy measure of congruency between a student’s evaluation and their Individualized Education Plan, as well as the provision of specifically designed instruction for that student. The score earned is the highest ever earned in Washington State for a school district the size of Puyallup.

Executive Director of Special Education Karen Mool then shared about Special Education staff and the 2017-18 Care and Kindness Awards. Thirteen people earned the award last year including special education classroom teachers, para-educators, a music teacher, school psychologists, occupational therapists, a principal, and a Stahl JH student. Those present in the audience were named, stood, and were recognized with applause from the audience.

Finally, students and coaches in Special Olympics Unified Sports were honored by directors. Unified Sports have been active in the Puyallup School District for almost 20 years. Unified Sports joins students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability.

This past summer Puyallup started a new sport, Individual Softball skills. Athletes competed in batting, throwing, fielding, and running the bases. There were over 30 participants from Puyallup HS and Rogers HS as well as several alumni students.

Puyallup had seven athletes make it to state and took home three gold, three silver, and a bronze medal.  Next year organizers hope to form a Unified Team and a T-Ball Team.

This summer Puyallup student athletes were Baseball Buddies at a Tacoma Rainiers game and stood with the players during the National Anthem.

Last spring, Puyallup High School was named a Unified Champion School. Unified Champion Schools promote a school climate that:

 - is free from bullying and exclusion,

 - combats stereotypes and negative attitudes,

  - eliminates hurtful language,

 - promotes healthy activity and interactions, and

 - is welcoming and values the engagement of all students.

Coaches and athletes were named and honored with a hand-shake from each of the directors. Those present included Puyallup HS Unified Head Coach John Anderson, Assistant Head Coach Christy Galan, Softball Coaches Marcos Galan, Manny Briones, Henry Torres and Jessie Galan. Student athletes included Nikki, Sarah, Michael, Ashley, Sabrina, Casey, Emma, Sidney, and Megan.

Public Comment – Three people addressed the board during the public comment portion of the agenda. The board welcomes the public to its regular meetings. If you wish to address the school board, please fill out a blue comment card upon arrival and give it to the board president or any administrator. Your name will be called by the board president. Public comments are limited to three minutes each. See the Puyallup School Board brochure for guidelines.

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.

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

Policy 3220 – Freedom of Expression

Directors approved the policy changes as recommended.

Instructional Leadership Report – Director of Instructional Leadership and Professional Development Amanda Kraft provided the board with a report on courses provided over the summer. The overview included:

 - Over 200 teachers were trained in Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID)

 - Over 60 teachers were trained in Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD)

 - Over 50 teachers were trained in Advanced Placement (AP)

 - Additional courses included: Mentoring Matters, Second Step, and the PSD Administrators’ Conference

Kraft introduced mentor teachers Jessica Anderson, Tabitha Aragon, Tommy Haynes, and Candice McGregor, honored newly GLAD certified teachers Romy Haney and Adrienne Lehman, and praised National AVID Trainer Nancy Ellis.

Directors were provided a copy of the 2018-19 Professional Development Course Catalog which provides information about the training conducted every Wednesday from 4:15 – 6:16 p.m. at the Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts. Coursework is provided free of charge for district employees and allows teachers and staff to meet certification requirements during the school year rather than over the summer.

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

Upcoming meetings – The next meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, October 1, 2018 at Aylen Junior located at 101 – 15th Street NW, Puyallup, WA 98371.