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HomeDVUSDBoard Recap: Feb 14th, 2023 Deer Valley Unified School District

Board Recap: Feb 14th, 2023 Deer Valley Unified School District

All board members are present at the February 14th, 2023, DVUSD governing board meeting. 

  • Jennie Paperman
  • Paul Carver
  • Kim Fisher
  • Ann Ordway
  • Stephanie Simacek

3. Action 

3A. Approve Recommendation for Principal of Deer Valley Middle School

The governing board voted unanimously to accept the Administration’s recommendation for a new principal of Deer Valley Middle School, Mr. Ray Utter. Mr. Utter began his educational career as a teacher at DVMS.

The motion passes unanimously. 

3B. 2023 Career & Technical Education (CTE) Month Proclamation

The governing board voted unanimously to approve the proclamation declaring February as Career and Technical Education Month in Deer Valley Unified School District. The CTE program provides career and technical education programs to help ensure that employers have access to a qualified and thriving workforce, ensuring America is a strong and competitive economy. 

The motion passes unanimously. 

4. District Reports

4A. Finance Reports

Student Enrollment Report for January ‘23

Increase in enrollment from the same time last year – with continued growth and the arrival of families from TSMC, we now have a total of 32,987 students, a 1% increase compared to last year. 

M&O Budget Reports

For the month ending January ‘23, we’re not projecting any carryforward at this time. As far as the $46.7M aggregate expenditure limit, this issue has been corrected by the state legislature. We will see the changes reflected in the February ‘23 budget report next month. 

We are showing a slight over-expenditure in the certified/classified sub budget. Our sub expenses are split, with a portion being re-coded to the ESER fund. There is a premium in the sub rate in the ESER funds. That journal entry will be made soon, and the re-coding will adjust the amount on the sub line. 

Now that the AEL has been lifted, we will also be able to make some predictions on what our carryforward will be. 

Board Questions 

Ordway: We had received money from the Governor or state, called the 100-day fund, could you give some information on that?  

Answer: There was a 100-day in-person grant that Governor Ducey gave to school districts in the ‘21-’22 school year that had more than 100 days of in-person instruction for the school year. DVUSD was awarded funds on that grant, but those funds are now frozen at the state level, not effecting the M&O or carryforward. We’re waiting for formal information from the new Governor on what changes will look like. 

Carver: Do we know why the funds are frozen? Is it something on the legislative end or the district end?

Answer: Neither. They are frozen at the federal level. It’s an allocation of federal funds and there is a disagreement at the federal level on the use of those funds. The current Governor is determining how to have a more equitable distribution of those remaining funds. 

5. Public Comments

Previous DVUSD board member Darcy Tweedy spoke on the topic of the board policy that prevented Mrs. Paperman from circumventing the process of technology repair by the IS&T department. Tweedy says that the policy is interpreted too broadly and is being abused by Superintendent Dr. Finch. She claims that Dr. Finch is using this policy to manipulate and control the board. Tweedy encourages the board to conduct a legal review of this policy and to repeal if the scope of the policy cannot be limited.

Another ex-DVUSD board member, Jenny Frank, spoke on policy BEDBA and the roles of the board president and superintendent in preparing a meeting agenda. Per this policy, the board president approves the agenda prior to it being posted. This is because the board is tasked with representing and carrying out the will of the community and voters as stated in Policy BBA. 

Mrs. Frank says she’d like to make the public aware of what went on behind the scenes in the posting of action item 8D., Standards-Based Grading. At the review of the agenda, the board president asked that 8D be included as an action item – Paperman was sent an executive summary for the agenda item, to which she replied with a revised executive summary along with a motion that stated: “replace standards-based grading with standard grading at all DVUSD schools no later than July 31st, 2023.” Frank claims that the superintendent then sent the board president several texts and emails that he would not post the agenda items as written, as he felt the executive summary was not neutral. He did not propose revisions to consider. The board president had to reiterate her request four times to post the agenda as she had approved it. These communications are a matter of public record. When the agenda was posted on Saturday, this was the only action item with a motion omitted even though one had been provided and approved. 

Frank says that she had never witnessed the level of dysfunction and uncooperative behavior that she is hearing about now. “It’s really bad for the district, stressful for the employees, and violations of these policies cannot be tolerated. It also damages the relationship between the board and superintendent and impedes elected officials from carrying out their duties,” says Frank. She suggests that the board call an executive session to iron out these issues. 

Dr. Finch asks if he should correct this misinformation since it was directed at him, and Paperman approves. He clarifies that when a board member reaches out to the highest level IS&T professional without his knowledge, it prevents him from being able to direct her to the person that is most qualified to fix the problem. Finch says that the problem turned out to be nothing to do with IS&T as it was an issue with Board Docs, a completely separate tool. In this case, a password needed to be fixed, which is the responsibility of the board secretary. He says that he had an attorney willing to discuss this policy tonight, but that the board president did not agree to them attending. In general, this policy is for the separation of powers so that the 4,000 employees do not get confused that they have six bosses instead of one. 

Mrs. Kim Fisher interrupts Dr. Finch and states that they shouldn’t be debating this policy. Finch clarifies that he is only correcting misinformation, to which Fisher argues that it is not necessarily correct. Mrs. Ann Ordway and Mrs. Stephanie Simacek chime in and point out that Mrs. Fisher is now debating the policy, and that her comments are the only debate happening. Mrs. Paperman attempts to move to the next agenda item, to which Mrs. Fisher reminds her that Dr. Finch can respond to the other public comment.

Dr. Finch clarifies that in reference to designing the agenda in cooperation with the board president, this process has not been working as smoothly as he’d like. He says that they are working through their schedules and that they’ve been working mostly through text to get stuff done. Finch says that in relation to how the motion was written, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, you don’t do it in the negative form, and that’s the part he was trying to explain. The executive summary should be neutral, and the motion should never be written in a negative form. The executive summary and motion were posted as submitted by Mrs. Paperman.

Mrs. Paperman responds to this with, “Thank you Dr. Finch. This is your angle, your view. I did not see my executive summary and motion as being negative.” Mrs. Fisher makes a point of order to explain that this is something that can be debated at another time and a meeting with an appropriate agenda. She clarifies that the information was posted as provided but that if you were not logged in as a board member, you cannot see the motion.  

6. Old Business

6A. Approve Governing Board Policy KB – Parental Involvement in Education

The preview presentation was provided at the January 24th meeting

The motion passes unanimously. 

6B. Approve K-12 Social Studies Curriculum Resource Materials Adoption Recommendation

The social studies curriculum was previewed at the governing board meeting on January 10th, 2023. This curriculum is to replace materials that in some cases have been in circulation for almost 20 years. 

A motion is made, seconded, and votes begin. Mr. Paul Carver asks to explain his vote.

Paul Carver: “I’m going to vote nay, and there are some things in this newest release of the social studies curriculum that are concerning that I think in this day and age we need to be a little more sensitive to. And even though they might be few and far between, we need to be aware of it. I’ll try to keep it as non-inflammatory as possible; I’ll just use the entry they have concerning COVID. There was an entry in there concerning COVID that states, ‘if you chose not to wear a mask, then you were exercising personal freedom, but if you chose to wear a mask, then you were protecting the common good.’ That by itself may not seem like a big deal, but you could potentially pit children against children because maybe potentially one child wore a mask and another didn’t wear a mask, and now we’re going to discuss whether the child who didn’t wear the mask [inaudible]. And just today it came out on Fox News that it has been determined by scientific fact of the matter masks offered little to no help. So we’re considering social studies curriculum that is discussing modern-day events before the dust has settled. They’re discussing BLM, they’re discussing President Trump, they’re discussing COVID, and I just think that McGraw-Hill is too far forward to be discussing social studies in the manner that they’re doing it. I think that social studies is something that is fact-based that should not be leaning or tilting the conversation to one way or the other. So to that point, I’m going to be voting no on this.” 

They’re discussing BLM, they’re discussing President Trump, they’re discussing COVID, and I just think that McGraw-Hill is too far forward to be discussing social studies in the manner that they’re doing it.

– Paul Carver

Stephanie Simacek: “Can I get a clarification on that particular curriculum in question? That is for an AP course; is that correct? This bit is designed to help students achieve their AP when they take their final test.” 

Answer: Correct.

Ann Ordway: “One more question to that, are AP courses required?” 

Answer: They are opt-in courses by high school students. 

Paul Carver: “So ancillary to the COVID comment, I would just add that there is an ARS 41-1494, and I’m not going to drain the whole thing, but there are a couple of topics before us tonight that are going to touch closely to this that we should be aware and familiar with in case the community were to bring it up. In section B in that ARS, it says, ‘this state, state agency, city, town, or county, or political subdivision of this state may not use public money for training, orientation, or therapy that presents any form or claim of judgment on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex. This subsection does not preclude any training on sexual harassment.’ Then it goes down to D, ‘what blame or judgment on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex means’, and there are one through seven points on there. If you were to look at some of the other examples that was sent to the administration by the community on some of the other issues that come up in the AP books, you’d see that some of them walk a very fine line in trying to assign blame for some of the things that have happened recently in our country. I understand that these issues that were brought to our attention are mainly in the AP books, but this information was sent to us as an all-or-nothing curriculum. And so my vote still stands as nay.”

You’d see that some of them walk a very fine line in trying to assign blame for some of the things that have happened recently in our country.

– Paul Carver

Ann Ordway: “One more little thing… So the lines that were sent to us were part of paragraphs that were part of chapters that were part of a unit. So, your inference may be different than my inference. What happens when we rewrite history or don’t include it? We repeat it and end up with people that don’t know what went on. So as much as things might be uncomfortable for anyone, we’re trying to teach our kids to disseminate information and form their opinions from facts… It’s a fact, it’s a fact, it’s an opinion, and then they move on. So that’s just… If that whole section that you read, that you read the few lines from, if you read the whole unit, it might have given you a different take on it. That’s all.”

Kim Fisher: “I would just like to say the necessity to try and negate someone’s belief pretending it’s a fact just because someone wrote it down – it’s not. We, I am voting for the curriculum, to adopt the curriculum, not because I agree with those statements but because I know that we need a complete curriculum. I would ask that our parents be aware and engaged with what’s in the curriculum and have conversations with their students. Because the curriculum was written one-sided, one-sided political, and if you’re not of that belief, go over the information with your student. Talk about it. And there are some things that are opinions that will always be opinions, one person will believe it and that person won’t believe it, but I do believe we need a curriculum.” 

Jennie Paperman also explains her vote, saying that there were community members who were concerned with the curriculum. So she is voting nay on this curriculum because she’s worried about this coming back to the board when parents start advocating for their students. She is concerned that this could elevate to the state level and result in DVUSD having curriculum banned, costing a lot of money. She advises the community members to look at the curriculum because it’s not cheap to buy curriculum, and if this becomes a major issue with the community, it comes back to the board. 

Stephanie Simacek: “Can I say something about taking the time to look at the curriculum for our students, parents, board members, and anyone in our community? My understanding is that it’s a process to create this curriculum that we’ve decided to present to the board. It didn’t just happen overnight. It began in August, and involved parents, teachers, and a lot of members of the community going through the information and deciding what they thought would work best for our students. That curriculum has been made available for all of us to see for quite some time now.”

Motion to adopt the social studies curriculum passes 3:2; Carver and Paperman vote nay. 

6C. Approve K-12 Music Curriculum Resource Materials Adoption Recommendation

Previewed at the January 10th, 2023, governing board meeting, this curriculum would provide materials for the music department in all K-12 schools. No changes since the preview. 

The motion passes unanimously. 

7. Consent Agenda

The motion passes unanimously. 

7A. Approve Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Governing Board on January 24, 2023

7B.  Student Travel

7C. Approve Vouchers

7D. Approve Donations

7E. Approve Addenda Contracts

7F. Bids/Proposals – RFP #23-4712-007-5 High School Graduation Venue-Facility Rental

7G. Authorization to Enter into Additional Cooperative Contract Purchases for Fiscal Year 2022-23 Type 

7H. Authorization to Enter into Additional Sole Source Contracts for Fiscal Year 2022-23

7I. Approval of Additional RFP/IFB Multiple Year Contract Renewals for Fiscal Year 2022-23

7J. Approve the General Statement of Assurance for FY 2023-24

7K. Approve Human Resources Changes

8. Action

8A. Approve Employee Professional Development (Out of State)

Paul Carver starts a discussion, saying that he’d vote for this package except for item H, Gifted in Color 2023. He again cites ARS 41-1494, reading the description for the professional development course – “how power and privilege impacts who gets to be brilliant in the United States.” Carver says that this could have possibly been “an ideal thing to have during the civil rights movement, but that we have moved decades beyond that. I think we’re on a slippery slope in our country where we can (inaudible – blame?) racism as often as possible and point out to children why they cannot be successful in life.” Carver says that since this comes out of the M&O, we have no business spending $5,000 to send our faculty to this conference since it gets close to violating ARS 41-1494. 

This could have possibly been an ideal thing to have during the civil rights movement, but we have moved decades beyond that.

– Paul Carver

Ann Ordway asks that Dr. Finch clarifies who is sending the faculty members and what the conference is. Finch does not have this information readily available, but will provide it in an update.

He clarifies that nearly every conference will have something in it that the DVUSD board, or even himself, may not agree with. But when teachers attend a conference and bring back information, they’re required to disseminate it into our system and meet the requirements of DVUSD and the state of Arizona. He says that it’s actually pretty common. It is the BGHS teachers attending, and Finch explains that “we treat them as professionals, allowing them to attend the conferences that they believe will best help them become great teachers and great leaders in the Deer Valley system.” 

Kim Fisher asks if the district has actually reviewed any of this. She says that she doesn’t know of any district that reviews conferences to the level of whether or not they would violate ARS. She explains that the ARS Mr. Carver is referencing is new, so she is curious if the district reviewed it to determine whether or not this conference would violate the new statute.

Dr. Galligan answers this question by stating that this conference is specifically targeted toward teachers of students who have identified as gifted and the subpopulations of those students. The district has not considered whether or not this violates a statute, but she says that this particular conference, for this particular school, who is broadening its opportunities for gifted education, this is a conference that will meet the needs of educators to meet the needs of students at that school. 

Mrs. Fisher asks to clarify whether or not this is related to the Friday update about gifted students in Title 1 Schools, to which Dr. Galligan says she does not believe that is the case. She explains that this conference is not just for our children who are underserved or in subpopulations, but this particular conference is to help educators who have gifted students who come from diverse populations, any population.

The motion passes 4:1; Carver votes nay. 

8B.  That the Governing Board accept the Administration’s recommendation to pre-approve the addenda as presented

The motion passes unanimously. 

8C. Approve the Architect for the Northern Services Center (NSC) Garage Project

This is a project that was outlined in the 2019 bond approval, designed to create efficiencies within the DVUSD transportation department. It will allow for a repair facility to conduct maintenance on the bus fleet. This is just the architect that the board is considering tonight, it will be brought back for general contractor approval when the architecture is approved. 

The motion passes unanimously. 

8D. Standards-Based Grading (SBG)

The motion is that the Governing Board approve replacing Standards-Based Grading with Traditional Grading at all DVUSD schools no later than July 31, 2023.

Public comments start around 1:23. 

Mrs. Paperman says that she has heard comments from various stakeholder groups that she worked to silence their voice and about the methods and volatility for all of the surveys being presented. She says that she feels the most fair way to move forward is for everyone who has collected data to present, as she does not want any stakeholders to have the impression that she has deliberately silenced their voices. Paperman says that after the presentations, she respects everyone’s right to form their own opinion of the surveys. 

Dr. Galligan was scheduled to present a presentation that looked at the performance of Standards Based Grading for the schools and grade levels that currently use it, but that presentation was stripped from the board agenda. 

Vice President of the Deer Valley Education Association, Kelley Fisher, presents their data from a survey conducted among certified staff within DVUSD. She begins by stating that DVEA has taken the stance of being neutral on SBG because they represent the voices of DVEA members, not their personal opinions. 

The survey was conducted between January 30th and February 3rd, and there were 651 responses. 53.5% of respondents said that they had no experience with SBG in their schools, with 46.5% currently implementing the practice. 8.8% said they think SBG is effective, 24.7% said there is room for some improvement, 8.8% said they don’t know enough about SBG, and 57.8% said they do not believe SBG should be used in DVUSD (Editor note: 37% of the survey respondents said they don’t have SBG AND they don’t want SBG – something that was not clarified in the meeting but does affect the reliability of the data. 58% of those who have SBG said they like SBG or like it but it needs improvement). Finally, the document includes 100 pages of written responses from survey respondents. 

Next, the district presents its surveys. They were having some issues getting the presentation up and running, so they started discussing it. The DVUSD administration surveyed phase one and phase two teachers as stakeholders involved in implementing Standards Based Grading. 

In general, teachers responded as being competent in using and implementing SBG and using the ‘Power Teacher Pro’ grade book. The presentation provided answers to open-ended questions and what the most common responses were in summary. From the parent perspective, the results were very similar, with many parents having experience with SBG responding positively about the experience and success of Standards-Based Grading. 

Before Mrs. Fisher presents her data, Mrs. Ordway asks if the board members are also private citizens, if we’re going to use an individual board member’s survey, did we also invite the public to participate. Ordway also says that the survey was released on a private Facebook page so she’s not sure who had access to it, and in Mrs. Fisher’s own words, “my survey is for my information, I paid for it, so on and so forth” so she’s not quite sure why we’re including it as some sort of foundational information to make a decision based on when it’s a closed survey. 

Mrs. Fisher responds with, “I’m not going to play games.” Mrs. Ordway clarifies that she asked a question that hasn’t been answered, “how is it that a private citizen gets their survey put into an executive session as a foundational tool to make a decision on such a huge issue?” Mrs. Fisher says, “Well, I imagine she runs for office and then takes her job seriously and actually wants input from the community.” “Please don’t clap,” Mrs. Ordway says, “because you…” (the meeting becomes inaudible at this point, as Mrs. Paperman cuts off the discussion and directs the comments back to Mrs. Fisher). 

How is it that a private citizen gets their survey put into an executive session as a foundational tool to make a decision on such a huge issue?

– Ann Ordway

Paperman defends Fisher, stating that Fisher worked with many parents on this survey. Mrs. Simacek says, “As a board member and parent in DVUSD, I did not receive anything about this survey. I heard it from a parent who emailed our board about what was going on; I had no idea what was going on.” Mrs. Fisher says that Mrs. Simacek is “a parent involved in one closed group that throws out every parent that does not agree with specific individuals.” Simacek clarifies that she’s also a member of the Union Park page, Barry Goldwater page, and several other pages. Fisher says it’s the same group, and she doesn’t really care who put up her survey at this point. Paperman says that she allowed all of these surveys because she received feedback from teachers that they did not receive the district survey. The fight continues for several more minutes, with Mrs. Fisher becoming visibly frustrated and throwing accusations about Mrs. Ordway’s attendance at this meeting (she was supposed to be absent). Mrs. Paperman follows Mrs. Fisher’s lead, and they cut Ordway off from finishing her questions. 

Mrs. Fisher presents her survey, saying that the reason this was done is that she had parents contact her and say they just wanted their opinions to be heard, and teachers contacted her saying they didn’t trust district or DVEA surveys. She claims the survey was put out on every page anyone could find to put it on, not just private pages. 

In her presentation, Fisher says, “in fact, it was put out on the Union Park Page, Park Union Page, of the closed parent group that excludes everyone else, and the individual who put it on was so harassed that they removed their post.

Editor note: This survey was never published on the Union Park Facebook page. Mrs. Fisher is referring to another parent page. The person who posted was not harassed, but the motivations and validity of the survey were called into question by a number of members.

Within the first day, and I actually left that, I was going to remove it, because it used the F word so many times, including the email of “go f yourself Kim”. So yeah, I assume that that page is very proud, of Mr. Beckman’s, oh he names himself in it so don’t say wow, this is ridiculous. The results show what they show, and what they show is, my survey was answered by everyone. I have teachers, parents, administrators, community members, students, and then other. There is a clear 59% thinks its a bad idea, 24% think it’s a great new tool, and 16% is other.”  

…including the email of “go f yourself Kim”. So yeah, I assume that that page is very proud, of Mr. Beckman’s, oh he names himself in it so don’t say wow, this is ridiculous.

– Kim Fisher

Editor note: Mr. Beckman (this editor) did not submit a survey full of the F-word, nor submit a survey naming himself. Mrs. Fisher has no verifiable evidence of this, which is borderline, if not meeting the standards of slander. To falsely call out a community member who is not an elected official in a public meeting is an extreme violation of the ethical standards of a sitting school board member. This is not the first time Mrs. Fisher has falsely accused Mr. Beckman and other district parents.

Mrs. Fisher continues to break down her survey results while not recognizing any of the bias, conditioning, or distribution issues of the survey. However, she says that the results speak for themselves. She says that she did not do this for the board; she did this for herself and her constituents. “This is what they asked me for; this is what I provided for them. You can take it as valid data or not.” Fisher says that it was very telling and informative, “and the fact that parents were willing to share in closed groups where they knew they’d be attacked for it, that was very telling for me as well. It tells me our district is being torn apart by a small group of what I have actually called monsters at one point. Because the monsters destroy stuff.”  

Our district is being torn apart by a small group of what I have actually called monsters at one point.

– Kim Fisher

Board Questions:

Mr. Carver: Says he doesn’t want to drain this because we’ve been at it for eight meetings now, but he’s spent the last two weeks in schools, no less than seven. Some use SBG, and some not using SBG. He said that every school, everyone agreed that the mindset, the PLC, everybody found value in that. But when it came to the grading, there was difficulty there, it was not being executed the way it’s being intended. He says that the community and society are not ready for SBG. He cautions the board that no matter the direction, they need to be careful how we do it. Carver says that when the last board flipped the switch back to letter grades, the motion was so convoluted that they took letter grades all the way down to kindergarten. He didn’t personally start seeing letter grades until he was in 4th grade. We also have IB programs that need to be considered, because they run off a modified SBG system. If we vote to stop this, we need to understand that we need to have more discussions on how we don’t end up cutting our noses off to spite our face for our accelerator programs. 

What was the why for moving toward this? This is a question he’s had since last year, watching this in the audience. He’s being “painfully honest”; he gathered that SBG is more for educators than students because it allows them to become better teachers. That’s amazing, the mindset probably needs to continue to exist, but when grading, we need to be very careful about how we craft that moving forward. 

Mrs. Fisher: Responding to Mr. Carver, she believes that he is 100% accurate. She didn’t have a hand necessarily in the motion, pushing back on several points when she saw it. But since she’s seen it, the point he made about how convoluted that last vote was accurate. She believed they left the last meeting with a vote to stop SBG. She now supports this motion because it stops it completely and gives them until July to remove it from the district and allows for conversation to continue. This motion simply puts the question to rest and sets the expectation that as of July 31st, it’s gone. It’s done. If anything comes up, we have those months to make adjustments. 

Mrs. Simacek: Says that when we talk about all students getting A’s are not doing as well, or all students don’t like this… Speaking as a parent, her two children, one at BGHS in the IB program and one in the Norterra Canyon IB program, was very familiar and comfortable with SBG, not understanding where the problem is. Mrs. Simacek can speak as a parent; going into her other child, who is a 2nd grader at Union Park with an IEP receiving services, she has found that SBG for that child fills in all the gaps. As a Mom, Simacek can go in, and see the standard they’re working toward, allowing her to see what areas she needs to work on and what she is successful at. She believes that it would be very beneficial to SpEd teachers to see where they’re struggling, and that goes for all students. Says that if we decide to go right back to traditional grading, what happens to our IB programs? What happens to all our schools that have implemented this successfully? Simacek believes this is not thought out enough to be voted on tonight.

Dr. Finch: Giving his traditional consequences speech, he says that he’s not sure what this motion means and that if the board was asked, he’d probably get five different answers on what it means. Does it mean we’re cutting out the IB program? Does it mean we’re not going to use rubrics anymore? Does it mean we’re not doing standards-based teaching/education? Does it mean we’re going to stop all PD until July 31st? Whenever the board makes motions from the dais, it becomes convoluted, as illustrated by the last SBG vote where the board was trying to help. He recommends that the motion is punted back to the administration to make the changes, and the board comes back to vote on an actual plan – not doing it this way will result in unintended consequences. He asks for an explanation of what this motion means. 

Mrs. Fisher: Says that this is a little bit of a moment of irony; someone that she’s known since 2014 that this was the clearest motion they’ve seen and that if it is not followed, it would be blatant insubordination. They told her the response would be, “could you explain it to me.” 

Fisher says that it is a very clear motion, that she didn’t write, but it’s clear. 

Mrs. Paperman: Asks Mrs. Fisher to read the motion again. She reads the motion, explaining that Standards Based Grading will be replaced with traditional grading. “We all know what traditional grading is,” Fisher says sarcastically. “Zero to 100 scale, percentages, A through F. It’s the same grading scale we had as children, the same one that’s existed for, oh, I don’t know, 100 years. “

Mrs. Simacek and Dr. Finch ask to clarify if the IB program will be cut and if traditional grading means K-3 will still use standards-based grading. They’re asking for clarifications on these important points that don’t seem to be thought out in the motion.

Mrs. Ordway asks that since BGHS has been using a version of SBG since 2006, does this mean they will be going to traditional? Fisher says that if there is an issue with a specific program, they have until July 31st to resolve it. Paperman says it won’t affect the IB program. 

Mrs. Simacek says that this motion is far too vague and doesn’t take into consideration the needs of unique programs and campuses in the district. Paperman responds, explaining that her daughter attended the BGHS IB program, and it was very confusing for her – her grades were not where they were in Ironwood Highschool. She says that we’re just going to go back to traditional grading. There is mass confusion as Fisher said they’ll revisit IB, but Paperman is saying traditional grading across the board. Paperman continues to speak over Simacek, yelling to get her point across, while Simacek tries to explain that she is also a parent of a child in the district and IB program. 

Fisher and Paperman call for the vote, ending the discussion. 

The motion passes, 3:2. Ordway and Simacek vote no to removing Standards-Based Grading with the motion in it’s current form.

Following his yes vote, Mr. Carver says that a study session or work session needs to be planned because they can’t leave this motion in the state it is in. He is requesting a work session that takes place in a month or so. Simacek wonders why we’re having a work session after the vote. Paperman continually interrupts Simacek, who is finally able to ask why we didn’t plan the work session to figure out the details before the vote. It doesn’t matter, the vote has been completed, and they will work to plan a work session.

9. Discussion

9A. Governing Board Policy BHC – Board Communications with Staff Members

Mrs. Paperman brings this policy back to the discussion, regarding the issues that she had with her computer back in January. She was unable to get support until January 19th, when the Superintendent’s Secretary was able to fix the problem quickly. Paperman says she was in disbelief that it took them 13 days to reestablish her access. She discussed this policy with two previous board members (who spoke earlier), who informed her that the Superintendent was lying about the meaning of this policy. Paperman is concerned that this interpretation is extremely broad and prevents the board from contacting employees. She believes the abuse of this policy will prevent board members from doing their elected duty. 

Mrs. Simacek asks, “we are elected by the community, we are not considered employees, correct? So why would be using DVUSD resources that are intended for employees of DVUSD? We log into board docs, you can access board docs from any computer. So what we discovered, it was a password issue.”

Mrs. Paperman responds that it was not a password issue, but that’s not what Simacek saw when the computer was being fixed in her presence. Paperman asks, “what do we have a district policy police everywhere that prevents board members from contacting employees?” Paperman continues to shout over Simacek, preventing her from asking questions. Paperman has a concern if this is what’s happening to board members, what is happening with staff? 

Mrs. Fisher interjects, saying that the board needs more structure because everything is becoming a matter of argument. She says that if you look at the date of adoption, it was in 2017. There was also a policy that said that a board member had to inform the superintendent of contact, not that they weren’t allowed to speak to employees. Fisher says that in the past, she let the superintendent know that she needs to speak with someone in IS&T, she’s given a name of who to call, and they help her with issues. She says the policy is clear but has been manipulated to serve a purpose for the superintendent. She says that some board members have free reign to speak with employees, while others are not allowed to speak to anyone without explicit consent. 

Fisher believes it was either a username or keyboard issue because two people tried to type it, and it didn’t work multiple times. So it could it be a keyboard failure? Maybe, but there wasn’t an IS&T person there. 

Sheila Taylor clarifies that Mrs. Paperman has had issues with her passwords going back to October. That none of this was controlled by IS&T, it was all related to board docs. Mrs. Paperman has a history of issues with her user names and passwords. Taylor says that she offered to get a new device for Paperman, who said yes, but a day or two later declined the offer. To her knowledge, Mrs. Paperman continues to use the same device with no issue, but there were three board meetings in a row where Paperman had a username/password issue with board docs. Taylor explained she should not have contacted IS&T because it was not their issue, and she reset the password three times in a row. Paperman continues to argue about the computer problems, saying that the point is that she was prevented from dealing with IS&T because of this policy. 

Dr. Finch explains that his job is to help the board be successful. His goal when a board member comes to him with an issue is that he directs them to the right person for the best solution. In this case, it was Mrs. Taylor because it was related to board docs. The powers are separated to get better service to the board members and because employees report to him. He says that’s the way it is in every district. 

Mrs. Fisher, says “absolutely not.” Finch asks for one example otherwise. Fisher cannot provide an example but says that this was not a board docs issue; it is a policy issue. Carver asks for this discussion to be moved to the retreat. Fisher says that Dr. Finch is manipulating the policy and that she was explicitly told, in writing, not to contact employees without his permission. Says the policy is a problem and it needs to be addressed. 

10. Preview

10A. Preview 2023-2024 DVUSD Pathways Calendar

Each year the calendar is presented. A session is being run in July, and other sessions throughout the year, with an additional session in June. Will be brought forward for a future vote. 

10B. Preview Recommended Contract Language for Certified, Administrative / Exempt, and Deputy Superintendent for the 2023-2024 school year.

The contract language first, we have three different contracts that we ask the board to approve each year. These contracts are also reviewed by a legal team to make sure they are aligned with legislative changes. This year there are no changes. The contracts have been edited for language and consistency. It is important to note that the admin-exempt contracts contain different language. 

One thing that is different in these contracts is the resignation section. There is a liquidated damages policy that may come into effect if such a policy comes into effect.

10C. Governing Board Policy GCQC – Resignation of Professional Support Staff Members

This policy has historically been short, but there detailed language is being proposed. 

  • Liquidated damages for contracted employees who resign without approval and do not fulfill their contractual obligation. 
  • The employee will pay $1500 in damages, not as a penalty
  • Renewed contracted employees will pay $500 from the time they sign their contract until May 15. $1500 after may 15. 
  • Employees may request a fee waiver for reasons listed in this policy. 

Board Questions:

Mr. Carver: Believes this is a good policy update in today’s environment, “where people change jobs like they do, like their clothes.” Appreciates the time taken to put this together to keep teachers where they need to be. 

Mrs. Ordway: Do you sense if there is going to be an opinion on whether it’s a buyout or payoff?

Answer: As far as the state board is concerned, we have no idea about the timeline. 

Mrs. Ordway: Has anyone turned the paperwork in, in say, December, and someone said “you didn’t complete your contract?”

Answer: From her understanding, the state board didn’t have an interest in taking the name of the employee who resigned because they paid their fee. 

Mrs. Fisher: Wants to comment that this isn’t new, it’s been around. It’s been brought to every district she’s ever been affiliated with. It’s failed in DVUSD multiple times. It comes down to communication from the board and superintendent. She clarifies that with this policy, we’re not holding anyone, prisoner. In the districts she’s seen it implemented, staff members regularly apply and receive waivers. Fisher believes this is a good practice to provide stability. 

Mrs. Paperman: Agrees with Fisher and asks that when a teacher gets a promotion, is it in the language that they would not pay the penalty?

Answer: Yes, the contract itself references that if the board were to adopt a policy, the teacher would have the right to request a waiver of that fee based on the exemptions listed in the policy.

11. Board Reports

11A. Governing Board Reports

Ann Ordway: “Well, every day in our school district, we’ve got wonderful things done by wonderful students, teachers, staff, and parents. We had our CTE kids here tonight; they are a small group here tonight. There were two of them that were here tonight, and that’s a mighty army. They go from welding to building a knife, and culinary arts, and making you a beautiful dinner. We have everything in between. My thing that I’ve been trying to work on, Mr. Miglarino, for a few years now, prior to you Dr. Finch, is the fact that every one of our high schools is within 30 miles of Williams Rd, where the WestMech campus is. And I know we don’t have enough bus drivers, but I’d really like to look at that, to have transportation. Because we do have students that would be able to attend if they had a mode of transportation. 

“I wanted to clarify something that was said – Originally, I was not supposed to be at this meeting; I was supposed to be in Maui right now. I sent an email to the board president and the superintendent, who are in charge of the agendas, last week, prior to the agenda being sent out, asking that if Standards Based Grading and our Social Studies adoption was on that agenda for tonight as action items, that they please push them out to the 28th as they was no negative repercussion on our district. And two votes on such big items in our district deserved to have five votes. In the 15 years I’ve served on this board, I’ve missed two meetings. One was for my eye surgery, and one was four days after my husband died. So I thought since it had no impact whatsoever, obviously not, that it would be moved. Not only was it not changed, but I never received a response from our board president; I received a response from Dr. Finch. 

Such big items in our district deserved to have five votes.

– Ann Ordway

“The dates for a board retreat were asked to be on Saturdays. I don’t do Saturdays, and I don’t do Sundays. However, the Saturday that was picked is the 25th. Unfortunately, for my friend, I’ll be attending his funeral in Fulton, California. That, too, was an arbitrary day that was not changed. The words collaboration, respect, all the words that are being thrown out, and inclusiveness are not just words to me. I try to work really hard, no matter what my opinion is or my agreements are, to get along with everyone, no matter what the social postings are. No matter the names that are called. This board is about students, so at the end of the sentences is, ‘I’ve done this in the best interest of the students’. So there is your clarification, Mrs. Fisher.

“Ending on a great note, we have a lot of things in between us, but the Deer Valley Education Foundation, which does provide lots of support for our students, has their golf tournament on March 6th. So hopefully we’ll see everybody there. Thank you.” 

Stephanie Simacek: “With these three weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to go to several different campuses. At Mountain Shadows, we were part of their leadership day, and it was so awesome. I was introduced to their leader-in-me program, which I think is just fantastic. They have action teams that come up with things that they all center around helping in some sort of way. Whether that be cleaning up the school, providing dance, and kindness action committees. I was informed they were not clubs when I asked, which is really cool because they have to create a mission statement for what their group is going to be doing. Anyway, a great time. 

“I was also able to visit several schools to talk about SBG. I was hoping I would be able to share some of the information that I gathered on those visits at our study session last week, but we ran out of time. I feel like there is a lot more we need to be talking about. I did get to O’Connor; I did get to meet with the Principal and Vice Principal there. I did get to sit in on a classroom, honors chemistry. I did also get to go to Union Park and tour every grade-level classroom and see how they are implementing SBG, and it was very fluid. You go into each room, and after going into one, you know what to look for in the others and it’s all just very fluid. So I was really impressed by that. 

“I attended the PTO luncheon, which was great because I had never been to the Innovation building there, and we had our business partner breakfast, which was a great experience. It was nice to see lots of familiar faces from when I was teaching or teachers at both of my daughters’ schools, so that was great. 

“I had the pleasure of going with Ann to two schools that hadn’t implemented SBG yet, just to get a feel for what they were thinking. Stetson Hills and Greenbrier, and I got to meet with those Principals – that was a great experience. I did the Bolts training last Friday, and that was fantastic. Learned a lot there about working together with our board even when we don’t see eye to eye. Hopefully, I can start using some of those ideas that they shared and put those into action so that we can be successful. 

“And then also on Friday, Union Park had this really cute Sweetheart Dance; it was a family dance. My husband and I went with our eight-year-old. We had a great time. The kids all had such a great time. The Vice Principal came out with these light wands, and the kids were just dancing and having a blast. That was a great way to end that week, and then this Thursday, I’m looking forward to going to Inspiration Mountain and visiting the Kindergarten there because they’re going to be hatching some baby chicks. 

“So, that’s all I’ve got!”

Paul Carver: “So, on the 27th, I was at Mountain Shadows with the rest of the board, as we were participating in Leadership Day at Mountain Shadows. Got to meet with Dr. Gilbert and take a tour of the school – the tour was actually led by the students, so that was pretty awesome. We went down each hallway, and they explained what each of the postings on the walls was for we went into some of the classes and got to see them present how they were applying the 7 habits in the classroom and their everyday lives. One of the big takeaways that I got from that visit and Dr. Gilbert is that she is using the 7 habits of highly effective families in the community. And I asked her if this was a community education program, and she said no, this is just something she’s found the community is interested in and that she is shouldering the financial responsibility for it. So I didn’t understand if that meant if the school was or she was personally, but I told her, and I might have been misspeaking, but it would be nice to visit with her and see what it would take to help get her the funds to help her continue to grow that in the community and make that available for families as well. Our families are challenged in today’s environment, and if we’ve got something like that is available that the community and children have already bought into, I think it would be a huge help if we could find a way to help support her endeavor. 

“February 1st was the luncheon at the innovation center, got to hear district updates from Dr. Finch and Dr. Z. I was privileged enough to take a tour of the facility afterward. Again on the 1st, I met with Marie with the Deer Valley Education Foundation and Mrs. Ordway. I’m trying to partner with the organization to make sure they’ve got the resources they need to be able to help the children that are in need in our district. They’ve got some things rolling, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that ends up panning out for them. 

“On the 4th of February, there was the 2nd annual home run derby at Deer Valley Highschool in memoriam of a friend of mine who I went to school there with, Kevin Rice. He passed away from Leukemia and Lymphoma a few years ago. And so, every year, baseball was his thing, and he played for the Deer Valley Skyhawks. So every year, we go out there, and it was my first year being able to attend it. They had 23 people sign up to be sluggers, and it was a very exciting afternoon. I got to see a lot of friends I graduated with, and I’m sure they raised quite a bit of money for them. So that was going on at the district. 

“On the 6th, I got to tour BGHS with Dr. Stolic, my old stomping grounds with Ms. Crooks. I really enjoy being out in the schools. We’ve really got some fantastic staff and educators, and our students are the best, as far as I’m concerned. It was nice to go back to the high school; I hadn’t been there since I graduated, so it was awesome to see some of the things going on, from the weight room where the cheerleaders used to practice upstairs in the gym to the air rifle field, if you want to call it that, that’s out where the woods and automotive shops used to be. So they’ve got a lot of great things going on over there. 

“On the 7th, I was privileged enough to tour Sierra Verde with Mr. Galietti, Sandra Day with Dr. Miller, Union Park with Mrs. Graham, and Boulder Creek with Mrs. Sutton. All of the principals that I visited with, we’re really blessed to have them. They’ve got good community engagement both with the community and the family that they’re creating their within the four walls of their school. And the pupil engagement was awesome. It was nice to get different perspectives on the hot topic of the day, SBG, and see where everyone is at with that. I’m just really blessed to be able to serve the community in this position and be able to get out there and visit with everybody.” 

Kim Fisher: “I guess I’ll start with the same great day, the leader’s day. I have to agree that ever since Dr. Gilbert, who was not a doctor when she implemented this program, she got her doctorate with Mrs. Tweedy… It is impressive how she implemented it in that school, and how she has faced the controversy and moved it forward. There should have never been a controversy in my mind, and it’s the few individuals, but I don’t think they understood it, and that’s one of the big things that Janet and I have talked about several times. People don’t understand it because they don’t want to ask. I really enjoyed being able to tour it with Paul and our tour guides were very, very fun. We lucked out; we got the fun, maybe we got the rambunctious kids, we had a blast with them and got to have a lot of good laughs. And we educated them a little, and they educated us a lot, so that was great.

“I would like to see that. I mean, if I had to pick a program to implement district-wide Leader-and-Me would be it. I know that’s probably not possible but I like the consistency in that program that they start from the very beginnings and stay with it throughout. They learn little bits, positive good habits, they learn, and so I love that program and I did enjoy doing that. I did enjoy having the reminiscing time with Dr. Gilbert as well, with some of the family support programs that we used to have within the district that we don’t anymore. And I would agree with Mr. Carver that it would be great if we could possibly have those… I didn’t even know there was a family leader day until they shared that with us… program, it sounds very interesting. I would love to have something like that to help support our families district-wide. 

“Some of the questions that I asked and did get responses to, I’m not going to go through and read the full response because it’s kind of… Gail I appreciate the almost two-page response regarding the Title 1 when we were talking about that. The response that you put in the Friday update about the Gifted Education and the local norming, if there is any way we can get your response out to the public or something because it was… the questions I sent they came from the public. I was curious as well, but those questions I sent you came from the public. And your response is very well thought out, very explanatory, I think it would be really great if we could somehow get that out to the public. I don’t know if you just put it on your website or… I don’t know, if you have an idea that’d be great. I just want the public who asked questions regarding the gifted education and why we have, the question that came up from the presentation, I want them to know there is a valid reason, there is a good reason for, the reason things are being done, and the district is not going out of sync, they’re going above and beyond. And the exclamation that she provided in that Friday update, it is a very elegant representation of exactly what you’re doing. So if there’s a way to get this out to the public, that would be very nice to do. 

“I also want to thank, I’m not even sure who’s part of the… it was from Monica. Thank you for the response regarding the advertising for the question I asked. In the Friday updates, from the Friday update, I got the impression that Dr. Finch felt I was being critical of his letter. I was not, it was written well. But the community member had… not only did he send me Dr. Finch’s letter he sent me his response letter, but he didn’t send me the initial letter, so that was kind of odd. The reason I brought that forward and the reason I’m bringing it up now is that it is important our public understands that we are being responsible with our dollars. When you look at the overall cost that was provided to us of roughly $63k, and this is including homes in all zipcodes in Deer Valley, that’s a year. In the grand scheme of advertising or just keeping the public informed, that is so nominal. So nominal. And you can’t really control where it goes and how it goes. I get it. I get it. I get mail from the surrounding districts as well at my home, and yeah, they’re annoying. Sometimes I get them and just throw them in the garbage; sometimes I look at them and think, yeah we should do that, that looks good I like that. So I get it. But I did think it was an important question to ask because it was an important enough question for a community member to ask. Whether or not he was in our district or not, there are a lot of individuals in our district that ask that same question. And so I thought it was important that we note that as well. 

“I want to thank the finance department for providing the information on the enterprise departments. At some point, I’d like to get on the agenda a discussion about looking at kinda the two different that were provided, specifically about our print shop. I would somehow like to get a discussion on for the board to talk about the print shop and… you know when I toured the print shop and I met various individuals and talked to them about what they do and what their job was and what not, just kinda getting to see what it was, a couple of questions came to mind. Number one, why aren’t we doing more stuff inside in house? Why are we contracting with individuals outside? But additionally, are our positions realistic to their job? Every year we do IS&T positions. Are we taking a solid look at other positions? Because some of the positions, some of the individuals I talked to, they didn’t tell me they needed a raise, they didn’t tell me they didn’t like their title… In fact, they were all very happy to be employees, but just from an HR perspective looking at that, they were doing stuff that was not; it was just above. It was so far above. I think their description may be off a little. And I would like us to take a look at it because it is such an asset for the district. Even though it may look like a loss, it’s not because we get so much of our own free printing. 

“Just a note, it wasn’t on my prior things that I was going to talk about, but since Mrs. Ordway brought it up… I do want to note that we don’t generally move items for one board member. We never have. In the last two years alone, there have been at least four meetings where we were asked could we be at this meeting or that meeting, where I asked that something be moved to a separate meeting, and I was told nope, we got our three…” 

Ordway interrupts: “I would like you to provide some documentation on that because I don’t remember that at all, and actually my question went to Mrs. Paperman, not to you.”

*Paperman reminds Ordway that this is Mrs. Fisher’s board report*

Kim Fisher: “I’m responding because I’m just telling you that I, as a board member, I have had to change my plan in the last two years for four board meetings. Some of which I was very clear, which honestly, it was a board meeting where we had to raise our own hands, Mrs. Paperman and I, to even be heard. So I uh…”

Dr. Finch: “Actually, this is not the point of board reports to debate the topic agenda…”

Fisher: “No, this is a response, and this is a current event happening. So in no way, Mrs. Ordway, was it put upon a standard procedure. 

“I am going to request that we, when it was brought up, the way some of our agendas are and the way some of our policies are, and some of the things that have been occurring in this district are very, very concerning. Because there seems to be an upside-down version of the direction things are supposed to go. And the Friday updates, specifically some of the recent ones, including the one about Open Meeting Law violations, is completely out of context and inaccurate from the conversation. So I do want that to be part of our discussion because the question that was asked of the attorney is not the question that should have been asked. It wasn’t even the concern. (Dr. Finch clarifies that he only forwarded Mrs. Fisher’s email, to which she responds, “umm nope.”) We asked a question. The board does not want to have our own attorney, and there is all of this language in there all of the sudden that the board president has to ask permission to call the attorney – that’s never been the case. It’s always been if there was an emergency need, they were able to, if we were having a board discussion, that was something they did; it is not something that was done a different way. So that concerned me. 

“I think one of the things that can be really summed up, I want to thank Dr. Finch for letting me know that Mrs. Read’s last report was basically slanting me. And I just want to say that I’m not going to waste my time to go back and listen to her report. Because for the last six years, she has trashed me in private post groups, but has yet to ever, not to this day, not once has she ever met with me…”

Simacek: Excuse me, but is this not supposed to be positive and directed about our students, not bringing up the past… This has nothing to do with what board reports are supposed to be about. 

Kim Fisher: “This is my report, and this is the only opportunity that I have to share this because this is a quorum of the board. The accusation of ‘well you said she slept with a fireman,’ she’s married to one (editor note: the post actually suggested that Mrs. Read’s only qualification was that she was sleeping with a fireman and that the fire union paid for her election – and it wasn’t just once. Fisher repeated this on several platforms and occasions). Big deal. Yeah, I said she said slept with a fireman, and she’s married to one, so I would expect that to be true. But the accusations that are occurring in emails, and in the Friday update are not only slanderous, but they’re, because they’re put in writing, they’re defamatory. And, based on this one email, no I absolutely did not accuse Mrs. O’Brien of sleeping with Dr. V, but the rumor did go around. But no, I did not start it. 

Big deal. Yeah, I said she slept with a fireman.

– Kim Fisher

*Mrs. Ordway and Mrs. Simacek leave the meeting at this point*

“The three individuals, Mrs. Ordway, Mrs. O’Brien, and Mrs. Read have grabbed the superintendent from the time he took his seat, and have filled his head with lies. And he’s grabbed on to them, and he’s repeated them, and that’s a problem. And that’s why I brought this here, because it needs to be clear. No, I was not terminated from Glendale Elementary School District, I gave them 21 days’ notice. And had Mr. Finch clarified that board members and Mrs. Read were sharing with him, he would have found out that I not only gave 21 days notice, he would have discovered that prior to me giving 21 days notice, the deputy superintendent of business and finance resigned along with the director of finance, the director of food services, the director of maintenance, and the director of transportation. That kind of tells you a little bit of what happened in that district. And writing the lies in emails that now have been sent out to the public and repeated, is slander and defamatory.” 

Dr. Finch: “That was sent to the public? I thought that was to you?”

Fisher: “What?”

Finch: “The email is directed to you, what are you talking about?” 

Fisher: “No, I’m telling you, you did not clarify what they shared with you. This is an email from you that says all this stuff.” 

Finch: “Right, but it’s between me and you. It’s not public.”

Fisher: “No, it is not. Because these are public records and you have provided them out, which is another point that is a problem – which is public records. I am still receiving public records from over a year ago. And the last set they I got, actually have links in them where I can click and actually go into student files. That right there is a FERPA violation. So these games that are being played are just ridiculous. We as a board need to discuss this stuff that is going on. 

I get the whole conversation of ‘I’ve never said anything hateful about you,’ well I’m sorry, but your wife has been railing me for six years.”

Finch: “All she does is call you out when you have misinformation.” 

Fisher: “No, they’re not untruths; she doesn’t have a clue.”

Finch: “You pretty much attack me daily… for the last eight years.”

Fisher: “No, I’m sorry, but that’s not true. The thing of it is, we have these efforts to tear this board apart. And it has to stop. The efforts to… sending people to, and I’m not saying you sent them, but individuals, sent them on your behalf, to Mrs. Paperman’s house. These things that are occurring, we have to address them, and we cannot address them anywhere else. I will give Mrs. Ordway kudos that while Mrs. O’Brien was harassing me at my husband’s bedside and I see you with complaints on why she didn’t, at least Mrs. Ordway did not participate in that. But all this is documented, and I’m really getting to the point where I’m tired of hearing how I’m abusive to Dr. Finch because nobody… Or he might say he has a box of documents, I have flash drives of non-stop documents of the most hateful and vile things said to me. And I think this needs to come forward, and we need to address it. It’s not, you know… I have repeatedly asked that you cooperate with us and…”

Finch: “Then why do you attack me online, every day?” 

Fisher: “You take everything I say as being about you. I posted something about Hitler, and you said it was about you. Come on…”

Finch: “Because the sentence before said ‘Dr. Finch is a dictator.’”

Mrs. Fisher: “Well, there is not a question about that, but you know, if you actually read the thing about Hitler it says, it was even, actually a documentary that we were watching, which by the way you can check my DVR, it was on it long before it had anything to do with you. So, don’t make assumptions, and this direction that we’re going, we’re going to have to have this conversation. But the public needs to be aware that this is, that what they see presented to them, is not, is not accurate. 

“You know, I get it, Mrs. Ordway is fun. I’ve always said she’s a great PTA Mom. But she’s also gone out into the public and gossipped and said that we were going to take away people’s mandarin program to cause a fit. You know, as board president…”

Finch: “She’s not here to defend herself.”

Fisher: “It’s nothing she hasn’t been told. As board president, I was asked by Mrs. Frank and Mrs. Tweedy to please, please keep Dr. Finch away from the ‘Anns’ until he gets a chance; just give him a chance. And I’m sorry, I’ve got to apologize; I failed in doing that. Because before he had a chance to do anything, he had already met with them, they had already told him how horrible we are, and the very first time… You know it’s fitting that Mrs. Read spent her very last meeting slanting me because she spent her first meeting, before she ever even ran for office, in Dr. Finch’s office slamming me, Mrs. Frank, and Mrs. Tweedy. 

“So I want the public, and the cabinet, and the community to realize that what they see as one side, it’s not. There is so much more to it. And it is going to be a discussion that we are going to have to have, because it’s gotten out of hand. Now the last thing, Mr. Finch noted that I had accused him of any type of inappropriateness like sleeping with anyone or anything because I said that the Anns and Mrs. Read were his ladies in waiting.. So I do want to provide him with the definition of the meaning of ladies in waiting, which is just a servant. So I do believe that they were your servant, there’s the definition of the word. 

“And, I’ve never accused you of anything of that nature, and I never would…”

Finch: “That’s good.”

Fisher: “That is a horrible accusation to make about someone; however, your wife did make that accusation about me, and that is problematic. So this needs to stop, it needs to stop, period.” 

Finch: “We don’t have time to go through all the things you call me Mrs. Fisher. 

Jennie Paperman: “We’re going to continue, so my board report is that I’m looking forward to the retreat. We’re going to have what Paul asked, the policy to be looked upon. One of the things I’m also looking forward to is the survey’s data that I believe we need to voices to all. It was an interesting experience hearing from the parents, hearing from the teachers here even in the district. 

“I have commented to Dr. Finch that one things that have worked when I worked in a previous district is when we unite with the teachers and the parents and the district to create a survey. Not just the district creating the survey or not just the teachers creating the surveys or the parents, all of us unite like having a committee. I was part of a committee so I know the process works, and to me it was very positive because we were representing our groups and moving forward to looking at the data where we trust yes this is the data because we all collaborated on those surveys. 

“With the Standard Based Grading and transition plan, I just hope that the district, again, because I strongly believe that, in collaboration and communication. So this way we don’t have parents saying one thing just to say one thing, district is looking at this, we need to unite everyone. What is this transition going to look like. Get the teachers input. Governing boards get the inputs from the teachers, we get inputs from the parents. I get input from the district. Why don’t we all unite and see how can this work. 

“Look at other districts, you know, at the grading scale, traditional grading, that they have PLC. They’re breaking up the standard, they’re doing proficiency, they have small groups, and they’re very successful. It doesn’t mean that, oh you know, because we don’t have SBG, it’s going to collapse the district. If you look at other districts, it’s the same thing that standard-based grading is doing in providing differentiated instruction for students, progress monitoring throughout time, looking at that growth. It’s not going to affect the district in moving back to traditional grading.

“IB, I know Mrs. Ordway had concerns with IB, my daughter went to Peoria Highschool with their IB and it wasn’t standard-based grading. She understood exactly what she need, she understood exactly what the standards were, she understood what 100% was. But when she transferred to BGHS, the IB there, she was very confused, I was very frustrated, she was frustrated, they couldn’t tell her what a 4 is and this is a straight A student. So worrying about IB, from my perspective, is not going to effect Barry Goldwater, but my point is for everyone to unite with parents, teachers, and district to make this work. 

“Also, look at the new elected officials, we’re going to go back to where high school kids have to pass an exam, the state exam, or they’re not going to get a high school diploma. So we need to start focusing on our students, collaborating again with the parents, collaborating with the teachers, and with the district so we can make this happen. So let’s focus on our students, this is all about our kids. Making sure they’re going to be successful in life, making sure they’ll be ready for college, that they can transition from high school to the college, given opportunities like they’re not going to go to college I love the CTE opportunities in the district. Give them opportunities to experience different tasks, if you also can’t have an open mind can we get trade schools within the high schools? You know it would be fantastic to give those students opportunities because not all students are going to go to college. You know, give them every opportunity that we can. 

“So this is my board report. And another thing I want to bring to the board is that I did request an attorney, a list of attorneys from the district, to get advice, for example, if there’s going to be this policy get advice on this policy. Or get advice in, or, in… Whatever I’m going to bring this advice to, and we’re going to be sure that this is going to be aware to the governing board. So one of the things that I’d like to say right now is yes, I’m going to want to have advice on this policy with district commun… getting involved with this policy and not having board interaction with staff. So if I can get clarification on that so, I will be looking at a list of attorneys. Thank you. Oh, if we can get an attorney for the study session, that would be great, yeah. From the list of attorneys. Because that will help the board cause, then we can ask those questions.” 

*Fisher asks for the selection of attorneys so she can weigh in*

11B. Superintendent Report

Dr. Finch: “Thanks, Mrs. Paperman. Yeah, I’ve never said a nary word about Mrs. Fisher online, ever, and I never will. It’s not what I do. The only request that I have is that she doesn’t attack me online, and we can have our debates via email or whatever between each other. I don’t know I don’t have a problem with that. But I’ll always continue to call out misinformation from any board member, always have and always will. So that’s the only request I have. Just don’t attack me online. I’d appreciate it. That’s the only thing I request. 

Just don’t attack me online. I’d appreciate it. That’s the only thing I request.

Dr. Curtis Finch

“My conversations with Curt went well on January 26th. That one we did online, that’s the first time we’ve done that, so that one can be viewed by people by going to the superintendent’s website and on You can click on there and watch it if you’d like. We’ll have more of those as we head out through the end of the year.

“Most of the other stuff everyone else mentioned, so I won’t go back through those. Just wanted to let everyone know that Goldwater played tonight; I just got a text that said we won 5-4 on soccer, probably in a storm, it sounded like. So it’ll be interested to hear how they did that; it sounded like lightning, so they might have had some delays too. A lot of our teams are in the playoffs, which is fun to see, our teams having success. 

“Two other things, the board retreat is on the 25th; make sure you get your topics to Mrs. Paperman or Mrs. Sheila, so we can get it agenda-ized for the 25th. And last but not least, we just found out that we won the National Forbes Best Mid-sized Public School Employer in the nation again. We’ve been ranked in Arizona three years in a row and now nationally two times. Just goes to show that our hard work is paying off to impact a positive culture. That’s done by an outside organization that we have nothing to do with. It’s out of Forbes, out on the east coast somewhere. They do national surveys and picked Deer Valley as the number one mid-sized employer, that’s between 500 employees and 5,000 in public schools in the nation. That’s pretty exciting. Thanks to the staff that spends a lot of time and effort making sure we’re number one and trying to stay on top. Thanks, that’s it.”

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