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Highlights of the School Board Meeting
Highlights of the School Board Meeting
Posted on 09/13/2019

Board Highlights for September 9, 2019

At their regularly scheduled meeting on September 9, 2019, the Puyallup School District Board of Directors began their meeting viewing photos from the first day of school. Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox shared photos representing several schools taken by district photographers Nancy French and Anne Martin.

first day familyDistrict videographer Andy Lynch also captured the excitement of the first day of school and produced a brief Welcome Back video celebrating the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

You can see all photos and the Welcome Back video on the PSD website: First Day Fun!

Next, Fox introduced the executive director of Communities In Schools of Puyallup, Jan Mauk. Every August the Puyallup community steps up and helps prepare students for a new school year, and Jan Mauk and her team from Communities In Schools are always in the lead.

Directors learned about the success of this year’s Fill The Canoe School Supply Drive sponsored by Redjan Mauk CIS Canoe Credit Union. Mauk reminded us of last year’s drive and the 4,200 pounds collected. Federal Way School District collected 4,800 pounds of school supplies this year. “They really set the bar high for us this year,” said Mauk. “Thanks to 31 partners in the community and countless individuals, this year we collected 6,664 pounds of school supplies for students . . . the Puyallup community was incredibly generous.”

Mauk went on to thank the 40 volunteers who helped sort, inventory, and pack the over 30,000 items with an estimated value of over $41,000.

You can follow the many ways CIS supports Puyallup students on the Communities In Schools of Puyallup Facebook page.

Mark KnightJust in time for school to begin, the Empowering Puyallup team deployed over 11,000 computers to students in grades seven through twelve. The technology-focused initiative was an idea for quite some time before the PSD Board of Directors approved the work in December 2015. Four years later, the Empowering Puyallup team is celebrating a successful implementation of the project.

With a goal to align technology and instructional resources for ALL students across the district, Empowering Puyallup was begun, and accelerated by the Board of Directors so that all Puyallup students and staff would have online learning resources available at all times.

Mark VetterHelping honor the many staff members who made the implementation a success were Executive Director of Digital Educational Platforms Mark Knight and Executive Director of Instructional Technology Mark Vetter.

Those honored include:

Jeff Hinkle, technology services manager

Jennifer Mathis, technical lead

Nick O’Neill, project manager

Nancy Nelson, teacher on special assignment (TOSA)

Leslie Snyder, TOSA

Jeremy Roy, TOSA

Sara Deaver, TOSA

Melissa Ashton, TOSA
EP team

Additional thoughts shared by Superintendent Yeomans highlighted primary purpose of Empowering Puyallup as a learning initiative. “These are the tools

our kids are going to need to have for a post-secondary opportunity.” He went on to remind directors that in 2013 only three schools could test online. Thanks to the work done to improve technology access in Puyallup schools we can now test at all schools.

“This was an initiative to empower children,” said Yeomans, “to ensure all children had access to technology. This is an equity issue. We want not only those who could afford the technology, but each child to have equal access to these learning opportunities. This is now a reality because of all the work of the people you see – we cannot thank you enough - for the children in this community and the generations of children to come.”

To read more about the Empowering Puyallup initiative, visit the PSD website: Empowering Puyallup: Puyallup School District’s top learning initiative is completed.

Public Comment - Several 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 the first 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 6102 - District Fund Raising Activities

Directors will consider approval of these changes at the next regularly scheduled school board meeting on September 23, 2019.

Report –
Chief Academic Officer Brian Lowney presented an overview of recent legislative changes which have resulted in language changes related to the certificate of academic achievement, pathways to graduation, and the high school and beyond plan.

Dr. Lowney shared about State Board of Education high school graduation requirements and how recent legislative changes will impact Puyallup School District’s policy recommendations

Of note are three new requirements:

  • Students will now opt-out of Fast Start credits earned in grades seven and eight rather than opting-in.
  • The High School and Beyond Plan will be housed on a new statewide online platform beginning in 2020-2021.
  • Assessment requirements will be part of the new Pathways to Graduation requirement.

Dr. Lowney provided the information in preparation for the first reading of policy change recommendations which directors will see at their next meeting on September 23.

Visit the PSD website to see the Senate Bill Report for E2SHB 1599.

To see the slides used in Dr. Lowney’s presentation, click here.

Report – In a report to directors, Superintendent Tim Yeomans provided an update of new programs and the projects that have recently come to fruition including:

  • Dual language program has been expanded to include not only Karshner Elementary, but also Dessie F. Evans Elementary.
  • The elementary program for highly capable students, QUEST, has nearly doubled this year. The highly capable program for junior high students is now at three schools. Advanced Placement courses are now available at all junior high schools. The Advanced Placement Capstone Program continues at each high school.
  • The district opened four new schools this fall. “We have managed funds so effectively we are able to deliver on 14 projects rather than just the seven which were promised,” said Yeomans. Because of great money management, three junior high renovation projects are beginning this year.

Dr. Yeomans went on to point out that Puyallup School District is 272 out of 295 in Washington State when it comes to per pupil funding. Because of recent changes in state funding, financial support for Puyallup students has been significantly reduces. “This is our reality,” said Yeomans. “It’s what we deal with now and into the future.”

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, September 23, 2019, at Ferrucci Junior High, 3213 Wildwood Park Drive, Puyallup, WA 98374.