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HomeBoard Meeting RecapsBoard Recap: March 7th, 2023 Deer Valley Unified School District

Board Recap: March 7th, 2023 Deer Valley Unified School District

The March 7th, 2023, Deer Valley Unified School District governing board meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM. 

All board members are present: 

  • Jennie Paperman
  • Kim Fisher
  • Paul Carver
  • Stephanie Simacek
  • Ann Ordway – Participating via teleconference

A motion to adopt the agenda passes unanimously. 

3. District Reports

3A. Finance Reports

Finance reports can be found here.

February Student Enrollment Report

Enrollment as of February 22nd, the 124th day of the school year. 32,952 students are currently enrolled in DVUSD, a 0.8% increase from the same time last year. 

Board Questions:

Mrs. Fisher: Were we at 1% on the 100th day and dropped to 0.8% afterward? 

Answer: I believe that is correct, but would like to double-check the January report to be sure. 

M&O Budget Report

Some good news in this report – for nearly this entire school year, we’ve had a footnote at the bottom of the report that DVUSD might have to cut $46.7M this month if the State Legislature didn’t take action in overriding the Aggregate Expenditure Limit (AEL). On February 8th, they did override the AEL for this school year. With that, you’ll see fairly significant increases in our certified and classified staff salary lines. Thanks to the governing board, who, in December, voted to increase the salary for DVUSD staff in the current school year, to be paid when the AEL was lifted. The payment was made last Thursday, March 2nd, but was encumbered as February. 

Unfortunately, we are still seeing savings from vacancies, but we can now project some carryforward. We still have to make adjustments to the certified and classified substitute line, moving some of those expenses over to our ESER fund. The finance department plans on having that done in the month of March. 

Overall, we’re seeing a potential carryforward of $16.6M. This information is being communicated with the Negotiated Salary Team, as they look into potential salary increases for next year. We did project an overall 1% increase in Average Daily Membership, which we have not realized completely. A 1% in the ADM is about $2M, whether that’s an increase or decrease. Because a 1% increase was projected and has not been completely realized, there will be a slight reduction in the total budget. 

Board Questions: 

Mrs. Paperman: Can you explain to the public what ADM is and what causes an increase or decrease?

Answer: ADM is our average daily membership, and it is the aggregate number of students from the first day to the 100th day. A student who is a full-time student from the first day up to the 100th day will equate to DVUSD a 1.0 ADM, and that number is multiplied by the base support level, which is the funding given to the district by the state. Essentially, it is the aggregate enrollment on which DVUSD is funded. 

4. Call to the Public

No speakers were present for the March 8th meeting.

5. Old Business

5A. Approve School Year 2023-2024 Governing Board Meeting Dates

Note: The first march meeting has been removed from the motion.

Board Questions: 

Mr. Carver: Asks for clarification on that March meeting removal. 

Mrs. Fisher: Says that the board has had back-to-back meetings from the last meeting to this one (they’re usually every two weeks, this one is the second week in a row). This meeting has a fairly light agenda, and if there hadn’t been a few important things on it, they could have bumped it to the next and given the staff the time off. Next year, it would be the same situation. If something comes up that is very important, it can be rescheduled next year, but by removing it, the board and the staff can plan a little better next year. 

Mr. Carver: Just to be clear, your motion is to adopt the schedule as presented, minus March 5th?

Mrs. Fisher: Correct. 

Dr. Finch: Another thing that was discussed at the retreat, and you may add it to the motion, is the quarterly meetings or study sessions. If the board wanted to do that concept, the potential dates are also attached. The board could also bring this back to vote in the future. 

The motion is amended to include the quarterly meetings.

The motion passes unanimously.

5B. Approve the 2023-24 Certified Performance Pay Plan 

There are no changes to the recommendation presented at the last meeting.

The motion passes unanimously. 

5C. Approve the FY24 Employee Benefit Recommendation

There are no changes to the recommendation presented at the last meeting. Additional feedback from employee groups was solicited over the last week, and no additional feedback was provided. 

Board Questions:

Mr. Carver: Asks that if something were to happen, that decreases DVUSD’s liability to the ASRS, what happens with the budget prepared compared to what is needed?

Answer: If that were to change, any changes impacting this recommendation would be applied automatically. It is prescribed to DVUSD by law and is included in the presentation as a note because it is a benefit that employees receive based on their contribution. It’s also included as a reminder to everyone that the employer matches that contribution to further the benefit they receive when they retire. It’s only listed as a reference; if the percentage changes, then there could be potential for that rate to be altered. It would likely be for a future year since those rates have already been established. 

The motion passes unanimously. 

6. Consent Agenda

The motion for items 6A through 6H passes 4:1; Mrs. Fisher votes nay without explanation. 

6A. Approve Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Governing Board on February 28, 2023

6B. Student Travel

6C. Approve Vouchers

6D. Approve Donations

6E. Approve Addenda Contracts

6F. Authorization to Enter into Additonal Cooperative Contract Purchases for Fiscal Year 2022-23

6G. Approval of Additional RFP/IFB Multiple Year Contract Renewals for Fiscal Year 2022-23

6H. Approve Human Resources Changes

7. Action

7A. Approve Employee Professional Development (Out of State)

Board Questions:

Mr. Carver: Explains his nay vote for employee out-of-state travel, stating his concern for “some of the places and topics” falling under his concern for ARS 14-4194 again, with the Gifted in Color conference. He wants the board to be cognizant of that. 

Carver also voted against this travel at the March 1st, 2023 meeting.

Motion passes 3:2; Mrs. Fisher and Mr. Carver vote nay.

7B. Approve Job Order Contract (JOC) with Skyline Builders for Head Start additional classroom project at Sunrise Elementary School

Deer Valley Unified School District Head Start and the City of Phoenix Head Start Grantee are partnering to purchase a modular building to be placed on the Sunrise Elementary School Campus to expand services for Head Start students. This award is contingent upon the City of Phoenix Region IX (1303.44) application approval to purchase, construct and renovate facilities. The total estimated amount of this proposal is $385,194.31 and will be paid with Head Start funds.

The motion passes unanimously. 

8. Reports

8A. Governing Board Reports

Mrs. Simacek: “Good evening to our DVUSD community. My board report will be pretty short and sweet tonight because, unfortunately, I was not able to attend the events I had previously planned. That being said, I did have the amazing opportunity to attend the DVUSD student summit at Barry Goldwater for the Student Advisory Council. It was a blast. I had the opportunity to greet the students as they arrived to Goldwater as they got off the bus. Our keynote speaker was phenomenal. I was also able to walk around during the breakout sessions to see what was going on, and one of the student groups pulled me in and we got to make an anti-bullying poster; it was really fun. The students were creative. Really, just walking around and watching them interact with each other because this is all of our schools from DVUSD, just a handful of students from each school all coming together – K-6 schools, K-8 schools, and obviously our high schools. They were creative and felt like they were really taking the time to talk and listen to each other and work with each other. It was just an overall wonderful event and I hope that our DVUSD students enjoyed it as much as I did, working together and seeing leadership from a different perspective from each other. 

“I kept thinking about a better program or an experience for our students that supports DVUSD’s portrait of a graduate because I saw problem-solving, courtesy, communication with each other, and students having a sense of self and others. For example, the respect that had for each other when in groups was wonderful. 

“And then, as I had mentioned, there were some events I was not able to attend, which included the Las Falles celebration at Union Park and the Deer Valley Educators golf classic on Monday. However, I’m very excited to go see Guys and Dolls being put on by Goldwater on Thursday with some friends, and then tomorrow, we get to have lunch at Avenue 27 at Goldwater for our POP lunch. Thank you.”

Mrs. Ordway: “The student summit was excellent. I wait to see how our schools will replicate the messages that went there. As usual, the keynote speaker was right on target. I did attend the basketball game for Deer Valley High School against Peoria – it did not end up exactly as we had planned, but it was an excellent game and it’s great to watch our pursuing victory with honor, our habits, and bodies, not only with our student-athletes but also the students that come to watch included with the parents. 

“Real quick, on March 22nd and March 23rd, from 4:30 to 6:00 PM at the Barry Goldwater Gym, I will have the Prom attire open to all of our high school students that are attending. There will be a flyer that I’m sending out to the high schools tonight. 

Other than that, happy spring break, and congratulations to all those that received awards earlier. And it’s great to see all those A or A+ banners that are on our schools. Thank you.”

Mr. Carver: “So, on March 1st, started the day off at Arrowhead Elementary School; they had a literacy event there. And that particular day had happened to be career day; their guest speaker was the Mayor of Glendale, Mr. Jerry Weiers, and it was interesting to watch the kids give him some Q&A. He went down the list of things he had done in his life, from being a pilot, to a business owner, to running for Mayor of the City of Glendale. And out of all the things kids were interested in, they were most excited when one of the kids asked him what was his favorite kind of music. He started rattling off bands that folks in his age category, or my age category for that matter, might enjoy from the 70s and 60s. And they were all pretty excited about that so that was kind of interesting. 

“But we had to make a quick segway from Arrowhead Elementary to get over to Barry Goldwater for the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. The theme this year was on media. So what the Advisory Council had done was they put stations together inside the gym to help educate the youth that was participating. They educated them on the pros and cons of media, what to watch out for, red flags to be aware of – one of the things I thought was interesting; they taught them how to acknowledge red flags, avoid red flags but also how to create red flags. I thought was kind of an interesting twist on that. It was amazing; one of the most amazing things that I got out of the whole interaction when they were in the gym teaching each other was the fact they were teaching each other. I was speaking with Mrs. Simacek and Dr. Finch when I was there, and I was just marveling at the greatest difference that I see in education between when I was in high school and now is that back then, it was teachers teaching. We didn’t really do peer-to-peer. And the level of attention the students give to each other when they’re the ones facilitating by far beats any level of attention that a student gives an adult that’s in the room. So it’s amazing when we can identify through these kinds of programs, the leaders, there among the student population, that are willing to engage and help educate their fellow students. So it was an amazing, amazing activity that day. 

“March 6th, of course, was the Deer Valley Education Foundation golf tournament. I didn’t golf this year, and that seemed to aggravate quite a few people on the course, but obviously, they don’t know what they were missing… letting me golf would have really given them their entertainment dollar. But, it was good, to meet everybody I took a golf cart around and I made every foursome and introduced myself. And we’ve got some amazing people that are in our community, and as most of us in this room and that are listening tonight know, once you come to Deer Valley you might leave but you will come back. And that is one thing that kept recurring through every engagement I had that day with the different people that I met was, they have been around in this community, and it is because of folks like them that Deer Valley is as amazing as it is. So I’m really thankful for that. 

“Also, on the 6th, before I got to the golf tournament, I met with our State Senator, Kaiser, Steve Kaiser from LD2, to get him to get ahold of the Arizona State Trust people for the land and get Deer Valley back on the agenda so that we can start talking about we need to do to start planning for growth moving forward. So I think that takes an effort at all levels; we can’t just leave that up to Dr. Finch to try to manage that, so I’m going to do the best I can. 

“The last few weeks, since my visit to Inspiration Mountain to see the chicks being hatched and getting my tour of the campus, I think I mentioned in my last report I got to go to Mrs. Whits’ maker space classroom. And it’s a new school, as we all know, and it was an empty classroom. And she had amazing plans, and I asked her if she had a list of the things she needed to accomplish those plans. And she gave me a parts list of all the different things she’d like to have in her classroom in order to try to accomplish her goals. I took that list to the community, and I’m glad to say that they filled every item on that list that she wants in order to make her classroom what is, and what she needs in order to help our children. And so tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be taking all that over there to her, meeting everybody, and getting everything into that classroom, and we’ll move forward from that point. But I think the more we can draw the community together to fill the needs of our classrooms and of our teachers, the better everybody becomes as a whole. So I’m going to continue to focus on that, and hopefully, the board as a team will move forward and follow likewise.

“That’s all I’ve got.” 

Mrs. Fisher: “Look’s like Jennie is going to make that 8 o’clock deadline I gave her for tonight. Good job, Jennie.

“We’ve only had a week, but I have to give the ultimate kudos again, to Marie Brennan and the board members and everyone who puts that golf tournament together. It is… not only do they raise funds, but it is wonderful to see friends and co-workers, and past co-workers, and individuals that we’ve known for years and years that you get to see maybe once or twice a year, not stressed out. Able to relax and enjoy the great things that are happening within the district. It does help that each year I do get a slightly more better, if that’s actually, it’s not a real word, but you know… This year we did have three that were under par, which that never happens; I actually hit the hole a few times, and I don’t mean the water feature. I actually mean the golf hole. So it was just a wonderful event and it was wonderful to see everybody come out and support the district.

“I did want to ask Mrs. Moffit, do we currently accept teaching students from Arizona Christian University?” 

Mrs. Moffit: “Yes.”

Mrs. Fisher: “We do? Ok, well, let’s stay in contact with them because now that they have been, had essentially their contract removed by Washington, we can really pick up some of those teachers. Because we need them. So, I just wanted to bring that forward as well.

“I also just wanted to wish all the staff and administration and teachers a happy spring break, a good spring break. Don’t get into trouble, don’t get arrested; that’s mostly for the very young ones. But take a chance; take the time to actually relax. Don’t get involved in work stuff; just shut it out of your mind – I’m not going to do it, I’m not going to do it, because I know a lot of you will. But take the break that’s needed because they don’t come often. I hope you all have a very good spring break. 

“That’s it for me.”

Mrs. Paperman: “I would like to say, again, congratulations to those that got awards today. I would also like to give updates to community members that have been contact me over the transition of SBG… Dr. Galligan is in charge of that, and she is working on getting a committee… Eventually, she’ll have the parents involved. 

“I would like to say happy spring break to all the staff, classified, teachers, and administrators; enjoy it with your family. Stay safe.

“I’m also looking forward to attend, I believe, two plays, tomorrow I’m going to be going to Peter Pan and there’s another one I believe, with Barry Goldwater High School, so I’m very excited for that. And I will be visiting, eventually, the high schools, so I’m very excited to be visiting the high schools and see how they’re doing or how we can support them as board members. 

“Now we’re going to Superintendent’s report.”

8B. Superintendent Report

Dr. Finch: “I want to brag on some people as well; my team in my office, Sheila and Amanda, help get the student summit together. They are the glue. They make it happen. Tasha is the main sponsor, but she would be able to get it together without your help, so thanks. And the reason it works so well is that Sheila is running around bossing everybody, including myself. ‘Get over there and do that!’ she does a great job and makes the summit so much better.

“And the students, as Mr. Carver suggested, it’s really neat to see these students evolve in their leadership skills over time. And the summit is a live-action, in front of you problem that happens, the wrong students get into the wrong groups and the students have to improvise, or the students have to move their lesson plans around, or the technology doesn’t work… And at the end, we always talk about, this is what it’s like to be a teacher. You come to your classroom and there’s now four more kids that weren’t there yesterday and your technology doesn’t work and it’s always one thing after another. It’s always a great lesson to teach them about how teachers are great at improvising and continuing to move forward with the learning despite the obstacles that pop up throughout the day. It’s always a great summit.

“I also want to recognize our NBCT teacher; I think I saw on Twitter today, Mrs. Olson. I think she was here. She got a rose last week. She was recognized by KEZ 99 FM as Arizona’s Teacher of the Month. She’s a Copper Creek Kindergarten teacher. She’s winning everything; that’s three awards in a row. Plus, I was in her classroom two weeks ago, saying hi. She’s a very high-energy teacher; she does a great job.

“And I, too, also wanted to make sure everyone enjoys their spring break. Our next school board meeting will be in three weeks. So hopefully, we’ll all be rested and ready to go and finish our sprint to the finish. Graduations are right around the corner as well, believe it or not, another year is coming to a close. We have to finish strong with the races. Thank you!”

The meeting adjourned at 7:46 PM.

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