Sep 172014

By Naomi Hatch ACT and REACH are parts of an effort to define the culture and expectations of the Snowflake Unified School District. “As talked about at a work session, we would like to bring these before the board and make them official documents in the district,” Superintendent Hollis Merrell advised the board Sept. 11. ACT results from: “In Snowflake-Taylor Schools we… Are respectful and trustworthy; Care about each other; Take personal responsibility. REACH stems from: “In Snowflake-Taylor Schools teachers and staff… Reteach and enrich (daily/weekly); Engage all students consistently each class; Assess students effectively so all students learn; Collaborate actively as a team; Have high expectations for all students. Every student!” The board approved the ACT and REACH statements. Board member Cory Johnson pointed out that they also have a theme for the 2014-15 school year, RIDE for the BRAND, which represents Respect, Initiative, Dedication, Excellence (for the) Believe, Responsibility, Attitude, Nobility, Determination. In other business, Merrell was approved as the trustee for the Navajo County School Employee Benefit Trust. He explained that the district is part of the trust, which is a consortium formed to provide health insurance benefits to the employees. Other members of the trust are Mogollon, Show Low, Blue Ridge, Northland Pioneer College, Round Valley, Young and the Northern Arizona Vocation Institute of Technology. The superintendents of each of the schools and the finance director from NPC make up the board of trustees, which functions in a similar manner as a school board. Merrell said that during a recent audit, it was brought up that the trustees need to be approved by the local school board. Merrell noted that he has been acting in this capacity since he became superintendent. Approved the 2014 capital plan, as required by the School Facilities Board. Business Manager Mark Ollerton explained that they look at forecasts to decide if more facilities will be needed. “We have to look at what’s happening in the environment. We’re forecasting steady or declining enrollment,” said Ollerton. “There’s not a whole lot going on in this area.” Merrell noted that a group of schools or school organizations are getting ready to file another lawsuit such as the one that resulted in School Facilities Building Renewal funds. This gave the Snowflake district approximately $500,000 to maintain the buildings. Due to the downturn in the economy, the state eliminated the funding, so those filing the lawsuit are doing so to bring it back. The board approved fundraisers planned by the Snowflake High School Choir and the Snowflake Junior High School Student Council Fundraisers. Johnson said he didn’t like the ALS fundraiser, even though they were only asking $1 from each student and it wasn’t mandatory. He thought fundraisers should raise money for the school. Merrell pointed out that this is more of a service project.