DUSD Board postpones talks of possible fee increaseBy Bruce Whetten
The Douglas School Board of Education was expected to discuss a possible fee increase for the usage of school facilities at its regular monthly meeting last week.
Just as the item was announced at the school board meeting DUSD Superintendent Sheila Rogers asked that the item be tabled and moved to the May 1 meeting. Rogers said her staff is still working on some proposed figures which they should have by the next meeting.
Following the tabling of that item the board moved on to the next item on the agenda which was the possible restoring of the eighth grade configuration to subject oriented.
DUSD Curriculum and Federal Programs Director Beverly Enriquez told the board that during the 2009-10 school year both middle schools changed to the traditional subject oriented configuration in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades to a self contained setting in which teachers in those three grades taught all the subjects all day.
Enriquez said this was done in response to the Arizona Department of Education and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program which calls for schools who fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for five years in a row. At that time Huber Middle school had not made AYP since 2004; Ray Borane since 2006. Enriquez said since both schools had been in Corrective Action Status it was determined that it was in the best interest of both schools to change the configuration from traditional subject oriented to self contained as mandated by NCLB.
The DUSD was in this agreement for three years. Since that time Huber made AYP for two years but failed to make it last year while Ray Borane has failed to make AYP for the last three years. Enriquez added the effects of restructuring have also had an impact on Douglas High School. DHS has not made AYP for the past two years. Enriquez said teachers and administrators at DHS have reported the students have not demonstrated the depth of knowledge in math and science to be successful in DHS courses. For those reasons the teachers and administrators were asking the board to reinstall the traditional subject oriented configuration for eighth grade this coming school year then follow with seventh grade for school year 2013-14.
The board unanimously agreed to the request.
In other action the board approved a request for proposal for Basic Life, AD&D, Dependent and Voluntary Life, COBRA Services and renewals for medical, dental and vision plans with Minnesota Life. There was some talk from the board about the prescription plan but in the end the board agreed to the proposal which will run from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
During the consent portion of the agenda the board approved the hiring of Maria Gonzales as a English Language Development Coach; Tricia Clinch as a Special Education teacher; Denise Cox as the Assistant Director to the Curriculum and Federal Programs Department; substitute teacher Jennifer Hollingshead as well as all certified and professional contracted staff in the district for the upcoming school year.
The board approved the resignations of Jesus Obregon effective May 25, 2012; Marisela Hernandez effective April 13, 2012; Mark Berumen effective April 20 and Maria Loreto effective May 23, 2012.
The board also approved the out of state travel to Anaheim, CA May 18-20 for the DHS band, choir and piano/keyboarding as well as a request from the DHS Band Booster Club for assistance with transportation to and from Tucson.
The next regular board meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. May 1 followed by a special meeting May 8 and the regular board meeting again May 15.