HIghlights from the school board meeting
Highlights from the school board meeting
Posted on 05/04/2017

District Highlights

Directors were shown several photos from the recent Honoring Cultures Diversity Celebration and STEM Showcase held at the Washingtonboys STEM State Fairgrounds during the Spring Fair. Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox noted the thousands of visitor attending the event and highlighted the presentations made by hundreds of students. Performances on stage, displays of student artwork, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) presentations were all completed for parents and families of the Puyallup community as well as the many visitors to the fairgrounds for the Spring Fair. “It was evident that the Puyallup School District values cultural competency, integration of the arts, hands-on and practical learning in science and math, hard work, persistence, accountability, and a tradition of excellence,” said Fox.

interpretersPhotos of the meeting including representatives from the Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Office of Education in the Republic of Korea, the Northwest Culture Foundation, and the Puyallup School District were next shared with directors. Fox provided a summary of the eventful visit leaving details to Dr. Vince Pecchia in his formal report to the board later in the meeting. Read the full story on the district website: PSD enters agreement with educators from Korea.

Next, six school principals representing the staff and students of their schools received recognition as Washington Achievement Award winners. These awards, based on statewide assessment data, honor schools for their successful efforts to improve student learning. Principals Guy Kovacs and Pat McGregor were honored for closing the achievement gap for student with disabilities at Kalles Junior High and Meeker Elementary.

Four schools won the Washington Achievement Award with special recognition for growth in mathematics achievement. Principals Michelle Fox (pictured with flowers), Elissa Dornan, Lisa McNamara, and Heather McMullen accepted recognition on behalf of students and staff at Ridgecrest, Stewart, Sunrise, and Woodland elementaries.

Finally, Woodland Elementary was honored for the fifth consecutive year for earning the Overal Excellence Award from the state. This means each year Woodland has been among the top five percent of schools based on state assessments in the areas of reading, writing, math, and science.

Flower bouquets were presented to each principal, and each director offered congratulations with a hand shake.

Next, directors honored the 2017 PSD Volunteer of the Year Laura Tacy. Laura was nominated by Stahl Junior High administrators because of her consistency in organizing and leading events at the school. She was complimented as being kind, patient, and incredibly giving of her time and resources. It was also noted that Ms. Tacy’s children no longer attend Stahl, but her volunteerism continues. Tacy received a plaque, and each director thanked her for her work with a hand shake. See more about Tacy’s award on the district website: PSD 2017-17 Volunteer of the Year.

Next, Dr. Yeomans recognized former school board director Greg Heath with the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA)dane and greg Community Leadership Award. Heath has been an active and involved member of the Puyallup community for several years and was thanked for his dedication to the students and families of the Puyallup School District. Heath shook hands with directors (pictured with President Looker) and received a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

Each year the Puyallup School District celebrates the hard work and dedication of teachers and selects one outstanding elementary teacher and one outstanding secondary teacher to honor as Teachers of the Year. Three district administrators spoke from the podium letting directors know about the exemplary efforts of three district educators.

From Hunt Elementary, Principal Rebecca Williams shared her respect and appreciation for librarian teacher John Huson. From Puyallup High School, Principal Dave Sunich celebrated the many accomplishments of math and chemistry teacher Angie Reed. Director of Instructional Leadership for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Maija Thiel recognized PHS business and marketing teacher Kim Root.

Each teacher received a plaque and congratulations from the directors. To read full stories on each teacher, visit the PSD website: CTE Teacher of the Year announced, and District selects elementary and secondary Teachers of the Year.

Fox then invited Puyallup Educators Association President Karen McNamara to join him at the podium. He presented a basket of flowers and thanked her as representative of more than 1,200 members of PEA.

Finally, Fox read a proclamation for the directors to consider as an action item. The proclamation declares May 1-5, 2017 as Teacher Appreciation Week. 

Action Taken – International MOU

Dr. Vince Pecchia, chief instructional leadership officer, has been working with the Northwest Culture Foundation on the development of an international culture and education exchange program with Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Office of Education in the Republic of Korea. The purpose of the program is to promote the exchange of international culture and education and the promotion of a greater understanding of global interdependence. Pecchia presented directors with an overview of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will allow four Puyallup School District teachers to host four visiting teachers from Jeju, Korea during the 2017-18 school year. The MOU was approved by directors.

Action Taken – $10,000 donation accepted

Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello asked members of the board to consider a motion accepting the donation of $10,000 to the Puyallup High School weight room from the PHS Viking Touchdown Club as per PSD Policy #6114. The donation is part of an ongoing effort on the part of community member and parent Chris Johnston, club president. He has coordinated efforts for this donation with Principal Dave Sunich and the staff from PSD Operations for the improvement of the weight room. The donation was approved and accepted by directors.

Action Taken – Portable donation accepted

Casello continued in presentation of donations to the school district. The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties currently own a portable classroom located at Maplewood Elementary which is used for their afterschool program. In February 2017 the district gave the YMCA notification of early termination of the Ground Lease Agreement regarding the portable. The agreement terminates June 26, 2017. The YMCA has chosen to donate the portable to the district instead of moving it. The donation was approved and accepted by directors.

Action Taken – Name recommendation

Casello’s final presentation was regarding the formal naming of a district site on South Hill. The district’s South Hill support site located at 1501 39th Ave. SW includes the central kitchen, warehouse, EdTec, transportation, and student records offices. Taking into consideration the departments provide various support services, Casello recommended the site be officially named the Puyallup School District Support Campus.

Casello shared that a committee of people contributed thoughts to the recommendation. They believe individual programs and departments can brand their own support for student achievement with individual marketing on campus signage. For example, an electronic reader board will be installed this summer on 39th Ave which will identify the location as PSD Support Campus. Each building will have its own specific department name listed. The official name “Support Campus” was chosen because it encompasses all support services and differentiates from the downtown Education Service Center located on Meridian and East Pioneer. The recommendation was approved by directors.

Board Policy Updates

Directors were presented a first reading of several 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. These policies include:

Policy 3240 - Student Conduct Expectations and Reasonable Sanctions

Policy 6545 - Personal Use of District Materials, Tools, and Facilities

Policy 6890 - State Environmental Policy Act Compliance

Assistant Superintendent Casey Cox provided directors with an overview of the changes made. Directors will consider approval of these changes at the next regularly scheduled school board meeting on May 15, 2017.

March 2017 Financial Statements

Laura Marcoe, director of business services presented directors with financial statements for the district’s General Fund, Capital Projects Fund, Debt Service Fund, Associated Student Body Fund, Transportation Vehicle Fund, and the Private Purpose Trust Fund.

Marcoe noted the following:

  • Spring property tax season has begun.  Approximately $1.9 million, $1 million and $38,802 was received in the General, Debt Service and Capital Projects funds respectively.
  • The Transportation Vehicle Fund received and paid for the last bus to replace all of the buses lost in the fire.
  • The Capital Projects, Debt Service, Private Purpose Trust, and ASB Funds are all operating as expected.

To view the supporting slides, visit the PSD website: Financial Statement Report.

Human Resources

The HR report approved by the school board can be found at the following website: Human Resources Department Activity Memo for May 1, 2017.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the PSD Board of Directors is Monday, May 15, 2017 beginning at 6 p.m. at Edgemont Junior High, 2300 – 110th Ave. E, Edgewood, 98372.