By Julie Wiessner
Joseph City Junior /Senior High School Principal Bryan Fields will become the school district’s superintendent later this month, though he will continue his duties as principal.
Fields presented Superintendent Robert Klein with a plaque of appreciation for his dedication to the district at the school board’s meeting Tuesday evening. Klein’s last day serving as superintendent will be Nov. 22, at which time Fields will be stepping into the position.
Fields’ salary in the combined position will be $43,225 for the remainder of this fiscal year.
The board heard an update on the gifted program presented by Fields. At this time, students recognized as gifted are being served through honors classes and dual enrollment opportunities. Teachers who teach honors classes must meet criteria set up by the board. This allows honors students to be challenged further in the classroom.
The board also heard an update on the progress of the solar feasibility study at the district, presented by Joe Papa of Ameresco, a company that works with public entities to convert their utilities to solar through programs offered through Arizona Public Service (APS) Solar Incentives.
Papa gave a brief overview of how the process works and announced the feasibility study would be completed next month. A work session, which is open to the public, is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the district office will be held to provide information on the project.
Joseph City Elementary School Principal Daniel Hutchens reported on an active shooter training in which the elementary staff participated earlier this month.
During the training, sheriff’s deputies made a presentation related to school safety and items that they recommend be done in classrooms and at the school to help students remain safe. There will now be drills scheduled during regular class times, passing times and other times during the day to ensure students are prepared at all times in the event of an emergency.
Part of Hutchen’s report included how JCES is also putting the finishing touches on the Operation Christmas Child project for this year. The students and teachers have wrapped many boxes, which will be packed this week and delivered on Nov. 16.
In other action Nov. 12, the board:
* Heard a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) presentation by C.C. LaGrange.
LaGrange noted that people are being encouraged to use their own smart phones and tablets in the workplace and classrooms, and that the district plans implement a pilot program that will allow students the opportunity to use their personal devices in school.
The devices will be allowed to provide the students with access to real world information, and improved access to effective materials like e-books, calculators and online resources.
La Grange noted that the program is not without issues, but with certain policies, procedures and targeted projects, issues can be minimized. It will also help the district save money while providing access and improving engagement.
* Held the first reading of policy revisions recommended by the Arizona School Boards Association regarding board member conflict of interest, evaluation of the superintendent, bidding/purchasing procedures, and drug and alcohol abuse by students.
* Approved the appointments of Kay Rush as seventh grade volleyball coach; Rosita James, JCES custodian; Julie Clifford, JCJHS and JCHS Red Ribbon coordinator; and Landen Hunt, student auditorium worker.
* Approved Cara Hutchens as an elementary preschool volunteer.
* Authorized a change in the December regular meeting date to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, due to board members attending the ASBA annual conference in Phoenix the following week.
* Approved JCHS Music Club fundraisers.
* Approved district vouchers in the amount of $506,806.87.
By Julie Wiessner