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Highlights of the October 21 School Board Meeting
Highlights of the October 21 School Board Meeting
Posted on 10/22/2019
Brian, Nancy, and Gerald

Board Highlights for October 21, 2019

Directors began their meeting by honoring three administrators for their successful defense of doctoral dissertations.

Mills and JulianDr. Adriana Julian (pictured right) earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Washington. She serves as Director of Digital Learning and the Puyallup Parent Partnership Program.

Dr. Angelo Mills (pictured right) earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Washington. He serves as Emerald Ridge High School Assistant Principal.

Dr. Maija Thiel earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Washington. She serves as Director of Instructional Learning for Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Next, Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox presented an overview of the district’s programs for highly capable students. “Highly capable students are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments,” said Fox. ”These students have a lot of support in the Puyallup School District.”

Whether it’s the Young Scholars program for kindergarten through second grade, the QUEST program for students in grades three through six, the PAGE program for junior high students, the rigor found in Advanced Placement courses, College in the High School, AP Capstone, or Running Start, there are many options for those seeking something more than what is offered in a regular classroom.

Over the past several years, the district has provided greater access to these programs in an effort to ensure representation from our entire population, and to accommodate the incredible growth in our community.

Beginning this fall, the following expansion has taken place:

  • QUEST is offered at eight sites and the program is serving 511 students.
  • PAGE is offered at three junior high schools and now serves 354 highly capable junior high students.
  • In the high schools the district is offering 22 different Advanced Placement courses to 1,354 students, and AP Capstone is in full implementation at all three comprehensive high schools.

Chief Equity and Achievement Officer Gerald Denman then introduced colleagues who work to support highly capable students in Puyallup School District

  • Nancy Velasquez, Highly Capable Coordinator, oversees Young Scholars, QUEST, and PAGE
  • Dr. Brian Lowney, Chief Academic Officer, oversees Advanced Programs, AP Capstone, College in the High School, and Running Start

Denman also thanked members of the board for support of students, staff, and families.

Superintendent Tim Yeomans reminded directors of their goal to expand access to programs for the highly capable and noted the new practice of testing all second grade students as one way to better identify students with potential. In appreciation for all the work done, Yeomans continued, “Thank you for your relentless press to serve each child . . . when we provide these opportunities, children thrive.”

To read more about the district’s programs for highly capable students visit the PSD webpage: PSD Highly Capable Programs.

Public Comment - Two 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 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 2400 – High School Graduation Requirements

Directors approved the changes as presented. To view the talking points used, visit the PSD webpage: Policy Review Talking Points.

Report – Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Leadership Vince Pecchia and Director of Instructional Leadership for Professional Development and School Support Amanda Kraft provided an update of initiatives related to professional development, early learning initiatives, and before and after school childcare.

The Instructional Leadership Department implemented a focused and sustainable professional development program at the start of the 2016 – 2017 school year. Since that time, the professional development program has grown substantially, with classes being offered most Wednesday afternoons for certificated and classified staff. 

In addition, the Instructional Leadership Department has begun assessing candidates for Kindergarten Academy that will start in January 2020. “We are working with facilities and transportation and the business office in identifying the best locations for Kindergarten Academy,” said Pecchia. “Kindergarten Academy starts January 21, 2020 and goes for 20 weeks. It’s an exciting opportunity.”

The Instructional Leadership Department partnered with a provider, Right At School, who implemented a before and after school childcare program at the start of the 2017 – 2018 school year. The before and after school childcare program currently serves 1,300+ students at all elementary schools across the district.

Superintendent Yeomans noted these programs have been an area of focus for some time. “In our part of the country, we have one of the finest programs going,” said Yeomans. “The effort is to get more students ready for kindergarten when they arrive.”

To view the slides used in this presentation click here.

Action – Chief Academic Officer Brian Lowney introduced a team of leaders from Carson Elementary School to share about a donation from the Carson Parent and Teachers Association (PTA).

Administrative Intern Erynn Alvers named each member of the team and thanked the Carson PTA for a donation of $16,299.50. Alvers went on to list the items to be purchased and praised the PTA leaders for all they do for students at Carson.

Directors approved the donation.

Action – Chief Academic Officer Christine Moloney brought a donation item for consideration. She introduced Mountain View Elementary Principal Judy Piger to share details.

Piger introduced Aidan Cornell who represents the Names Family Foundation and a donation of up to $15,000 for the installation of a sign for the school.

Directors approved the donation.

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

Upcoming meetings – The next meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 4, 2019, at Ferrucci Junior High, 3213 Wildwood Park Drive, Puyallup, WA 98374.