By Nina Crowder
At what turned out to be a marathon Superior School Board meeting, running just over five hours, the governing board tackled many items on its agenda including handling a complaint by a teacher, who is currently on leave, about 301 funds.
The Classroom Site Fund Shortfall 301 Plan that was approved at the September meeting was a significant discussion. At the last meeting it was decided by the Superior School Board to delegate the monies to the current teachers; teachers who have seniority of five years received a little more than a teacher that has only been teaching for a year. This shows appreciation for the loyalty of the teachers that have been employed longer, the board was told. Superintendent Patrick O’Donnell and the School Board felt that was the best decision.
A teacher who is currently on leave through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and is unable to return to work who felt that she was being discriminated against for not receiving her 301 Shortfall monies. This teacher attended the meeting and voiced her opinion about the unfairness. The School Board discussed the situation with the teacher and directed O’Donnell to work with her to solve the situation.
The Junior High Student of the Month, Matthew Hernandez, attended the School Board Meeting. Matthew is 13 years old, has perfect attendance, the highest AIMS grades, belongs to the National Junior Honor Society and participates in many community events. He enjoyed talking with and meeting the Superior School Board. Other students of the month did not attend the meeting.
There were many polices discussed including Board Powers and Responsibilities, Board Member Authority and Responsibilities, Board Member Ethics, Board-Superintendent Relationship, Public Participation at Board Meetings, Policy Communication/Feedback, Board Communications with Staff Members, Board Communications with the Public, Qualifications and Duties of the Superintendent, Delegated Authority, Staff Conduct and Staff Grievances. The remaining policies were tabled to the next meeting. There was great depth and time spent reviewing these policies. The School Board has many issues to go over and truly want to do what is best for the students, school and the staff it does take time to work through all the issues.
The Declaration of Curriculum Alignment for the 2013-2014 school year was discussed and approved. The Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year 2012-2013 was presented, discussed and approved. There was a brief discussion of the M&O Override recommending the 15% funds to meet the Arizona State Law this was tabled until the next meeting.
The second reading of the following polices was discussed and approved: Student Violence/Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying; Professional Staff Probationary and Continuing Status; Professional Staff Assignments and Transfers and Evaluation of Professional Staff Members.
There was a in-depth discussion about the Superintendent’s job description and the JFK Elementary Principal’s job description. O’Donnell is acting as both currently. During the discussion the School Board thought it might be wise to look at hiring a JFK Elementary School Principal in the future, but in the meantime, O’Donnell is still responsible for both positions. The school simply does not have the funding for an Elementary School Principal at this time.
The recommendation and approval of a Hearing Officer was approved on an as needed basis by the Board. The Hearing Officer will have a certificate and the appropriate training needed for this type of position.
The School Board approved the Inter-governmental Agreement with Paradise Valley Unified School District #69 for the Distance Learning Science Program at JFK Elementary 2013-2014.
The School Board discussed and approved the participation in the ASBA/ASA Fall Conference December 11, 2013 in Phoenix. The Board will allow instate meetings, trainings and conferences within the state to be attended within a reasonable amount for all Board members wishing to attend.
The Superior School Board decided not to go into Executive Session at this time. They have many items to discuss in Executive Session including but not limited to Personnel Issues, Club Sponsorships, Substitute Teachers and other items. These will be discussed by the board soon.
The Superior School Board encourages all members of the public to attend meetings and participate in the Call to the Public, but please remember if an item is not on the agenda it can not be addressed by the School Board. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
The Superior Unified School District Board Meeting next regularly scheduled meeting is November 6, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Elementary Auditorium, some of the items to be discussed are: Policies, Grievance, Right to Work State, Reports, Grants, Audits and other items. If there is an item that needs to be addressed please feel free to fill out the appropriate form at the Superintendent’s District office or contact O’Donnell and ask him if the School Board can add the item to the agenda.