Aug 032011

By Naomi Hatch–

The Snowflake School District lost the Safe Schools grant, which pays for a resource officer and probation officer, Superintendent Hollis Merrell advised the district governing board July 27.

“We are working through the process,” Merrell said noting they are investigating whether they can fund the programs with Indian gaming money.

In addition, Navajo County Supervisor David Tenney will visit the state office to see if there is an appeal process or a chance of getting the positions again.

The board held the first reading of policies recommended by the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA). Two of the policies were mandated by state legislature. The law also requires the board to conduct a public meeting on a dating abuse policy, but the board is not required under the law to adopt any policy changes whatsoever. The law mandates a discussion and consideration of a dating abuse policy, not the acceptance and approval of one.

Merrell said that the resource officer could have talked in classrooms about dating abuse.

“What would happen is we’d be training the students and giving them a way to report it,” said the superintendent.

Merrell will be asking for a response from the attorney, which will include how the district would respond to an off-campus incident.

Merrell asked board members to review the information and noted that it will be on a future agenda.

In other action, the board:

* Approved authorized signatures for the district’s bank accounts.

Board member John Stewart said, “I have a problem with that, not that I don’t trust staff, but they all are from the same office.” He expressed concern that this would make the possibility of fraud high.

Business Manager Mark Ollerton explained that two signatures are required on the checks and that the accounts are reconciled monthly.

Merrell said that sending checks to him would slow down the process. “I have full confidence and trust in them, but would have no problem adding another person,” said Merrell. “I have full confidence we’re following procedures.”

Board member Jonni Lewis noted that someone outside that office wouldn’t have any idea what is going on.

The board unanimously approved signers for the district’s school bank accounts as presented, and President Shea Flake asked Ollerton and Merrell to look into this and bring more information to the next board meeting.

* Unanimously approved fundraisers for Highland Primary School.

* Approved calendar changes that included early release and late starts for Beyond Textbook curriculum work.

* Unanimously approved out-of-state travel by the girls’ soccer team on Sept. 16 and 17 to Gallup N.M. The only cost to the district will be gas. It was noted that it is possible the tournament is the same day as homecoming so they would not attend.

* Unanimously approved contracts for vision services, speech therapist and OT/PT services.

* Unanimously certified the district’s projected ending cash balance, adjusted for encumbrances and payables, from the fiscal year ending June 30, as required by state law.