Ballou students honor Veterans at school board meeting
Ballou students honor Veterans at school board meeting
Posted on 11/07/2017
speaker with choir

Highlights of the school board meeting held on November 6, 2017

District Highlights

After President Dane Looker called the meeting to order he introduced the Rogers High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Color Guard. Audience members stood at attention as the colors were posted then joined together in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

District Highlights began with a performance byJROTC members of the Ballou Junior High Choir. Under the direction of Dan Davison, students performed Letter to My Father which included the reading of several letters written by students to veterans at war. In addition to piano, the song was accompanied by violin played by orchestra teacher Nathan Rodahl and a student musician.

Next, directors were introduced to the 2017-18 Puyallup School District Teachers of the Year. The district’s Teacher of the Year awards program is designed to recognize professional classroom teachers who have made outstanding contributions to the education of children. This year teachers were identified in each of the district’s three regions:

  • Representing Region I from Hunt Elementary: Kathy Guimond
  • Representing Region II from Rogers HS: Colleen Pancake
  • Representing Region III from Walker HS: Katie Ventura

Rebecca with KathyDirectors heard from each principal. Hunt Elementary Principal Rebecca Williams (taking selfie) thanked former principal Ed Zeiger for hiring Kathy Guimond in the district 40 years earlier. She praised Guimond for the way she gets to know each of her students and her understanding of what makes each child unique and special.

Rogers High School Principal Jason Smith spoke highly of Colleen Pancake focusing on her work as an AVID teacher. He spoke of her passionate work in preparing students for post high school success, noting 100% of her students having been accepted by colleges.

Walker High School Principal Alicia Nosworthy spoke of the many ways Katie Ventura supports both students and staff at WHS. Ventura is a “champion of the underdog,” said Nosworthy. “She has patience, and is kind . . . and is what makes Walker great.”

Directors congratulated each teacher with a hand shake and thanked them for their work. Each teacher received a plaque commemorating the honor.

donorsFinally, Mr. Joseph Romero was invited to the podium. Mr. Romero recently approached the district on behalf of the Puyallup South Hill Rotary. The Rotary Club joined forces with Half-Price Books in Tacoma to allow each of our building librarians to pick out up to $300 in books for their libraries. When complete, this was a donation of about $10,000. Because books were “half priced” it was valued at nearly $20,000.

Mr. Romero (pictured with Director of Instructional Leadership Dana Harris) was joined by fellow Rotarians in shaking hands with directors who thanked them for the generous donation.

Action Taken – Donation Approval

For school board consideration, Director of Instructional Leadership Dana Harris presented directors with the Puyallup South Hill Rotary and Half-Price Books joint donation of books.

Directors approved the donation.

Action Taken – Waiver for School Emergency Closure

Superintendent Yeomans presented directors with a request to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for a one day waiver for school emergency closure at Edgemont Junior High.

Extreme winds overnight from October 18-19, 2017 resulted in a fallen utility pole forcing the closure of 24th Avenue E which borders EJH. There were power outages throughout Edgewood. While several schools were initially without power, only Edgemont Junior High School did not have power restored in time to hold classes on October 19.

This emergency closure was necessary because the power outage prohibited the ability to safely educate and adequately accommodate students. School went on as scheduled in the other 30 schools, and EJH resumed classes the following day.

Directors approved the waiver request to be sent to OSPI.

To view the application for waiver click here.

Action Taken – Formation of Committee

Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello requested board consideration of a 2017 Naming School Advisory Committee to identify a name for the new southwest elementary school approved by voters in the 2015 School Construction Bond election.

The advisory committee will have no less than nine members comprised of community members, students, and district staff. The work of the committee will be to solicit names and written rationale from the community, students, and staff for a period of 30 calendar days.

Once the suggestions have been gathered the committee will hold at least two public hearings. Then the committee will present several name recommendations for the board to consider.

Directors approved the formation of this committee.

Action Taken – Inter-fund Loan Commitment

Chief Financial Officer Corine Pennington presented a resolution recommending the creation of a short term inter-fund loan of $10,000,000 from the Capital Projects Fund to the Debt Service Fund. This loan would help provide tax relief to Puyallup residents.

Pennington shared that the increase in the state school tax will come into effect one year before the new restrictions on local school levies are in place. This will result in a one year tax overlap in 2018 for local taxpayers.

The one year spike in taxes in 2018, just prior to a significant drop in the tax rate in 2019, could be smoothed out by reducing tax collection through the inter-fund loan.

Directors approved the resolution.

To view the slides used in this presentation click here.

Action Taken – Levy Recertification

Next, Chief Financial Officer Corine Pennington presented a resolution recertifying the 2018 Debt Service Levy with a $10,000,000 reduction as per the inter-fund loan previously approved.

Each spring the upcoming calendar year’s levy amounts are estimated and included as a part of the annual budget. The Board of Directors certifies the levies as part of the budget adoption process. This recertification would authorize the amount of the 2018 Debt Service Fund Levy be reduced by $10,000,000 in an effort to minimize the impact to local taxpayers due to the new state imposed school tax which begins in 2018.

Directors approved the resolution.

To view the slides used in this presentation click here.

Board Policy Updates

Directors were presented with a first reading of one school board policy which has 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.

Policy 2400 - High School Graduation Requirements

Assistant Superintendent Casey Cox provided directors with an overview of the changes being recommended. Directors will consider approval of these changes at the next regularly scheduled school board meeting on November 20, 2017.

Human Resources Report

The Human Resources report approved by the school board can be found using the link below:

Human Resources Report November 6, 2017

Upcoming Meetings

The next meeting the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 20, 2017 at Ballou Junior High School at 9916 – 136th Street East, Puyallup, 98373.