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Highlights of the PSD School Board meeting
Highlights of the PSD School Board meeting: January 22, 2019
Posted on 01/25/2019

At their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, January 22 the Board of Directors had a front row seat for the performance of Mercury Rising, a percussion piece performed by student musicians from Ballou Junior High School.

Under the direction of Rick Thill, the students demonstrated their skill on xylophone, vibraphone, marimba, bass drum, snare drum, timpani, and cymbals. Performers included:

Caden Ankrom

David DeBruler

Trevor Filmore

Emilio Ganchorre

Luke Rushton

Nathan Smilonich

Asher Snyder

 In coming weeks these students will perform the piece at the Valley Region Solo and Ensemble and receive a critique from judges. We wish them well.

Next, Director of Instructional Leadership Tracy Pitzer honored student volunteers who earned a varsity letter for their efforts in first semester. To earn the PSD Varsity Letter in Volunteer Service, students between grades 7 and 12 must complete at least 150 hours of voluntary community service. Students document their community service through pictures and video and upload their work as well as their hours onto Schoology. To complete the portfolio, students write a 250-500 word reflection of their community service. The portfolio is then submitted for review.

Over 50 students earned varsity letters first semester. Most of them attended the school board meeting Tuesday evening to receive their letter and shake hands with the directors. You can find the complete list of volunteers on the PSD website.

Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox then presented directors with data from the recent Thoughtexchange conducted January 7-16. Staff, students, parents, and community members were all part of the conversation in response to the question, “What are some things you think we are doing well and some things we can focus on in order to improve?”

The Thoughtexchange tool is used because it was built using sound social research theories and leverages the power of group intelligence. Using the principles of collaborative negotiation, the Thoughtexchange tool engages participants in meaningful ways and allows people to consider a variety of perspectives. As a result, the data gathered provides the district with an idea of the shared values and shared concerns.

Fox shared the six themes including: learning environment, support services, leadership and staff, safety and security, and stakeholder engagement, as well as a category of other which contains general statements which don’t align with a specific category. He thanked the 1,635 participants for taking the time to consider and rank 46,718 thoughts others shared.

Visit the PSD website to see a full report from the JanuaryThoughtexchange.

Finally, Fox reminded directors of the many assemblies, events, and activities which have taken place in schools over the past few weeks in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Directors viewed a recent video titled, “be the one” which documents the annual Kalles Junior High School march from campus to Pioneer Park. This year, the featured speaker was former KJH teacher Dessie F. Evans.

You can view the video, “be the one” on the PSD website.

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 2107 - Comprehensive Early Learning Plan

 - Policy 2170 - Career and Technical Education

 - Policy 2413 - Equivalency Courses

 - Policy 4220 - Community Member Complaints Concerning Staff or Program

Directors will consider approval of these changes at the next regularly scheduled school board meeting on February 4, 2019.


 • EdTec: Mark Vetter, executive director of instructional technology, Nick O’Neill, project manager for Empowering Puyallup, and Nancy Nelson, instructional coach for Empowering Puyallup provided directors with an update on the Empowering Puyallup initiative. In 2015, the PSD Board of Directors approved the Empowering Puyallup project to provide 1:1 computers in grades 4-12. Since then, Empowering Puyallup and EdTec have worked to update Policy 2022 and Regulation 2022R, purchase and implement Schoology as our Learning Management System, and implemented Microsoft’s Office 365 platform and tools. Empowering Puyallup has laid the groundwork for full implementation of 1:1 computer learning in grades 4-12 in the fall of 2019. We will discuss our current and future roll-out plans leading to substantial completion of phase 1 of the Empowering Puyallup project. 

To see the slides used in this presentation click here.

Instructional Leadership: Director of Instructional Leadership Arturo Gonzalez presented an  update on progress and implementation of the new two-way dual language program at Karshner Elementary School. Gonzalez discussed district staffing, curriculum and assessment changes, and the introduction of new instructional materials, taking the dual language program into consideration to ensure ongoing alignment with teaching and learning standards and research-based best practices.

 To see the slides used in this presentation click here.

Business Services: Assistant Superintendent Corine Pennington and Director of Nutrition Services and Logistic Support Judy Bender introduced their recommendation to House Bill 2610 which was passed last year during the 2018 legislative session. The new law is called the Hunger Free Students’ bill of rights. Since the safety, health, and welfare of Puyallup students is always the highest priority, the Food and Nutrition Department is recommending a new “Parent Portal” to meet the expectations of the law.

 To learn more about the new tool visit the PSD website and view the slides used in this presentation here.

 Business Services: Director of Business Services Laura Marcoe presented the November 30, 2018 Financial Statements for the General Fund, Capital Projects Fund, Debt Service Fund, Associated Student Body Fund, Transportation Vehicle Fund, and the Private Purpose Trust Fund.

 November is the last month of substantial receipts for fall property tax collections.  Approximately $3.2 million, $1.4 million, and $60,000 was received for the General, Debt Service, and Capital Projects Funds, respectively.

 In an effort to avoid a spike in tax rates for residents, the Board of Directors approved a short-term interfund loan from the Capital Projects Fund to the Debt Service Fund. As of November, the interfund loan of $7,250,000 appears as a receivable of the Capital Projects Fund and payable of the Debt Service Fund.

To see the slides used in this presentation click here.

Public Comment – Five 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.

 Action Item: Name Recommendation – Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello returned to the board to learn their consideration of a name recommended for the future Student Services building at the Support Campus as presented at the last meeting. The recommendation from a naming committee is the Kessler Center. The property was purchased in 1986 from Donald and Edith Kessler. Their daughter, Gayle Shenk, was raised in the what many district employees referred to as “little red house” which served as a Science Resource Center for several years. She graduated from PHS and worked for Puyallup Special Services and the PSD Transportation Department.

Directors approved the recommendation.

Action Item: Human Resources – Assistant Superintendent Amie Brandmire asked for consideration for approval of a ratified collective bargaining agreement for the Puyallup Extra Curricular Athletics and Activities Association (PECAAA). The district reached tentative agreement with the coaches, and PECAAA members ratified their tentative agreement for September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2021.

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

Upcoming meetings – The next meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2019, at Glacier View Junior High, 12807 – 184th Street E, Puyallup, WA 98374.