Board wraps up school year

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The Grand Canyon School Board breezed through the last meeting of the school year, giving Superintendent Sheila Breen a smooth exit in her last meeting as the head of the district.

Breen thanked the Board for their past six years of support.

Board President Clarinda Vail read a thank you card in which she said, "it has been a pleasure and an honor to work with all of you. Your thoughtfulness and commitment have helped make the district exceptional. I have enjoyed being part of the transition and expect the momentum to continue under your guidance."

Drug test policy

She left the Board with a draft of one policy she's helped spearhead - Grand Canyon School's first draft of a drug test policy for students. It outlines the need and purpose for the policy and who it will affect. Students in grades six-12 who wish to participate in extra-curricular activities must agree to submit to random drug testing.

Breen said that incoming superintendent Sharyl Allen wanted to meet with some discussion groups and she recommended that the Board review and mark the draft.

"What I would suggest is that you guys take the draft and you make your comments on it so we can give those to her when she gets here," she said.

"We're heading in the right direction with blocking in now what we're proposing," said Vail.

Head of School report

Crumbo reported that 18 out of the 19 seniors graduated from high school and 28 of the 29 eighth graders met requirements for an elementary completion.

Board member Chuck Wahler asked if that meant all students had passed the AIMS test. Crumbo said they did very well.

"It looked like more kids for the first time ever passed math than reading and writing," she said. "And it was so cool, this was the first year that when I told kids, they were disappointed that they hadn't exceeded. But those kids who hadn't passed before are pretty happy campers."

Vail said that teacher Jane Halverson deserved credit, based on feedback she'd gotten from parents and what she's seen in her own home.

"A lot should be attributed to her," she said.

She said the district is identifying students who will need extra help next year under Title I, partly based on AIMS performance at far below and approaching standards.

"We haven't done that for quite some time," she said. "We will have a plan at the beginning of school."

She said the school's Primary Years re-authorization visit will be this coming spring and not the year after as they had thought.

Finances

School Business Manager Lee Metheny reported that they should end the year under budget.

"If we don't have any emergencies in the next three weeks or so, we'll be OK," he said. "We won't be over budget anywhere."

He said no one is sure if the state legislature will come to school districts for surplus funds, and if they will exempt small schools.

"I don't even think they do," he said.

The Board approved payroll vouchers in the amounts of $315,652.86 and $61,825.71. Metheny said the first voucher was so large because it reflected lump sum payouts to teachers for the summer.

They approved accounts payable vouchers for $70,639.37 and $12,171.21.

He expects to have the proposed budget assembled by the July Board meeting, giving taxpayers an idea of what next year's rate will be.

Based on a recommendation by Judi Beckerleg, the Board approved hiring Golden Rule Signs to complete the informational marquee that is being built in front of the school. They submitted the lowest bid, at $13,500 and were responsive in her conversations with them, she said.

Athletic director

Athletic co-director Dan Lopez reported that boys and girls are playing summer league basketball. He expected them to end the year meeting eligibility requirements of a C average or higher in all classes in order to play.

The Board approved adding cross country to the fall sports lineup after receiving assurances that about the more than $3,000 needed will not come from the maintenance and operation budget.

"I must admit there are concerns about adding a sport this season," said Wahler. "We have to wonder what kind of message we're sending with all of the cuts and trimming back, and then after all the budget stuff - I've really been wrestling with this."

Breen recommended approving the program for a year, with money coming out of the donation account. They will reevaluate at the end of the year.

Lopez said that about 11 or 12 students are interested. Another 17 have expressed interest in soccer.

"The thing I feel encouraged about is that we've had enough interest from non-soccer kids and kids who don't play volleyball," he said.

Elizabeth Davis was approved as coach of the sport, which consists of a 2.3-mile race.

Personnel

The Board hired Jennifer Marshall, Julie Nash and Greg Cain as teachers. The Board also approved a stack of extra duty contracts.

For teachers: Betty Hultin - High School Discovery trainer/coach and High School Team Leader, Mary Ann Garvey and Cheryl Mobley - Hands Across the Border co-coordinators, Cynthia Sauve Bruno - Middle School Student Council sponsor and Outdoor Education Retreat Coordinator, Jesse Byers - Personal Project Team Leader, Deb Goepfrich - International Continuum Team Leader, George Haughton - High School Student Council sponsor, Julie Nash - Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Cyndi Moreno - Community Liaison, Cynthia Granberg - Freshman Class sponsor, Karen Weber - Sophomore Class sponsor, Lori Rommel - Junior Class sponsor and Middle School Team Leader, and Bob Kelso and Jane Halverson - summer school teacher

They also approved Elizabeth Davis as Middle School Discovery trainer/coach, Community and Service Coordinator, Senior Class sponsor, head track coach and head cross-country coach.

Other coaching contracts: Andrew Aldaz - boys and girls middle school head basketball coach and head softball coach, Jack Pennington - middle school head soccer coach, Nuria Claudio-Mariages - high school head volleyball coach, Greg Walker - high school boys head basketball coach and Dan Lopez - high school girls head basketball coach.

Assistant coaches are still needed, as is a baseball coach. Contact Lopez at danl@grandcanyonschool.org.

Donations:

The Board accepted the following donations for Odyssey of the Mind World Competition - $500 from the PTA, $250 from Canyon Plaza Resort and $100 from a law firm in Maryland on behalf of OM Coach Laura Kelso.

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