Rumor How Healthy Is Principal Financial Group

					                      Parent Superintendent Council
                           Agenda Summary


            February 16, 2010 | 10:00 am – 12:00 noon | Sureño Elementary School

Topic                       Summary
Introduction and Remarks    Patricia Weegar welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Sureño
                            Principal Jim Strogen who thanked his PTO for hosting. Patty introduced
                            Governing Board members who were present and reviewed the agenda.

District Information        Advocacy Information on Website
• Advocacy Information on   Karin Smith showed the link on the Kyrene webpage where budget
   Website                  information can be accessed at
• Advanced Placement        http://www.kyrene.org/aboutksd/budgetupdates/BudgetElection.htm.
   Testing                  There is a link to information about the override election including a
• PSC List Serve            section on advocacy and what staff and parent organizations can and cannot
                            do to advocate for elections. Penalties for using district resources to
                            influence the election can range from fines up to voiding the election
                            results. Any information that is on the Kyrene website can be posted on
                            PTO websites. No emails should be sent by parent organizations to
                            Kyrene.org email addresses, because those often get forwarded and then we
                            could be in violation. If someone asks for information about the election
                            we are allowed to direct them to a political action committee.

                            Two questions were asked that needed further research. Following is the
                            information requested:
                            • Q: Can schools use their school list serve (email or newsletters) to
                                provide instructions on how to obtain an absentee ballot?
                                A: Yes – the district may include instructions on how to obtain an
                                absentee ballot as part of its general authority under the Attorney
                                General to make early ballot/absentee request forms and information
                                available on school sites.
                            • Q: Can we post “Election Day – March 9” on our school marquees?
                                A: Yes – this type of notice does not seem to fall into the prohibition
                                under the Attorney General guidelines against campaign signs that
                                advocate for/against an override. It is critical to make sure that it does
                                not say ‘how to’ vote.

                            Advanced Placement Testing
                            Patty distributed a flyer that spells out the timeline for Advanced Language
                            Arts and Math Testing for middle schoolers and Gifted Testing for
                            elementary students.

                            PSC List Serve
                            Nancy Hetrick informed the group that there is an email list serve that PSC
Topic                   Summary
                        representatives can join and then use as a tool to contact each other with
                        questions or ideas. To join the email group, go to
                        http://www.kyrene.org/psc/ and click on “Subscribe to Discussion Board.”
                        Enter your email address, name, and the password: ksdcommunity. Once
                        you have logged on the first time you will receive a confirming email that
                        you have been added to the PSC group email list and you will be able to
                        send or respond to emails from that group.

PTO Sharing             Sureño After-School Clubs
• Sureño After-School   Mrs. Peck, instructor of Sureño’s after-school drama club, Panther Players,
  Clubs                 brought a group of students who presented an excerpt from “You’re a
                        Good Man, Charlie Brown.” Funding for Panther Players is provided by
                        tax credit dollars. On May 13 they will be performing “Miss Nelson is
                        Missing” and the community is invited to attend.

Current Topic           Safety and Security Project
• Safety and Security   Karin Smith and Mark Share presented information about the Safety and
  Project               Security Project currently being installed to enhance safety on all our
                        campuses. This project is part of Kyrene’s Strategic Plan Goal #3: “The
                        District will provide high-quality, safe facilities that support healthy
                        student learning environments.” Installation is complete at three schools
                        and Sureño is in the process of becoming the 4th to receive it. Mark talked
                        about the team approach to planning this project and the scope of work.
                        What is unique about this project is that it integrates three systems: Card
                        Access, Intrusion Alarm and Video surveillance.

                        Card Access System: There will be district wide photo ID badges that use
                        Smart Card Technology. Only certain doors at each site will be access
                        doors, although all doors will be exit doors. Inside the building, regular
                        keys will still be used for classrooms. In the past, when a master key was
                        lost it cost $10,000 to $20,000 to re-key a school. If a Smart Card access
                        ID is lost, it can be deactivated instantaneously by computer. There will be
                        different color ID badges for staff, vendors and substitutes. Substitute
                        teachers will be given substitute badges; when they get to the school they
                        will receive their room key and a Smart Card to access the building that
                        they turn in when they leave.

                        Intrusion Alarm System: This is only active during specified times. It is
                        remotely monitored and if someone tries to get into the building and does
                        not have an ID badge to disarm the system, the security monitoring
                        company calls the police.

                        Video Surveillance System: There is both exterior and interior
                        surveillance that allows observation of parking and drop-off areas, building
                        entry areas, multi-purpose rooms, entry areas to restrooms (not in
                        restrooms) and administration areas. Only authorized staff can view the
                        video record and we can store the images for several weeks so they can be
                        accessed during an investigation. Some of the cameras have motion
                        sensors and are only turned on when there is movement. The sole purpose
Topic                        Summary
                             of the surveillance is for safety and security.

                             It takes about 3 weeks to install the new security system at an elementary
                             school and 5-6 weeks at a middle school. Installation at all schools will be
                             complete by the start of school in 2011. Mark demonstrated a live video
                             surveillance camera at Colina. Funding for the Safety and Security Project
                             comes from the 2005 bond election and cannot be used for salaries and
                             operations. At the schools where the system has already been installed, the
                             staff welcome it and have a greater sense of safety. Karin said the video
                             surveillance has helped with discipline issues – fights on the playground,
                             bike theft, etc. Even though we did not have a major safety issue before,
                             we want our environment to be as safe as possible.

                             There will be a lockdown mechanism that can be activated by the school or
                             remotely from the district office when necessary. During normal working
                             hours if someone without an access ID tries to open a door it will not set
                             off the alarm, but it will after hours. For the schools that have on-site
                             security staff, they will hear the alarm if it is triggered. We are not
                             publicizing the timeline and other details of the security project installation
                             because we don’t want to advertise which schools are not yet armed with
                             this system.

Group Discussion             Rumor Control/ Questions
• Rumor Control/ Questions   Everyone took a moment to write down questions they have or rumors they
                             have heard about the District. Staff responded to the following questions
                             at the meeting. Other questions will be answered by email.

                             Q: Is Kyrene considering closing schools with low enrollment?
                             A: Dr. Schauer said we have been looking at this for the last 10 years so it
                             is not new. We are in the process of developing a formula to show the
                             capacity at which our schools are operating. Closing a school is not a
                             financial windfall, because all those kids still attend somewhere and need
                             the same number of staff. The savings is in building operations –
                             electricity, air conditioning, etc. Many districts are trying to develop
                             innovative programs to market at smaller schools and we are looking at
                             that too.

                             Q: What is the budget impact on the specials at elementary schools and
                             electives at the middle schools?
                             A: Patty said the K-8 committee is studying the most effective and efficient
                             way to deliver programs. They are looking at ways to make specials and
                             electives more efficient – not to eliminate the programs, but just to staff
                             them more efficiently. What they are concentrating on is the fact that after
                             kids sign up for electives, they change their minds and then we end up with
                             classes of only a few students. We plan to make it clear to kids that there
                             will be very few changes made after they make their selections. Jim
                             Strogen is one of the chairs of the elementary specials group and he said
                             they are trying to come up with a better system for allocating specials staff
                             to cut down on travel expenses for them to drive from school to school.
Topic                        Summary

                             Q: Is All Day Kindergarten in peril?
                             A: Dr. Schauer said that it is part of the Governor’s budget solution and
                             also the legislature’s budget solution to cut funding for All Day
                             Kindergarten (ADK). So far nothing has changed so we are continuing
                             with enrollment for next year. We have looked at the cost of funding this
                             program if the state cuts it, and it would be millions of dollars. As we
                             develop different budget scenarios we will include variables such as cuts to
                             ADK funding. Chandler School District has come out saying they will
                             fund the program even if the legislature does not. They have additional
                             funding because they are still growing. We could implement an ADK
                             program with a tuition fee, but this could definitely impact us because
                             some of our kindergarten parents may choose to Open Enroll at a district
                             where ADK is free.

                             Q: Will there be any changes to Gifted services for next year?
                             A: Shari Dukes said there is a Gifted Program Study group that meets
                             tonight with the K-8 Committee to give a presentation and propose some
                             changes. They are proposing repurposing some of the funding so teachers
                             are ready to meet the needs of these students.

                             Q: Are we talking about all-year school?
                             A: Dr. Schauer said we have a tri-district calendar committee looking at
                             different calendar options we could consider. A year-round calendar could
                             be a possibility, as could a 200-day calendar.

                             The rest of the questions will be answered in writing and sent by email.

Special Guest                Federal Update and Q & A
• Federal update and Q & A   Congressman Harry Mitchell addressed the group. He talked about the
                             importance of community involvement in education. He said there are
                             many changes due to the current economy, and recommended reading an
                             article in the Feb 1 New Yorker magazine about Arte Duncan, which gives
                             good insight into the direction where school administration is going. One
                             thing the article talks about is that competitive grants are the way of the
                             future, and there are current grants that states and school districts can apply
                             for. Congressman Mitchell is on the Science and Technology Committee
                             and they are pushing STEM education (science, technology, engineering
                             and math). This movement starts by guiding elementary students toward
                             careers in these fields. Congressman Mitchell introduced Adralyn Wendel
                             who handles the education issues in his Scottsdale office. He invited
                             questions from the meeting attendees.

                             Q: What are Arizona’s chances of getting one of the grants?
                             A: We will find out in April which states receive the Race to the Top grant
                             and those that did not can reapply. The point of the grant is to reward
                             innovation. One of the upcoming initiatives is that teachers must be
                             rewarded for effectiveness, and seniority can no longer be used as the basis
                             for pay increases.
Topic                            Summary

                                 Q: In focusing on the STEM subjects, are we slighting the fields of
                                 government and history and failing to give our students a well-rounded
                                 education?
                                 A: Congressman Mitchell said that education has changed a lot since he
                                 attended an ungraded elementary school and we may need to go back to a
                                 system of motivating students in other ways. Students need a well-rounded
                                 education and should be exposed to enough different things that they can
                                 find what they are good at.

                                 Q: Can anything be done through STEM to move kids further ahead in
                                 those subjects?
                                 A: Congressman Mitchell said this may be something that could be
                                 addressed in Race to the Top. Some people want more national standards
                                 to drive students toward high goals and others want more local control.
                                 People tend to teach the way they were taught and there needs to be
                                 training in new methods.

                                 Q: Michelle Obama is tackling health issues and childhood obesity. Is
                                 there any talk of making PE mandatory in AZ? Is there any move toward
                                 federal funding for this?
                                 A: Congressman Mitchell said that since the President’s wife is taking this
                                 on, there will likely be legislation to bring it to the forefront. It may be that
                                 grants will be available in this area. Dr. Schauer said Race to the Top is
                                 the first step in a dramatic change to the way we educate students. It is a
                                 shift in national policy toward education that we hope will be beneficial.
                                 He said that No Child Left Behind focused on accountability and standards
                                 with punitive measures if you didn’t make it. With the reauthorization of
                                 the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) we could see a
                                 significant departure from the past by rewarding good teachers who can
                                 differentiate the education of each individual child.

Closing                          Dr. Schauer thanked everyone for attending and Sureño for hosting. The
                                 next PSC meeting will be on March 23 at Esperanza Elementary.

Minutes taken by Nancy Hetrick

				
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