By Julie Wiessner
Members of the Holbrook School District Governing Board elected Olivia Jaquez as president and Ferral Knight as vice president for the 2013 term Tuesday evening.
Prior to the meeting Jaquez, Knight and Rick Nichols were sworn in by then-president Linda Yazzie. The three were unopposed for re-election last fall, so the election was cancelled and they were appointed to the board.
Holbrook High School Principal Lance Phaturos explained a new course, Personal Finance, designed to help meet Arizona’s four-year math graduation requirement. It would be available during students’ senior year for one semester. The new four-year plan calls for freshmen to take algebra, sophomore students would take basic geometry or geometry, during their junior year, algebra II is planned. As seniors, students would take a one-semester half-credit of Math Topics, a combination of Algebra II and Discrete Math, then a one-semester half-credit of Personal Finance. The teacher for this board-approved class is Susan Nafziger.
The Personal Finance class will teach students how to develop a budget for now and the future, explain why and how to use checking and savings accounts, to become aware of available investments, and how to read the stock and bond markets, to set goals for saving for the short term and begin thinking about retirement planning, how to choose a bank, the pluses and minuses of credit, and the different types of credit, types of insurance a young adult needs, the ins and outs of buying a car, renting a first apartment and paying for post-high school education, as well as understanding a paycheck and paying taxes.
Ann Gardner presented information for the district’s technology plan for 2013-16. Gardner is the technol-ogy coordinator and developed this plan with input from the District Technology Committee, teachers, admini-stration and students. The plan is a guide to ensure the district is unified in its efforts to integrate technology tools to improve student achievement.
Part of the plan will imbed technology into the core lessons, increase technology availability, and increase infrastructure. In order to accomplish this, Gardner stated, “The district would need a massive million dollar upgrade, but with a grant through E-Rate we can receive the upgrade and pay only 10 percent of the price due to being a rural school and in a poverty area. This upgrade will put the infrastructure in place needed to be a school district at the forefront in technology usage and availability,” said Gardner.
Board member Rosie Sekayumptewa asked, “Do we have the availability to deliver advanced math for students? Are there tutorial programs on e-learning?”
Gardner responded, “There is a program called I-xcel where students are put into a program until they have mastered a concept, then are moved into the next concept. There is also E2020 where students use the Internet completely with teacher mentors to complete math or any subject to mastery.”
E2020 is used at the Phenix (Alternative) School. The technology attracts student attention and presents information in different ways that is interesting, holds their focus and, in turn, promotes learning.
Superintendent Dr. Robbie Koerperich presented information concerning the upcoming academic banquet. For 12 years the governing board has hosted the Academic Awards Banquet, during which scholarships are awarded to HHS students. Retirees, outstanding staff and community members are recognized. All students receiving an academic award are given a meal ticket. Everyone else must pay around $8, according to the audi-tor general’s guidelines on providing meals to school employees. Expenses for this year’s banquet are expected to total around $2,500 for meals and awards. The board-approved banquet will be held on Thursday, May 16, in the multi-purpose facility at Hulet Elementary School.
Koerperich also presented information on the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Capacity Building Conference. GEAR UP is a grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Part of the grant provides professional development to school administrators to help educators design postsecondary readiness programs. The next professional development conference for administrators will be held Feb. 3-6 in Las Vegas, Nev. The conference will focus on constructing programs between junior high and high schools to guarantee postsecondary readiness programs are put into practice in seventh through 12th grades. The board approved sending Phaturos and Koerperich to this conference.
Koerperich presented information on this year’s National School Boards Association Conference scheduled April 13-15 in San Diego, Calif. Topics will include Common Core Topics, legal issues involving school districts, technology to assist schools, school board operations and several other national education topics pertaining to school boards. Koerperich suggested sending representatives to the conference who will then update the district on nationwide educational issues. Board members Yazzie and Sekayumptewa were approved to attend this conference.
In other action Jan. 8, the board:
* Approved the District Technology Plan as presented.
*Approved the hiring of support staff Alfred Clark as the district English Language Learners (ELL) liaison; Virginia Pond, HHS secretary; Emilio Chavez, substitute custodian; Teri Lester, Indian Wells Elementary School sports official; and Jerry Goodman, substitute teacher.
* Approved the resignations of preschool aides Ashlely Leon and Ashley DeMaria.
* Approved volunteer Allison Gardner as a choir chaperone.
* Approved donations of miscellaneous supplies totaling $851.41 from DonorsChoose to Beth Baloo, Holbrook Junior High School science teacher; and a Wurlitzer three-tier organ with an estimated value of $1,000 from Steve and Kellie Spangler to the HHS Music Department.
* Approved professional leave for Linda McMahon and Connie Gover to attend the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) training scheduled Jan. 17 and 18 in Tempe at an estimated cost of $752.18; Connie Gover, Karalyn Reidhead, Stephanie Bridegam, Karen Estridge and Carey Kester, Assistive Technology Training held Jan. 9 and 10 in Phoenix at an estimated cost of $1,029, plus use of a district vehicle; Heidi Hunsaker and Beth Self, Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA) In-Service Conference scheduled Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Mesa at an estimated cost of $540, plus use of a district vehicle; Beth Baloo, Lorie Whittemore and Jeremy Hatch, Arizona Public Service (APS) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Focus Schools for the Future scheduled Jan. 25 and 26 at an estimated cost of $234, plus the use of a district vehicle; Sunny Obren, Arizona Department of Education (ADE) training scheduled Jan. 24 in Phoenix at an estimated cost of $251.71, plus the use of a district vehicle; and Beth Baloo, Galileo Test Writing held Jan. 11 in Show Low at an estimated cost of the use of a district vehicle.
* Approved expense and revolving fund vouchers totaling $314,377.22.
* Approved payroll and expense vouchers totaling $210,019.70.
* Approved accounting summaries for extracurricular activities fees and tax credit, auxiliary operations and student activities.
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By Julie Wiessner