Nov 202013

By Naomi Hatch
The Snowflake Unified School District has been asked by Eastern Arizona College staff members if it would be interested in participating in a GEAR UP grant, Superintendent Hollis Merrell told the school board last week.
Merrell explained that the grant would pay for a full-time employee to work with sixth grade students the next six years, beginning next year through the students’ graduation, and would provide assistance to students and their teachers by gathering data and helping to provide other opportunities.
The district must provide $145,000 in matching funds annually, but it cannot be paid in cash, it could be an in-kind match.
Holbrook is participating in GEAR UP, and Superintendent Dr. Robbie Koerperich said it has been a wonderful help for them.
In backup material Merrell noted that the three objectives of national GEAR UP are to increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of participating students; to increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education; and to increase GEAR UP students’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing. Merrell said the district supports these goals.
“It could be support for staff, principals and everybody looking for opportunities for those students,” said Merrell.
A motion to approve the partnership with EAC for the GEAR UP program was approved.
In other action Nov. 14, the board:
* Approved issuance of a request for proposals for food service.
* Business Manager Mark Ollerton explained that this is the last year the district has a contract with Southwest Food Service and they would like to continue with outsource food service management.
* Approved an April trip to Utah requested by the Snowflake High School Madrigals.
Merrell explained that each year SHS music groups trade off on trips they take. This year the Madrigals are requesting approval to travel by bus to Utah where on Thursday, April 3, they will sit in on a Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal. On Friday, April 4, they will have a choir exchange at American Fork High School, then sit in on the Brigham Young University Singers’ rehearsal and the director, Dr. Ron Staheli, will work with the Madrigals after the rehearsal. They will then sit in on a rehearsal with BYU Vocal Point. Friday is still open as to activities. They will miss one day of school and the cost will be $240 to $265 per student. They have funds that will credit each student with $150.
* Approved the current agenda order.
New law requires the board look at adopting a new agenda order. Merrell pointed out that the current agenda has everything on it that is on the new agenda and by law, the board could approve continuing using the current agenda order.
* Approved the 2014-15 school year calendar, which will be available on the district website.
* Held the first reading of policy changes recommended by the Arizona School Boards Association, which comply with state law.
In January Merrell went through the district’s policy book and made sure everything was updated.
“I’m happy to have that finished, completed and policies updated,” said Merrell.