School Board Meeting Highlights: June 3, 2019
School Board Meeting Highlights: June 3, 2019
Posted on 06/05/2019

At their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 3, the Board of Directors honored Ferrucci Junior High School Security Officer Dan Spicer. His heroic effort on Thursday, May 9 saved the life of a woman unable to get out of a burning house on her own.

Standing next to Spicer, sixth grade student Katherine Mangrum was also honored by directors. She first noticed the smoke and immediately informed her teacher. This led to Spicer jumping into action.

Ferrucci JH Principal Brian Fosnick addressed the Board of Directors during the District Highlights portion of the meeting and praised both Spicer and Mangrum for their quick and decisive responses. He also acknowledged families and other staff involved in the incident.

“He reacted to make sure others were safe like he always does,” said Fosnick of Spicer. “I was not surprised to see Dan act without thinking about his own safety. He told me he felt that he was just doing his job.” Fosnick went on to praise the security officer for his consistency in character and behavior, “Dan is a selfless, kind and courage person and he will say he is not a hero - but we know he is. We are lucky to have him in Puyallup and at Ferrucci Junior High.”

Following Fosnick’s comments Spicer was presented a plaque and commendation from Central Pierce Fire and Rescue. Community and Government Relations Officer Captain Darrin Shaw was present at the meeting to present Spicer with formal acknowledgement.

Read the full story of Dan Spicer: FJH student and security officer step into action.

As the district plans for the transition to four new elementary school buildings this fall staff and students from Northwood, Dessie Evans, Sunrise, and Firgrove have been making presentations to the Board of Directors. At this board meeting, Sunrise Principal Lisa McNamara and Assistant Principal Alyssa Donohue shared some of the planning being done in preparation for a new Sunrise Elementary School building.

Highlights of their presentation include:

  • • Fifth grade students have studied the architectural plans to discover how the new school will work and function.
  • • The Sunrise Leadership team have begun rewriting the school vision statement.
  • • The school will open as a full-fledged AVID school where students will benefit from research based instructional strategies, effective classroom management tools, and college-based organizational skills.
  • • Creation of a new mascot logo involving all students, ERHS Graphic Design students, and the entire Sunrise community.
  • • Composition of a new school song incorporating the new school vision and mission.
  • • Integration of Visual Thinking Strategies and facilitated conversations which increase vocabulary and help students identify and articulate evidence for their thinking.

Next, Tracy Pitzer, director of instructional leadership presented directors with students having recently earned a Varsity Letter in Volunteering.  To earn the PSD Varsity Letter in Volunteer Service, students between grades seven and 12 must complete at least 150 hours of voluntary community service during a semester of school. Students document their community service through pictures and video and upload their work as well as their hours onto Schoology. To complete the portfolio, students write a 250-500 word reflection of their community service. The portfolio is then submitted for review.

Nearly 60 students earned varsity letters second semester. Most of them attended the school board meeting to receive their letter and shake hands with the directors.

You can find the complete list of volunteers on the PSD website.

Next, Chief Academic Officer Brian Lowney presented directors with administrative interns. Lowney thanked interns for their contributions at the building and district level during the 2-18-19 school year:

Teresa Clifton – Kalles Junior High

Katie Fosnick – Edgemont Junior High

Janet Foster – Stahl Junior High

Mary-Elizabeth Gendreau – Fruitland Elementary

Jill Godwin – Stewart Elementary

Marlo Harmsen – Hunt Elementary   

Amy Looker – Kalles Junior High

Nancy Nelson – Northwood Elementary

Alexa Park – Ferrucci Junior High

Joanne Portmann – Edgerton Elementary

Melissa Ryan – Shaw Road Elementary

Michael Sanchez – Ferrucci Junior High

Audina Slater – Carson Elementary

Nicole Sykes – Shaw Road Elementary


Lowney also introduced administrative interns in place for the 2019-2020 school year:

Erynn Alvers – Carson Elementary

Oruba Anthony – Carson Elementary

Danielle Baker – Woodland Elementary

Jason Gregory – Puyallup High School

Erlinda Iniguez – Wildwood Elementary

Tamera Marcoe – Sunrise Elementary

Eduardo Nunez – Karshner Elementary

Jeremy Roy – Pope Elem Elementary

Kristine Susee – Aylen Junior HIgh

Jennifer Woods – Meeker Elementary

Next, Director of Instructional Leadership for Athletics, Health and Fitness Jim Meyerhoff honored student athletes for their achievements during spring athletics. “In girls' soccer,” reported Meyerhoff, “the Aylen Falcons went 9-1 to finish in first place, and in Boys Basketball the Stahl Storm finished 9-1 for a first place finish. In Girls Track, Ballou won the regular season with a 6-0 record while Stahl won the PAL Conference Meet. For the Boys the regular season championship went to Stahl, while Kalles won the Conference meet.”

Meyerhoff then honored student athletes for their performance in the classroom noting every one of the district’s spring squads earned scholastic honors from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. “In order to earn a Distinguished Award,” said Meyerhoff, “the team must earn an average GPA of 3.0-3.49. Fifteen of the winter squads earned a Distinguished designation. three of the teams earned an Outstanding Award, which is an average team GPA of 3.5 and above.”

Another award organized by the WIAA is the annual Scholastic Cup. This award combines athletic competition through state placings, sportsmanship, and academic awards to determine a Scholastic Cup champion. Meyerhoff congratulated Rogers High School which finished eighth in the standings with 740 points, and Puyallup high school which placed tenth with 705 points.

Meyerhoff next reported South Puget Sound League recognition. “Puyallup High School finished first out of nine schools in the Spring Season All-Sport Standings, which helped the Vikings also capture the overall SPSL All-Sport Championship for their performance during the school year,” reported Meyerhoff. “Five teams placed first in the league. Individuals and teams from seventeen of our school squads performed at the state tournament.“

To cap off the district highlights for the spring season, Meyerhoff introduced the Puyallup Viking Soccer team coached by Matt White, Mike Carlson, and Jack Rose and congratulated them for to capturing the 4A Boys Soccer State Championship.  Student athletes stood before the Board of Directors and received a standing ovation from them and the audience. Meyerhoff concluded with, “Congratulations to the entire Puyallup Viking Soccer program, the coaches and the school for this state championship.”

Report: Business Services – Assistant Superintendent Corine Pennington presented information showing how changes in school district enrichment levy tax rate maximums and the calculation methodology for levy equalization funding would impact funding over the next three years if a supplemental levy was approved by local voters.

A four-year Educational Programs and Operations Levy was approved by voters in February 2018 with over 69 percent support. “. . . 2019 is ‘Year One’ of a four-year levy,” said Pennington. “A Supplemental Levy would be in place for three more years in 2020, 2021, and 2022.”

Reminding directors and the audience of the maximum levy authority Washington State school districts are allowed, Pennington explained legislative changes which have recently took place. “It used to by $1.50 or $1,500 per student – now that’s bumped up to $2.50 or $2,500.”

If Puyallup School District is to run another levy election, the board must consider taking this action before August 6 which is the deadline for notifying the Pierce County Elections Office and placing a proposition on the November ballot.

In response to Director Looker’s question about impact to tax-payers, Pennington noted, “It would be about a dollar more at the full $2.50. For our current authority of $33 million in 2020 the tax rate would go up from $1.50 to $1.85, so the difference between those two is 65 cents.”

Superintendent Yeomans reminded directors this is the legislature’s solution to repairing funding for public education in Washington State. “Yes, it is [the legislature’s solution]. We’re looking at a fund balance deficit each year . . . and getting down to just barely able to make even just our minimum fund balance projection in total, not by category. We know something needs to change or we will not be sustainable. The legislature knew there were additional underfunded mandates and that they were not fully funding all of basic education and their solution is to increase levy authority - they also did increase the levy equalization calculation as well.”

To see the slides used in this presentation visit the PSD website.

Report: Operations – Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello presented a recommendation from the 2018-19 Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) which was commissioned by the board in March 2018. “Members of the committee have worked tirelessly for the past 12 months,” noted Casello, “meeting twice a month in most cases and vetting options for the secondary needs for a future bond package.”

With the growing needs of our district and the impacts it will have on our secondary schools, specifically the three comprehensive high schools and one alternative high school, the district is looking at the safety and security measures, instructional spaces, program needs and overall educational needs at the high schools. 

Casello asked members of the BAC to stand and thanked them for their work. He provided directors with an overview of each meeting held and then explained the criteria used to decide which projects to recommend for a future bond package. These included the following:

1. Safety and Security

2. Building Condition

3. Educational Programs

4. Regional Plan

5. Projected Growth

6. State Match Availability

Noting the increased concern for safety and security on high school campuses, Casello provided emphasis on the committee’s interest in this topic. The goal is to provide instruction for high school students in one building where there are fewer entry points and great control of entry ways. For example, there are 67 exterior doors at PHS, 64 exterior doors at RHS, and several portable at WHS and ERHS.

In addition, Casello reported a desire to reduce hiding spots throughout the campuses, add security cameras, bring core facilities closer in proximity to the main building, install video intercom buzz-in systems for building entry, upgrade vestibules to ensure control of visitors on campus, upgrade intercom and visual notification alerts.

Casello spent considerable time explaining the details of each high school campus using site by site maps and diagrams. To see the slides used in this presentation visit the PSD website.

“We are showing population growth in Puyallup through about 2026,” noted Director Keaton. We are behind capacity in our current high schools and have the option of building a new high school, but in our long term our population projections start going down so it would save a lot of money for the community to make these improvements. When combined with the safety and security it makes more sense to upgrade and modernize our current high schools.”

Superintendent Yeomans agreed, “The last thing we want to be as a community is over built. It takes a lot of money to operate schools.” Speaking of the cost of an additional high school, he reminded directors, “It’s a drain on the local tax payers to keep those kinds of facilities running. We would be exactly right sized if we followed the recommendations the Bond Advisory Committee has made.”

Public Hearing - Per RCW 28A.530.020, the Puyallup School District will hold two public hearings to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the Bond Advisory Committee’s recommendation for a future bond package. Following the second public hearing, to be held on June 17, 2019, the board will be asked to consider taking action.

President Ihrig opened the public meeting and invited comments. One person made comment within the three-minute limit. 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.

President Ihrig later closed the public meeting.

Report: Student Services – Director of Student Services Char Krause provided an update regarding the annual revision of the student handbook called, “Rights and Responsibilities.”

Changes in laws, social trends, and best practices in school discipline require that the district review and revise the handbook regulations for students. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has been designated as the agency to update the Washington Administrative Codes addressing student discipline. These changes took effect over the course of two years starting with the 2018-2019 school year to give districts an opportunity to develop system-wide capacity to enable implementation. The focus continues to be closing the opportunity gap for all students and decreasing disproportionality in exclusionary discipline.

Highlights of the changes for the 2019-2020 school year included the following:

  • • Section II Student Discipline Terms and Procedures have significant changes in alignment with the revisions to WAC 392-400
  • • Section III Student Conduct Expectations and Rules:
  •  - Exceptional Misconduct language removed due to changes in law that no longer include this provision for districts
  •  - Minor adjustment to Attendance section that addressed the three-period day at ERHS an GV that is no longer needed
  • - Minor adjustment to Attendance section that encouraged parents to schedule appointments at specific times to be more inclusive and sensitive to students and families
  • - Minor change to Dress and Appearance #7 hats at secondary to clarify common rationale for setting parameters (policy 3224)
  • - Minor change to Sexual Harassment section to state “student to student” and remove specific gender designations
  • - Significant change to Technology section to keep up with advancements in the use of technology in an instructional setting, and the specific 1:1 program
  • - Changes to Trespass section to remove language that is not appropriate for this section
  • - Changes to Vapes, Tobacco section to clarify the use of suspension as part of progressive discipline and assigning a student to a district sponsored intervention program
  • - The following policies will be revised to address the significant changes in the law: 3200 Rights and Responsibilities, 3241 Student Discipline, and 3240 Student Conduct Expectations and Reasonable Sanctions will be retired.

To view a legislative copy of the changes made to the student handbook visit the PSD website.

Report: Business Services – Director of Business Services Laura Marcoe presented directors with financial statements for April 2019. Key messages included the following:

  • • Typically, the highest amount of the spring property tax collection phase is in April.  Approximately $9.9 million, $18 million, and $380,000 were received in April for the General, Debt Service and Capital Projects Funds, respectively.
  • • In April, the interfund loan from the Capital Projects Fund to the Debt Service Fund was repaid in full.
  • • The Transportation Vehicle Fund paid for three 16 passenger mini-tour Thomas Built buses received in April.

To view the April 2019 Financial Statements visit the PSD website.

Action: Human Resources – Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Employee Relations Amie Brandmire reported on a tentative agreement with the Association of Puyallup School Principals (APSP).

Directors approved the recommendation.

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

Upcoming meetings – The next meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019, at Glacier View Junior High, 12807 – 184th Street E, Puyallup, WA 98374.