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Highlights from the PSD School Board Meeting on March 20, 2017
Highlights from the PSD School Board Meeting on March 20, 2017
Posted on 03/23/2017

District Highlights

Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox provided directors with an overview of the most recent Culture & Arts Festival sponsored by the district at the Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts. On March 11, the Karshner Center hosted A Gathering of Families: A Celebration of Indigenous Culture & Art attracting nearly 600 visitors and participants.

The free family festival, sponsored by the Puyallup School District and held at the Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts was hosted with the goal of honoring Native American culture, promoting indigenous arts, enhancing cultural awareness, and promoting cultural competency. The incredible response to this year’s festival suggests the possibility that this will become an annual event.Fancy boy dancers

Fox showed several photos of Puyallup students dancing in traditional regalia, the Chief Leschi Drum and Dance group, storytellers, and visitors. Fox also promoted the final festival for the 2016-17 school year which will be held on Saturday, April 1 – A Celtic Highland Festival from noon to 5 p.m.

Next, Director of Athletics for Health and Fitness Rick Wells presented a summary of the 2016-17 winter sports season, noting the Puyallup School District athletic program continues to play an integral role in the development of outstanding student athletes.

State ChampionsWells acknowledged four State Champion wrestlers – two in academics and two in athletics. The State Wrestling Coaches Association recognizes the top Grade Point Average (GPA) in each weight division per classification in the state. Two PSD winners include:

-           - Stephen Gibson, ERHS junior, representing the 113lb weight class

-           - Keagan Anderson, PHS junior, representing the 120lb weight class

Wells also honored two state champion wrestlers:

-           - Brooklyn Bartelson, PHS senior, 4A Girls Wresting State Title at 120lbs

-           - Josh Franich, PHS senior, 4A Boys State Wrestling Champion at 138lbs

Wells also recognized several team state champions. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) program recognizes and rewards those teams or groups that maintain a high collective grade point average. Any team with an average GPA of 3.00 – 3.49 qualifies for the Distinguished Team Award. An average of 3.50 – 4.00 qualifies for the Outstanding Team Award. The team or group with the highest average GPA in each classification is recognized as Academic State Champion.

Three PSD programs have won the WIAA 4A state academic championship for the winter season including:RHS Drama

-           - PHS Girls Wrestling with a collective GPA of 3.77

-           - RHS Gymnastic with a collective GPA average of 3.71

-           - RHS Drama with a collective GPA of 3.57

“The Puyallup School District’s persistent efforts to create a stimulating educational environment for its students has paid off handsomely,” said Wells. “Since 2011, the PSD has produced 17 WIAA State Academic Champions. This accomplishment is outstanding – a solid testimonial of commitment, determination, and dedication.”

Students each had the chance to shake hands with directors and were honored with applause from the audience.PHS girls wrestling team

Action Taken

In regular business, the board took action on the following items:

·       Acceptance of a $10,400 donation to Brouillet Elementary from the PTA for grade level classroom enrichment.

·       Acceptance of $14,000 to Brouillet Elementary from the PTA for the purchase of laptops for classrooms.

·       Approval of additional costs for proposed code costs and material upgrades for the Hunt Elementary classroom addition as recommended by the Bond Oversight Committee.

Value Analysis Study

Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello presented directors with a summary of the work done by a value analysis team in their study of project requirements, planning, and design of several bond projects including the replacement of Firgrove and Northwood elementaries, and the construction of a new elementary in the southwest portion of the district.

The Value Analysis (VA) report assists in the decision making at the schematic design phase for the elementary school projects. The goal for the studies is to review the current design concepts and identify potential opportunities for design cost effectiveness and efficiency. The VA Teams sought to identify site development, planning, and building system alternatives that may offer cost or life cycle cost benefits and/or improve project quality and reduce construction risks.

To see the slides used in this report, and note the proposed changes and estimated cost savings, please visit the PSD website: Value Engineering Report. 

Future Disposition of Firgrove Elementary School

Next, Casello presented options for the disposition of current Firgrove Elementary facilities once the new Firgrove Elementary School has been constructed.

Casello recommended the demolition of the main building. Due to the costs associated with repurposing any of the current facilities due to changing building codes, it was recommended to either:

-         - Demolish the annex building and reuse the materials in the new Firgrove school

-         - Sell the brick annex building to any entity interested

Casello’s report was presented as informational. Directors will consider action to be taken and make a decision at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at Edgemont Junior High.

Graduation Alliance

Dr. Vince Pecchia, chief instructional leadership officer introduced a vendor under consideration for their ability to specialize in dropout recovery and re-engagement of students. The Instructional Leadership Department has met with a representative from Graduation Alliance and is considering their possible contribution as part of the continuum of services offered in the PSD Alternative Learning Experience and Open Doors programs.

Pecchia asked Director of Digital Learning and Puyallup Parent Partnership Programs Lori Hadley to explain the benefits of such a partnership. Graduation Alliance guarantees the following:

-         - Continuum of services for students

-         - Fully accredited program

-         - Resources for students (Chromebook and Wi-Fi access)

-         - Case management of students served

-         - Cost positive for the partnering school district (up to 7%)

Human Resources
The HR report approved by the school board can be found at the following website: Human Resources Department Activity Memo for March 20, 2017.