Board Highlights October 17, 2016

Highlights of the school board meeting held on October 17, 2016

KJH dramaDistrict Highlights
The meeting was opened by a performance of "The Circle of Life" presented by Kalles Junior High drama students. Led by drama teacher Megan Hicks, students performed this piece from their previous presentation of The Lion King. Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox then provided directors with images from the recent Culture & Arts festival, Dia de la Raza. Over 350 visitors recently made their way to the Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts for this lively celebration of Latino cultures. To see more photos, visit the Karshner Center website.
Lasso girl

Fox also presented the directors with the winners of the Washington State University College of Education Cougar Spirit Award which was recently awarded to the Puyallup School District during homecoming weekend in Pullman.

The PSD, through a partnership with Washington State University Vancouver, hosts several professional pathways to Educational Leadership. Through an inter-agency agreement, WSUV offers the opportunity to complete a Master's degree, obtain a Program Administration certification or earn a Principal certification with all classes taught at the school district's central office.

The College of Education Cougar Spirit Award is a presented to a person/couple/corporation who has advocated for education through true Cougar spirit. This year, the Puyallup School District was nominated by Dean Mike Trevisan stating that the district has been a true representation of this award. Instructors in the WSUV program winning this award include:
- Dr. Glenn Malone (pictured)
- Dr. Tim Yeomans
- Dr. Chrys Sweeting
- Dr. Amy Eveskcige
- Dr. Ailene Baxter
- Dr. Mark Knight

Directors were given a schedule of upcoming Veterans Day assemblies and reminded of the special performances planned for their next regularly scheduled meeting on November 7. View the Veterans Day schedule here.

Consent Agenda
Directors approved the consent agenda which included acceptance of a new scholarship intended to recognize graduating seniors who inspire others through their leadership and strength of character. The Toyota of Puyallup AVID Inspirational Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior at each of the three comprehensive high schools and one at Walker High School. Each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship. View the Toyota of Puyallup AVID Inspirational Scholarship worksheet.

Data Dashboard

Directors were provided an overview of several departments during the annual data dashboard update. Developed in response to board request, the data dashboard displays critical information about district performance in a number of areas. The data dashboard is made available online and can be accessed from the district website homepage.

Updates were presented with an emphasis on “return on investment” for Student Learning, Technology, Highly Capable, and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).

Chief Instructional Leadership Officer Vince Pecchia presented 2016-17 initiatives focusing on the coherence and alignment of essential standards with assessment and instruction. Details of the work done by certificated staff during the recent professional development day in October 17 provided evidence of the focus on concentrated instruction. View the update.

Executive Directors Randy Averill, Mark Knight, and Mark Vetter represented the Empowering Puyallup project and outlined the 2016-17 initiatives related to digital education platforms including the new learning management system Schoology. Included was an update on district infrastructure and support in place to accommodate growth in the district. Improvements in instructional technology were touched upon, as was the communication plan being implemented to keep students, staff and parents apprised of the progress of all initiatives. View the update.

Chief Equity and Achievement Officer Gerald Denman provided directors with an overview of the Achievement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. Over 5,000 Puyallup students participate in 26 schools across the district. AVID is a college and career ready system preparing students for post-secondary success. Denman highlighted Karshner and Wildwood Park elementaries as Washington State Showcase Schools which will serve as demonstration schools for interested educators across the state. View the update.

Denman also presented the 2016-17 initiatives for highly capable programs. With an interest in creating greater equity and access for all students, the district is now testing all ninth grade students in the Preliminary Student Achievement Test (PSAT) for potential enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) courses. In addition, all second grade students will be screened using the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to determine possible placement in the QUEST program. View the update.

Board Policy Updates
Directors were presented a second reading of several 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. These policies include:

Policy 2145 - Suicide Awareness and Prevention
Policy 3115 - Homeless Students: Enrollment Rights and Services
Policy 3122 - Excused and Unexcused Absences

Assistant Superintendent Casey Cox provided directors with an overview of the changes made. Directors approved revisions of all policies.

Water Testing

Chief Operations Office Mario Casello presented directors with a final update on water testing done across the district. Casello shared a statement provided by Steve Hulsman from the Department of Health: “The Puyallup School District has gone above and beyond with their water testing. The sampling activities have provided a robust data set that has allowed you to make good, informed decisions. And the “flow” program goes a long way to reduce lead exposure to staff and students, and in that way is protective of public health.” See the entire presentation.

Human Resources
The HR report approved by the school board can be found at the following website: Human Resources Department Activity Memo for October 17, 2016.

The next meeting of the PSD School Board will be held on Monday, November 7, 2016 beginning at 6 p.m. at Kalles Junior High, 501 - 7th Ave. SE, Puyallup, 98372.