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Board Holds Bond Construction Public Hearing #2
School Board conducts Bond Construction Public Hearing #2
Posted on 06/20/2019

Pierce College President Dr. Darrell Cain addressed the Puyallup School District Board of Directors at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 17. Cain was invited to share about new efforts being made at Pierce College to provide counseling support for Running Start students.

With over 750 Puyallup students choosing to participate in Running Start, the school district has a vested interested in the resources available at the college. Dr. Cain introduced Christine McMullin, the director of advising and entry services and spoke of the work being done to help students seeking assistance.

Dr. Cain thanked the directors for the close partnership between Puyallup School District and Pierce College.

Next, Firgrove Principal Terrie Garrison and Assistant Principal Derrick Pete shared several photos during their presentation on the preparation for transition to a new building. Firgrove Elementary is one of the schools currently under construction thanks to the passage of a 2015 Elementary Construction Bond.

Garrison and Pete highlighted ways staff have been preparing including a book study, refining of the school mission statement, establishment of new core values, identification of strengths and areas of growth, and plenty of time for processing. Two new logos have been designed for the Firgrove Hawks including one for professional publications, and one for spirit wear.

Emerald Ridge High School Principal Richard Lasso then addressed the Board of Directors. He introduced four students representing the ERHS American Sign Language Team who recently participated in an ASL competition. For the second year, ERHS students have won the state championship in this competition. Students shook hands with directors who praised them for their accomplishment.

Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox then introduced Dr. Guy Kovacs, principal at Kalles Junior High School and the AWSP Middle Level Principal of the Year.

Each year the Association of Washington School Principals recognizes three principals with Principal of the Year awards, celebrating elementary, middle, and high school principals. For 2019 the Puyallup School District is well represented with two of the award winners:

 • Guy Kovacs, KJH

 • Jason Smith RHS

Guy Kovacs has been a principal in the Puyallup School District for 19 years. Currently he is principal at Kalles Junior High where teachers and staff, parents and students speak of their appreciation for the support they receive from Guy.

“He walks alongside teachers, believing in the importance of connecting with others, listening to their feedback, and giving them voice. Guy has created an environment where great ideas thrive, and risks are taken.” These were comments spoken by staff and students at a recent celebration and were repeated by Fox. AWSP will fly Dr. Kovacs to Washington DC for even more recognition at the national level.

Rogers High School Principal Jason Smith represents Washington State as the high school principal of the year and will also travel to DC for recognition. He was nominated for the AWSP award by RHS teacher Colleen Pancake who says, “Jason is the heart and soul of Rogers High School and the reason our school culture is so strong. He’s the true definition of a servant leader, always striving to take care of his staff and students in any way possible.”

Smith has also been chosen as the Jostens Renaissance Educator of the Year, which is a national award. Jason is one of two recipients this year, chosen from more than 6,000 schools. The award is presented to individuals who have positively impacted the climate and culture of their school.

Fox then recognized Ridgecrest Elementary Principal Michelle Fox for successfully defending her doctoral dissertation, graduating from Washington State University with a Doctor of Education degree. Dr. Michelle Fox stood for recognition.

Finally, directors honored many of this year’s 61 retirees including:

Lori Apostle

Sandra Benson

Julie Boitano

Darrell Brown

Martha Buckmaster-Smith

Alice Chaffeur

Cathy Davison

Dan Davison

Theresa Gotter

Kathleen Guimond

Dawn Harmon

Russell Hites

Heidi Hobbs

Lisa Jensema

Sabrina Koestler

Hester Little

Marilyn Mickley

Fred Orton

Susan Robinson

Debbie Rouse

Darlene Short

Tom Spane

Beth Watts

Fox thanked retirees for their many years of service noting that each has had a significant part in touching the lives of many Puyallup students.

Each retiree’s biography was read aloud. Retirees received a lapel pin and yellow rose as momentos of the occasion. The recognition was immediately followed by a reception outside the Glacier View Commons where cake and coffee were served.

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. This was an overview of the same presentation made to the board at their meeting on June 3.

With the growing needs of our district and the impact they 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 four high schools. 

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 greater control of entry ways.

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 reported an estimated cost of $272,677,000 to complete the four high school projects recommending a bond in total of $273 million.

Assistant Superintendent Corine Pennington presented a recommendation for two bond sales should the board pass an election resolution. She proposed the following

 • Bond sale of $150 million on February 1, 2020

 • Bond sale of $123 million on December 1, 2021

Pennington next spoke of the total impact on tax-payers should a construction bond be approved by voters. She noted that the bond rate in 2020 would be $2.07 – the same rate seen in 2017. Pennington reminded directors of the new $1.00 state school tax which went into effect in 2018. To reduce the impact to tax-payers, directors authorized an inter-fund loan which reduced collections and the rate for 2018. This loan was paid off in 2019, thus returning the rate to $2.07.

Should voters approve new bond sales, there would be an increase of 37 cents for the first year bringing the total impact to $2.44.

To see the schedule showing bond rates from 2010 through 2040 visit the PSD website.

Pennington shared that there will be three election resolutions for directors to consider on July 1, 2019 at their regularly scheduled meeting. The Pierce County Elections Office deadline for filing is August 6.

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

Immediately following the presentation by Casello and Pennington the board opened Public Hearing #2.

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.

President Ihrig opened the public meeting and invited comments. No one made comments. 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 closed the public meeting.

Action: Operations – Director of Facilities Planning Brian Devereux presented directors with information regarding the possible purchase of six parcels of land from Immanuel Lutheran Church near Puyallup High School.

Quoting from the PSD 2018-2023 Capital Facilities Plan, Devereux has noted, “...the Puyallup High School campus remains significantly undersized to accommodate the site improvements identified by the District’s high school education specifications for a comprehensive high school facility. In order to provide space for athletic fields and onsite parking for staff and students, additional land acquisition is a priority for its future development. Property expansion near Puyallup High School, as well as property west of the Sparks Stadium, is of high interest to the District to meet the high schools’ long-range needs. The District will look for future opportunities to purchase the adjacent properties when made available by the owners, potentially within the next six years.”

“In 2018, district staff became aware that Immanuel Lutheran Church was looking to dispose of a portion of their property directly across from the high school campus, including a parking lot area where PHS staff are permitted to park under an existing reciprocal parking agreement,” shared Devereux.

The proposed property purchase will ensure continued use of the church’s existing parking lot area for high school use. It will also provide an onsite parking expansion opportunity in the future, potentially as part of a future PHS bond project. Parking has been a major discussion item with the City of Puyallup historically and will be again when the district moves forward with adding additional capacity to the high school.

Funding for this purchase will come from school impact fee revenue. An appraisal was acquired by the district in conformance with Board Policy 6905. The district’s legal counsel has prepared the accompanying real estate purchase and sale agreement. The seller signed the agreement June 2, 2019. The agreement includes feasibility contingencies including an environmental assessment of the property.

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

Action: Student Services – On June 3, at their regularly scheduled meeting, the Board of Directors heard an update regarding the annual revision of the student handbook called, “Rights and Responsibilities.” Director of Student Services Char Krause provided an overview of this update.

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.

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

Report: Safe and Inclusive Culture - Director of Student Services Char Krause and Chief Assessment and Accountability Officer Glenn Malone provided directors with an update to a presentation made at the March 22, 2019 Board Study Session. “Creating a Safe and Inclusive Culture” was a report focused on community partnerships related to the social, emotional, behavioral and physical health of students.

Several terms were highlighted and defined by Krause including:

Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) – an umbrella term for a framework that identifies levels of support for students through making data-driven decisions, implementing research-based programs/strategies, and monitoring progress.

Response to Intervention (RTI) – a framework that calls for research-based interventions to be implemented to academically struggling students.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) – a term for a framework that identifies critical behavioral expectations and skills that will be taught to students, much like math and reading.

Results from the 2018 Healthy Youth Survey were reviewed with a focus on the percentage of students showing suicidal feelings and/or depressive feelings. Krause shared concern about this. “We want to see what we can do to support students in our district who feel this way.”

Another data point providing background and creating a sense of urgency in providing support comes from a recent Thoughtexchange conducted in May and offered to junior high and high school students. Nearly 3,000 participants provided commentary in response to the question, “What are some important things we can do together to support the well-being of yourself and other students at school?”

Krause shared about Prevention Intervention Services noting 413 screenings had taken place this school year as of May 2019.

Dr. Malone then shared information about the district’s partnership with Mary Bridge and other agencies to provide services for students in Puyallup. Kids Mental Health Pierce County is working to prevent, investigate, prosecute and treat child abuse. The goal is to provide a wellness center, improved access to care, mobile teams of support, and other resources to address students in crisis.

Another initiative being studied is the improved and expanded access to school-based health clinics. The clinic currently at Rogers High School is thanks to a partnership with Madigan. Other school-based health clinics have been toured to learn more about how to offer clinics in Puyallup schools.

Krause reminded directors of the recent Suicide Prevention Symposium which was the result of several partnerships, and noted the on-going connections made between Puyallup School District and other area agencies.

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

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

Upcoming meetings – The next meeting the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 1, 2019 at the Education Services Center (ESC) located at 302 2nd Street SE, Puyallup in the Mt. Tahoma Room.