Board Highlights for November 21, 2016
District Highlights
At this time of the year nearly every school in the district provides opportunities for students to support local families in need. We live in a community of very generous people.

During District Highlights directors were presented with a new webpage on the district’s website where each school’s efforts to support local families is included. The webpage includes a video featuring Superintendent Tim Yeomans encouraging people to visit the page and become a volunteer in one of the many activities sponsored throughout the district.

Directors were encouraged to take some time to review this webpage and see all the generosity taking place across the district. 

Special guest readers were invited to share their writing with the board of directors during District Highlights. First grade students in Mrs. Barker’s and Mrs. Lyons’ classrooms have been working hard on their writing skills. They have been learning the narrative writing process since the beginning of the school year. Some students are now at the “publishing” stage and were invited to share their writing with the Board of Directors. A third grade student from Meeker Elementary was also invited to share his final draft of writing. He has been working with Ms. Wolff in the Primary Support Center on writing skills and was invited to share his progress with the directors.

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Amelie Delgado shared a story about Oktoberfest.
Arabella Lowe shared her writing about Trick or Treating.
Connor Hanson read his story about Legos creations.
Landon Rose shared his writing about Veterans.

Proud parents, classroom teachers, and building principals from both Shaw Road and Meeker elementaries were in the audience. Directors acknowledged each student with a hand shake of congratulations.

Dr. Brian Lowney and Dr. Ailene Baxter then recognized several administrative interns working throughout the district. In addition to providing building leadership around school culture, safety, use of data, improving instruction, managing resources, connecting with community, and closing the achievement gap, our administrative interns are leading district initiatives including:
Raising nearly $20,000 for the Elizabeth Wesley Foundation
Facilitating professional development around Essential Standards, Response to Intervention (RTI), Performance Plus and data analysis, Common Core standards, Smarter Balanced resources, and Interim Assessment Blocks
“Coming alongside the district’s substitute teaching pool by providing focused and meaningful professional development

Board Policy Updates
Directors were presented a first reading of a new school board policy written due to legislative changes and using suggestions by the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA).

Policy 4218 – Language Access Plan

Assistant Superintendent Casey Cox provided directors with an overview of the new policy. Directors will consider approval of this policy at the next regularly scheduled school board meeting on December 12, 2016.

Levy Certification Report
Chief Financial Officer Corine Pennington provided directors with an informational report explaining the reason the district will not be rolling back the levy this year.

Pennington reminded directors that during the annual budget preparation process the amount of taxes to levy are calculated. State law sets forth a precise calculation requirement which establishes the maximum amount a school district can legally levy and collect for levies such as the Educational Programs Replacement Levy, Debt Service Levy, and Technology Levy.

If the maximum amount allowed based on this calculation is less than the voter approved amount, the district is required to “rollback” the levy to the calculated maximum. However, because the district’s Educational Programs Replacement levy as approved by the voters is based on an annual 3% increase and our preliminary assessed valuation increased 11%, the district’s levy authority is greater than the amount approved by the voters for 2017.

Therefore, no roll back is necessary this year.

Business Services Report
The financial statements for August 2016 were presented to directors by Director of Business Services Laura Marcoe. Key messages included the following:

- The 2015-16 year end General Fund balance was $42,585,460.
- Components of the General Fund balance include:
Restricted fund balance of $1.5 million
Non spendable fund balance of $1.5 million
Assigned fund balance of $5.5 million
Committed fund balance of $29.5 million
fund balance of $4.5 million

In addition, Marcoe presented an enrollment update including the following details:
- Enrollment was budgeted for an increase of 213 students over September of 2015.
- Actual September 2016 enrollment (excluding Chief Leschi, Running Start, and PSD alternative programs) was 117 above the budgeted enrollment.
- This should have resulted in a total increase of 330 students.
- Chief Leschi enrollment was budgeted at 808 students but actual September enrollment was only 470, for a decrease of 338 students.
- The actual internal increase of 330 students was offset by the actual decrease of 338 students at Chief Leschi.
- A graphic of enrollment since school started is below:

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Bond Oversight Committee Recommendation
Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello provided directors with an update on the work of the PSD Bond Oversight Committee (BOC).

The BOC was commissioned by the board on February 22, 2016. This thirteen member committee’s charter focused on advising the board regarding:
- Project sequence
- Project timelines
- Scope of projects
- Project budgets
- State match funding
- Consideration of future additional projects
The term of service for this committee is June 1, 2016 to September 1, 2021. Committee members serve on staggered three-year terms.

The BOC oversees the 2015 Bond Program which consists of $292.5 million. They have met twice - June 2016 and October 2016. Participants have discussed the progression of the bond package, reviewed financial reports, studied the details of the five bond program projects, reviewed the 2014 Life Cycle Levy projects, and discussed recommendations for the Board of Directors to consider. 

The BOC will continue to meet during the 2016-2017 school year and will provide another report in the spring of 2017.  

Pope and Hunt elementaries 
At their last meeting, directors were asked to consider new recommendations reducing the scope of the Pope Elementary expansion bond project and providing a 12 classroom addition to Hunt Elementary. The Pope remodel and expansion would become a 32 homeroom building instead of the current plan for 44 homerooms.

Casello reviewed several advantages and benefits to the proposed change. The cost savings are estimated to be $2.8 million. In line with the current boundary review study the changes will disperse students more evenly among the elementary schools in the area.

The Pope project is scheduled to begin in January 2017 with completion in 2020. The Hunt classroom addition would begin in the summer of 2017 and be completed in two years.
Sunrise Elementary
The BOC met on October 24, 2016 and reviewed the 2015 Bond Program progression and project schedules.  

The original bond program schedule plans for the Sunrise Elementary project to open September 2020. The BOC is recommending to modify this schedule and have Sunrise opening September 2019. This would open four new schools (Firgrove, New Elementary, Northwood and Sunrise) and temporarily relocate Pope staff and students during their construction project to the current Firgrove facilities. In his presentation to the directors, Casello provided the folloinwg advantages and possible challenges of this recommendation:
 
PROS:
Overdeliver on bond program promises
Advantages to our design professionals and project managers on planning and design
Educational benefits to staff and students
Resolve student growth issues sooner
More students in a better learning environment sooner than later
Save one year of cost escalation

CONS:
Increased workload on staff for general project support including:
Fixtures and Furniture implementation
Food Services
Instructional Technology
Accounting
Ability to complete small capital projects scheduled for the summer of 2019.
Bidding:
Four projects instead of three may saturate bid environment and stretch out schedule. 
Vendors may have difficulty accommodating the additional load.

Directors will consider this recommendation and make a decision at the next regularly scheduled school board meeting on December 12, 2016.

Action Taken
At the school board meeting on November 7, 2016 Gary Frentress, executive director of capital projects, presented directors with a recommendation from the Bond Oversight Committee which would change the 2015 Bond Pope Elementary project.

On November 21, 2016 directors unanimously approved the recommendation which will reduce the scope of the Pope Elementary expansion bond project and fund a 12 classroom addition to Hunt Elementary. As a result, the Pope remodel and expansion will become a 32 homeroom building instead of the previous plan for 44 homerooms.

On November 7, 2016, Frentress also proposed a change in the 2015 Bond projects that would fund technology upgrades at each of the five bond construction projects. This recommendation also came from the BOC.

On November 21, 2016 directors unanimously approved this recommendation. The total capital cost increase for the five bond projects is $2,642,880.

Human Resources
The HR report approved by the school board can be found at the following website: Human Resources Department Activity Memo for November 21, 2016.

The next meeting of the PSD School Board will be held on Monday, December 12, 2016 beginning at 6 p.m. at Kalles Junior High, 501 - 7th Ave. SE, Puyallup, 98372.