New apprenticeship opportunities for students
New apprenticeship opportunities for students
Posted on 10/19/2018

District Highlights – A swath of lime green t-shirts in the audience meant something special was going to take place. Junior high members of the Puyallup School District’s Tech Squad sat expectantly – waiting for the meeting to begin.

Instructional Coach for Technology Nancy Nelson gathered the students at the school board meeting on this evening so they could address the members of the board, letting them know what they enjoy about their work. In addition, a Tech Squad teacher leader from Aylen, Edgemont, and Kalles junior highs spoke – all wearing their lime green.

The Tech Squad program was implemented one year ahead of the technology roll out of one-to-one devices to make sure students could support themselves with the new technology. The goal of the Tech Squad has been to empower students to recognize they could learn and help each other learn as well.

The idea of a Tech Squad came from Nelson, who has shared responsibility and credit with several colleagues throughout the district. Region III Tech Squad Coordinators joined Nelson at the podium to share thoughts about the program as it takes place in each of their schools. Stacy Leeper (Aylen), Colleen Britt (Edgerton), and Heidi Matson (Kalles) each spoke to the work being done by Tech Squad members at their school.

“Although the model has become something different at each of the junior highs,” said Nelson, “one common outcome appears to be the development of a culture of supporting each other and learning together.” With the Tech Squad members trained at each grade level, teachers could call on a student to help solve a technology issue rather than stopping instruction themselves.

Four Aylen students addressed the board of directors. Jessica Blynov, Chris Brown, Gavin Pitts, and Laetisha Salao shared their perspective then presented directors with a Tech Squad shirt (lime green) making them honorary members. All students present were invited to shake hands with the directors, who thanked them for their work.

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.

Action Item: Donation  – Chief Academic Officer for Region II John Parker greeted the board and introduced Carson Elementary Principal Abigail Chandler who sought approval of a generous donation from the Carson PTA. Chandler was joined by Angel Smalling and Molly Green, co-presidents of the Carson PTA.

The donation of $16,300 will be used for student enrichment which includes a variety of purposes including field trips, assemblies, and an emergency fund for students whose lunch account is lacking.

Directors approved the donation from the Carson PTA.

Action Item: Bond Oversight Committee – The BOC oversees the budget and scope of work for the voter-approved 2015 Construction Bond. Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello shared an update with the directors asking for approval to modify projects related to Pope Elementary and Edgemont Junior High.

Members of the BOC met on September 13, 2018, and discussed proposed cost increases for foundation and stormwater improvements at Pope Elementary and sewer design improvements for a project at Edgemont Junior High. The BOC is recommending the necessary improvements be accommodated through the bond package.

Pope Elementary Project: A geo-tech study was executed and completed over the summer. It was determined the soils do not infiltrate at all, eliminating the option of a retention pond. It was also found that the water table is very high, which impacts stormwater designs. The water will have to be retained on-site and released over time. A high water table also impacts the foundation. A much more complicated design will have to be done for the footings.

Edgemont Junior High: The sewer connection project is part of the 2014 levy package which was rolled into the 2015 bond package. The sewer project went out to bid in June 2018 and received a noncompetitive bid, which was $1M over budget. The district rejected the bid and did a redesign on the project to bring costs down. The district will put the project out for bid in November 2018 and expects competitive bids to be submitted.

The proposal was approved as recommended by the Bond Oversight Committee.

Board Policy Updates – Directors were presented with the 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 2336 -  Required Observances (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Disability History Month, Veterans Day, Constitution Day, Temperance and Good Citizenship Day) 

Policy 6220 - Bid Requirements

Directors approved the changes as recommended.

Annual Assessment and Performance indicators Update and Data Dashboard Report – Director of Instructional Leadership for Assessment and Accountability Almai Malit provided directors with highlights of annual assessment data points received from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) with an emphasis on changes made to the PSD Performance Indicators identified by the PSD Board of Directors.

Directors have set goals for benchmarks including kindergarten readiness, third grade literacy, eighth grade high school readiness, and graduation rate. Malit reported progress as follows:

  • Kindergarten readiness goal 55 percent – results 49 percent
  • Third grade literacy goal 60 percent – results 61 percent
  • Eighth grade high school readiness goal 70 percent – results 41 percent
  • Graduation rate goal 95 percent – results 87 percent

Directors requested a school board study session to be held with the sole topic of assessment data. In particular, they expressed concern over the need for increased progress in math scores. “To me, this is the heart of what we do,” said Director Ihrig. “I would like to put this on the front burner and make this a significant issue in our district.”

To view the slides with assessment data, visit the PSD website: Supplemental Materials for Assessment Report October 15, 2018.

Annual Career and Technical Education (CTE) Report - Director of Instructional Leadership, Career and Technical Education Maija Thiel provided directors with the annual update on CTE programs in the district. ThielI presented goals focused upon collaboration, relationships, and reciprocal partnerships. Goals also include ensuring rigor and relevance.

Director Thiel featured the district’s Nursing Assistant Certification Program. She noted there are 34 students in the program. The program is beginning with great success thanks in part to a partnership with Clover Park Technical College. Rogers High School teacher Janet Jepsen spoke briefly, then introduced one of her students, Drake Lufkin. Lufkin shared his satisfaction with the opportunities he has in being part of the nursing program.

Next, Thiel featured the district’s Registered Youth Apprenticeship Program. She invited Manufacturing teacher Andy McClure to share about the skill work learned in the classroom. Machines used in the shop are like those used on the job. Skills are learned before going into the community for the apprenticeship experience. McClure introduced one of his students currently working at American Structures, Chase Nylund. Nylund spoke briefly about the value of his experience both in the classroom and out in the field.

To see photos and learn more, visit the PSD website to view the Puyallup School District Career and Technical Education 2018-2020 Districtwide Evaluation and Annual Plan.

Bond Advisory Committee Report – Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello reminded the audience of the difference between the Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) and the Bond Oversight Committee (BOC). He noted the BOC oversees the schedule for budget and scope of work for the 2015 bond package. The BAC looks at the possibility of a future bond package which could be recommended as soon as the fall of 2019.

Casello presented the BAC meeting schedule which includes 11 meetings between June 2018 and February 2019.

To view the meeting schedule, visit the PSD website here.

Boundary Review Committee Report – Director of Facilities Planning Brian Devereux presented a recommendation for new attendance boundaries to be implemented in September 2019.

On April 18, 2016, the school board commissioned the Boundary Review Committee (BRC) to review and make recommendations to the board regarding adjustments to school attendance areas. The committee began meeting in September 2016 and had its final meeting on October 9, 2018.

Over a three-week period in April/May of 2018, the Boundary Review Committee presented its draft boundary plans to the community, in part, through a series of public forums known as Boundary Review Information and Feedback Meetings. A meeting was held at each school in the district except for Walker High School, which has a district-wide catchment area. Feedback was solicited from attendees along with the school community during this three-week period using an online tool called ThoughtExchange.

A report to the board was presented during the September 28 study session.

The BRC has reviewed and considered the feedback from ThoughtExchange in finalizing its recommendation. Proposed school boundary changes include adjustments to 19 of the 21 elementary attendance areas and creates an attendance area for the new Dessie Evans Elementary which will open in September 2019. Proposed school boundary changes include adjustments to five of the seven junior high attendance areas. Minor adjustments to each of the comprehensive high school attendance areas are also proposed.

The school board is scheduled to take action on the boundary plan proposal on November 5, 2018.

To see the slides used in this presentation, visit the PSD website: BRC Recommendation.

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, November 5, 2018 at Aylen Junior High located at 101 – 15th Street NW, Puyallup, WA 98371.