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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Helping Kids Succeed – Arizona Style

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President’s Message Unexpected Community Allies Critical in Hard Times By Debbie King, ASBA President


ASBA News By Juliet Martin, ASBA Journal Editor


Capitol View The Opportunity to Lead in a Time of Crisis By Janice Palmer, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations


Points on Policy The Perplexing World of Policy Advisories By Jim Deaton, ASBA Director of Policy Services


Leadership Matters Community Engagement is Essential ... and It’s Essential to Do it Right! By John Gordon, ASBA Director of Leadership Development




Education and the Law Consider Legal Issues When Engaging Your Communities By Chris Thomas, ASBA Director of Legal Services Lessons from Research Working With Parents, Community Can Solve Chronic Absenteeism By Michael T. Martin, ASBA Research Analyst Viewpoints ASBA Caucuses Reect Your Student Community By PanďŹ lo H. Contreras, ASBA Executive Director


ProďŹ le in Leadership Mike DeLaO


Helping Kids Succeed – Arizona Style By Derek Peterson


Community Engagement ... It’s in the Constitution By Derek Peterson


Public Engagement Activity Leads to Idea Sharing at County Meetings By John Gordon and Karen Beckvar


Community Engagement: Lessons Learned By William “Corkey� O’Callaghan


Breaking Learning Barriers Through Community Engagement By Marjorie Kaplan, Ph.D.


Let’s Play Safety Jeopardy By Sandrea Kerr


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ARIZONA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION z OfďŹ cers President Debbie King President Elect Dee Navarro Secretary Deb Scott Treasurer Lamar Johnson Immediate Past President Robert Rice

z County Directors, Caucus President Apache Rose Martinez Cochise Carolyn Calderon Coconino Chuck Wahler Gila Bob Cassa Graham Roberta Lopez Greenlee Mike Wearne La Paz Rudy Parker Maricopa J. Kevin Clayborn Maricopa Randy Schiller Mohave William Goodale Navajo Raymond Laughter Pima Jim Coulter Pima Elaine Hall Pinal Irene Patino Santa Cruz Harry Clapeck Yavapai Karen McClelland Yuma Maureen Irr Hispanic/Native American Indian Caucus David Esquivel

z Staff Executive Director PanďŹ lo H. Contreras Director of Administrative Services Ellen White Director of Policy Services Jim Deaton Director of Legal Services Chris Thomas Director of Governmental Relations Janice Palmer Director of Leadership Development John Gordon Communications/Journal Editor Juliet Martin Education Policy Analyst Dr. Terry Rowles Education Policy Analyst Steve Highlen Governmental Relations Analyst Beth Sauer Research Analyst Michael T. Martin Leadership Development Specialist Karen Beckvar Policy Technician Renae Watson Administrative Secretary Jolene Hale Administrative Secretary Shirley Simpson Administrative Secretary Colleen Mee Administrative Secretary Elizabeth Sanchez Receptionist Kristi Johnson Publication Policy: Articles printed herein may be divergent in point of view and controversial in nature. The materials published in each issue represent the ideas or beliefs of those who write them, and not necessarily the views or policies of the Arizona School Boards Association. Š 2010 by the Arizona School Boards Association. Address all correspondence to: ASBA Journal Editor 2100 N. Central Ave., Suite 200 Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone: 602-254-1100; 1-800-238-4701 editor@azsba.org; Web site: www.azsba.org Annual subscription rate $24. Production and Design by S&L Printing & Mailing 1428 W. San Pedro • Gilbert, AZ 85233 • 480-497-8081

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z PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE By Debbie King, ASBA President

Unexpected Community Allies Critical in Hard Times


state and nation. It may be the t’s hard to believe that most important task we’ve ever 2010 is quickly coming to More than ever we must reach been charged with. I won’t an end. I look forward to out to our communities, our pretend to have all the answers. seeing all of you at the Annual Conference in December. We school families, business leaders, At times I’m not even sure of the questions. The fact is the have some great speakers who voters, and local, state and answers will be a little different will provide inspiration to us in each school district and as we continue on our path as federal elected ofďŹ cials. We are perhaps even at each school. servant leaders. going to have to collaborate I would like to share two I’ve had the great pleasure quotes with you: of seeing many of you at in ways we haven’t before. • The ďŹ rst is by Thomas Edison: County Workshops and, as “If we did all the things we are you know, the challenges over capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.â€? We must do the next several years are not going to be easy ones. We all that we can, all that we are capable of doing. I have have our work cut out for us, and we must continue to faith that we will ďŹ nd a way to at least surprise ourselves move forward with the hearts of servant leaders in order at the positive outcome in spite of difďŹ cult times. to provide the best education for our children. • The second is by Alexander Graham Bell: “Great discoveries I believe we are going to have to look for new ways to and achievements invariably involve the cooperation of many get our jobs done. We need to look for solutions wherever minds.â€? We have no other choice but to cooperate, to we can ďŹ nd them. Think outside the “normalâ€? box. Be collaborate and to make the great discoveries needed so creative. Look for allies in places we may not have looked our children can reach their great achievements! before. We are going to have to look for common ground I can think of no other group of people I’d rather work wherever it exists and then work to expand it. We may with than you – Arizona School Board Members who even ďŹ nd ourselves working with people we never would lead with the hearts of servant leaders; individuals who have thought we could work with. We can’t afford to make work countless hours without pay, for the sole purpose of enemies, but we must never compromise our children’s creating a better world for children. Together we will ďŹ nd futures. a solution. We have no other choice. You’re thinking I’ve lost my mind. It’s not possible to “A true leader has the conďŹ dence to stand alone, the courage do all of that! Well, that’s the hand we’ve been dealt. We to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs have to do it. More than ever we must reach out to our of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one communities, our school families, business leaders, voters, by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.â€? – and local, state and federal elected ofďŹ cials. We are going Anonymous to have to collaborate in ways we haven’t before. Thank you for the opportunity you’ve given me to We have been elected, and charged, with this great serve you this year. I am humbled by this opportunity. responsibility. We are to provide the best education to God bless you! „ our children and while doing so mold the future of our

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ASBA NEWS Pickrell honored with ASBA school law award Thomas Pickrell, general counsel for Mesa Public Schools, was honored with the 5th Annual John R. McDonald Award at this year’s Law Conference in September. Pickrell, who served as the director of legal services at ASBA for eight years before taking his current position, was surprised and honored to receive the award. Named after attorney John R. McDonald, the award recognizes an attorney whose contributions to public education merit special distinction and whose outstanding service to his or her clients have greatly helped all Arizona school districts over the years.

By Juliet Martin, ASBA Journal Editor

Dysart USD receives national recognition for technology efforts The Dysart UniďŹ ed School District in Surprise was one of three districts nationwide to be named a Salute District by NSBA’s Technology Leadership Network, an honor that recognizes districts that focus on technology to promote student achievement. The award was bestowed on the Dysart UniďŹ ed School District at a luncheon during NSBA’s 2010 Technology + Learning (T+L) Conference in Phoenix in October. Dysart has invested in network modernization and created a culture that emphasizes using technology to transform instruction and administrative operations. More than 300 Dysart teachers have completed the district’s E3 Academy, an intensive 60-hour program about using technology in the classroom. Teachers use a suite of assessment tools called iPAL to hone in on individual strengths and weaknesses for each student, directing instruction to areas of need.

Technology and district staff from the Dysart UniďŹ ed School District received top honors at NSBA’s 2010 Technology + Learning Conference in October.

Additional 5 receive Cactus Pin Awards In addition to the 16 Arizona school board members who received Cactus Pin Awards this summer, ďŹ ve additional members received Cactus Pins for their service to ASBA and the National School Boards Association and for participating in community service activities on behalf of their local boards. Gold Cactus Pin Award Recipients (150 or more service points): Lamar Johnson (Casa Grande ESD); Anne Greenberg (Paradise Valley USD); Dee Navarro (Prescott USD) Thomas Pickrell (left), pictured with John McDonald, received the John R. McDonald Award at the 2010 ASBA Law Conference.

Silver Cactus Pin Award Recipients (75-149 service points): Kevin Clayborn (Glendale Union HSD); Margaret Burkholder (Vail USD) 0KVV  3

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Vice President Joseph Biden spoke to members of NALEO and the Hispanic Caucus executive committee at the OfďŹ ce of the Vice President.

Arizona school board members meet Vice President Biden Arizona school board members Cindy Matus Morriss (Patagonia ESD) and Mike DeLaO (Safford USD) attended NSBA Hispanic Caucus meetings in Alexandria, Va., in October. Both serve on the executive committee of the National Hispanic Caucus board of directors – Matus Morriss as past chair and DeLaO as chair-elect. During their visit, they joined members of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed OfďŹ cials (NALEO) and Vice President Joe Biden along with his wife Jill at the OfďŹ ce of the Vice President.

Cindy Matus Morriss from Patagonia ESD (center) met Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill.

Arizona school children kick off state centennial with CENTennial Penny Drive Activities for Arizona’s 100th birthday kick off in 2011 with a special project for our state’s youngest citizens. Among an ambitious agenda of projects and special events being planned by the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation is the CENTennial Penny Drive, a children’s legacy project. The CENTennial Penny Drive gives students in grades K-8 the opportunity to participate in Arizona’s Centennial celebration and raise funds for cleaning and resealing the Arizona Capitol Copper Dome.The Dome will be brought back to its shiny brilliance as it serves as the centerpiece for the state’s Centennial celebrations. It’s also a great opportunity for teachers to talk about Arizona’s history. CENTennial will run for 48 school days beginning February 9, 2011, and ending on April 15, 2011. “The Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation is excited to bring this project to Arizona’s school children and include them in this landmark celebration so that they may share in the pride of being an integral part of this historical event,â€? remarked Karen Churchard, executive director of the foundation. “As we move forward with the implementation of CENTennial, we are asking for the enthusiastic support of school ofďŹ cials, educational organizations, teachers and parents to ensure a successful outcome.â€? Watch for more information about the CENTennial Penny Drive Project at the 53rd ASBA•ASA Annual Conference in December. You can also log on to the ofďŹ cial Arizona Centennial website, www.Arizona100.org, or call the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation ofďŹ ce at 602.364.3689. More information: facebook.com/ArizonaCentennial.PennyDrive. 8 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



January BOLTS Seminars provide leadership training Mark your calendar for one of ASBA’s Board Operations and Leadership Training Seminars (BOLTS) in your area. These one-day programs, which focus on the mechanics of effective boards, beneďŹ t both newly elected and continuing board members as well as superintendents and board and superintendent executive assistants. Session topics include effective board meeting management, public records, open meeting law and what to do when the media calls. A session speciďŹ cally for executive assistants about keeping records straight will be offered. The day will also include an interactive session to help board leaders and administrators determine when an issue is a board decision and when management should deal with it. BOLTS Seminars dates and locations are: • Thursday, January 13, 2011 – Tucson • Friday, January 21, 2011 – Phoenix • Wednesday, January 19, 2011 – Yuma • Tuesday, January 25, 2011 – Flagstaff Registration for BOLTS Seminars will begin December 1. Find out more at www.azsba.org.

ASBA Calendar of Events November 2010

January 2011



ASBA BOLTS Workshop Tucson


ASBA Board Retreat Tucson


Martin Luther King Jr. Day ASBA OfďŹ ce Closed


ASBA BOLTS Workshop Yuma


ASBA BOLTS Workshop Phoenix


ASBA BOLTS Workshop Flagstaff

Thanksgiving Holiday ASBA OfďŹ ce Closed

December 2010 15

ASBA-ASA-AASBO Legislative Workshop Phoenix


ASBA New Board Member Orientation Phoenix


ASBA-ASA 53rd Annual Conference Phoenix


Christmas Day – Observed ASBA OfďŹ ce Closed


New Year’s Day – Observed ASBA OfďŹ ce Closed

February 2011 6-8

NSBA Federal Relations Network Washington, D.C.


President’s Day ASBA OfďŹ ce Closed

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ASBA NEWS Eight ASBA County Directors Elected County Meetings in each of Arizona’s 15 counties during September and October provided opportunities for fellowship, boardsmanship awards presentations, electing new county directors and sharing challenges and solutions with other neighboring districts in roundtable discussions. (See article on page 28 for a synopsis about the County Meeting roundtable discussion ďŹ ndings.) Elections for County Directors occurred in eight counties during County Meetings. The ASBA Board welcomes three new County Directors, and ďŹ ve directors who were reelected.

Newly elected to the ASBA Board

From top left: Sandra Kidman, Coconino County (Page UniďŹ ed School District); Frankie Dalmolin, Gila County (Globe UniďŹ ed School District); Jesus Rubalcava, Maricopa County (Gila Bend UniďŹ ed School District)

Re-elected to the ASBA Board Rudy Parker, La Paz County Parker UniďŹ ed School District William Goodale, Mohave County Kingman UniďŹ ed School District Jim Coulter, Pima County Vail UniďŹ ed School District Harry Clapeck, Santa Cruz County Santa Cruz Valley UniďŹ ed School District Karen McClelland,Yavapai County Sedona Oak Creek UniďŹ ed School District 10 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



Don’t Miss ... Annual Conference, Legislative Workshop, New Board Member Orientation School board members from across Arizona gather each year for the ASBA ASA Annual Conference to learn about best practices and model programs, honor outstanding school boards and their members, and share challenges and successes with fellow board members. This year’s program will celebrate servant leadership with two keynote speakers, Dr. Kent M. Keith from the Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership and Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, founder of Educational Achievement Services, Inc. as well as the Family Leadership Institute. Thirty-two breakout sessions with tracks especially geared toward new board members, school administrators and ASBA members give attendees the opportunity to tailor their learning experiences, while more than 100 vendors will showcase the latest education-related products and services. The conference also honors achievements by school boards, individual members, students and school programs. The conference kicks off with two one-day workshops: The ASBA-ASA-AASBO Legislative Workshop provides a preview of the coming Legislative session with an examination of current education public policy issues and informative, interactive panel discussions with inuential state lawmakers. The New Board Member Orientation is perfect for new governing board members and superintendents, providing key information about overall board member roles and responsibilities, legal and ethical responsibilities, and an overview of Arizona school ďŹ nance and budgeting. Registration deadlines are fast approaching. Visit www. azsba.org for more information and to register, or call 602.254.1100 for more information.


Boardsmanship Awards recognize commitment to building leadership development skills, knowledge During the 15 County Meetings, presentations of Boardsmanship Awards honored board members who have shown their commitment to being effective leaders by participating in ASBA workshops, conferences and other training opportunities. The Cluster Pin Awards will be awarded at the Annual Conference and will appear in the Winter 2011 ASBA Journal. CertiďŹ cate of Boardsmanship 36 CEUs in ďŹ ve core curriculum areas

More than 75 school board members were honored with Boardsmanship Awards during County Meetings for their commitment to being effective leaders. Pictured are recipients from Maricopa County.

Master of Boardsmanship Award 84 CEUs in at least eight core curriculum areas

Associate of Boardsmanship Award 60 CEUs in at least eight core curriculum areas

Richard Adler, Humboldt USD Linda Allen, Blue Ridge USD Christa Biasi, LittleďŹ eld USD Helen Bonnaha, Kayenta USD Frankie Dalmolin, Globe USD Maggie Devries, Sonoita ESD Chris Duncan, Fort Thomas USD Patricia Foy, Seligman USD William Goodale, Kingman USD Patricia Jimenez, Isaac ESD Theresa Kuebler, Florence USD Rose W. Martinez, Chinle USD Jeannie Myrick, Littleton ESD Sandi Nielson, Littleton ESD Christine Pritchard, Dysart USD Marilyn Rollins, Osborn ESD Michaela Roth, Mohawk Valley ESD Larry Schilling, Cartwright ESD Deborah Skinner, Apache Junction USD George Turner, Blue Ridge USD Mary Worker, Tuba City USD

April Allen, Dysart USD Linda Allen, Blue Ridge USD Judy Ashby, LitchďŹ eld ESD David Collins, Willcox USD Barbara Corral, Quartzsite ESD Kevin Daily, Flowing Wells USD Frankie Dalmolin, Globe USD Judy Ellis,Young ESD Sylvia Etsitty, Ganado USD Patricia Foy, Seligman USD Dalene GrifďŹ n, Thatcher USD Scott Hamilton, Ash Fork Joint USD Anna Harmon, Globe USD Olivia Jaquez, Holbrook USD Patricia Jimenez, Isaac ESD Roberta Lopez, Solomon ESD Mary Mills, Concho ESD Jeannie Myrick, Littleton ESD Lorraine Nelson, Window Rock USD Dr. Andy Newton, Prescott USD Jenny Reber, LittleďŹ eld USD Paul Roetto, Saddle Mountain USD Janice Rollins, Cottonwood-Oak Creek ESD Lisa Rossi, Ajo USD Loren Sadler, Winslow USD Rosie Sekayumptewa, Holbrook USD Steve Vital, Concho ESD Tim White, Maricopa USD Andrea Wrubel, Camp Verde USD

April Allen, Dysart USD Kelly Baldenegro, Parker USD Gerald Black, Fort Thomas USD Linda Blosser, Chevelon Butte ESD Hal Borhauer, Peoria USD Bob Dailey, Florence USD Margaret Dewey, Parker USD Sharon Erickson, Toltec ESD Robert Ethridge, Altar Valley ESD Helen Freeman, Camp Verde USD Scott Hamilton, Ash Fork Joint USD Anna Harmon, Globe USD Michelle Hirsch, Kyrene ESD Ross Hobday, Lake Havasu USD Richard Hopkins, Buckeye ESD Olivia Jaquez, Holbrook USD Lamar Johnson, Casa Grande ESD Sandra Kidman, Page USD Susan Kramer, Douglas USD William Lasonder, Blue Ridge USD Mary Mills, Concho ESD Patricia Parrish, Kayenta USD Mario Ramos Sr., Douglas USD Dick Roberts, Continental ESD Paul Roetto, Saddle Mountain USD Alberta Sakiestewa, Moencopi Day School Ellen Shamah, Kyrene ESD Sara Smith, Glendale ESD Bonnie Sneed, Scottsdale USD Bobbie Surber, Sedona Oak Creek USD Jennifer Tanner, Dysart USD Mary Tarango, Eloy ESD Barbara Underwood, Payson USD Matt Van Camp, Payson USD Steve Vital, Concho ESD Andy Wilhelm, Concho ESD W. John Williams, Altar Valley ESD Michelle Wintrich, Pine Strawberry ESD

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We’re helping public school leaders pave the way to effective school board service through upcoming training opportunities for candidates and new governing board members.

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Governing Board

Pie-in-the-Sky Vision for Education

Safford UniďŹ ed School District

Schools will have all the funds they need to ensure that every child gets a quality education.

Hometown Born in Morenci, Arizona; Raised in Safford, Arizona

Advice to New Board Members

A Board Member For 12 Years

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go in with an agenda. Go into it with eyes wide open to see the whole picture, not part of the picture. Ears open to listen to everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thoughts and ideas.

Books at My Bedside

Greatest Accomplishment as a Board Member

The Three Questions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Based on a Story by Leo Tolstoy, written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth; Great Battles: Decisive ConďŹ&#x201A;icts That Have Shaped History by Christer Jorgensen

My greatest accomplishment as a board member was when my fellow board members and I started the summer food program in 2001. A lot of kids eat during the school year, but when the summer starts, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to eat. The program went so well we added the breakfast program. Now, during the school year, we are sending snack bags home with kids.

Inspiration My father Louis, who worked in the mines in New Mexico as a very young boy to help support his brothers and sisters. With only an 8th grade education, he came back from World War II and worked long, hard hours in the copper mines in Morenci to ensure his own family would have everything. He, along with my mom Irene, taught me the meaning of volunteering and giving back to others.

Motto as a Board Member â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voices need to be heard. They need to be heard through our voices.â&#x20AC;? School Board members sometimes tend to forget the real reason why they are on school boards. They tend to forget that all children have voices.

Pet Peeve as a Board Member Board members who run for school boards for all the wrong reasons. They have an agenda to get on the board, but they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think about the kids.

Reason I Like Being an ASBA Member I like being an ASBA member because of all the friendships I have made all over the state and the country. I also like the networking that is available to us without any cost.

My Epitaph Mike never knew the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;Noâ&#x20AC;? for kids. 0KVV  3

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By Janice Palmer, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations

The Opportunity to Lead in a Time of Crisis

We are in for some difďŹ cult economic times ahead. Massive budget shortfalls and expansive reforms provide either the opportunity to look at things differently and creatively rise from the ashes stronger or to languish under the enormous pressures. We must be committed to the former â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our students are counting on us to do what it takes to make the future bright for them. The stakes for public education have never been higher.

What You Need to Know: Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Budget Picture Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s state general fund budget is now roughly $10 billion, with K-12 education expenditures making up 37% of that amount and AHCCCS (Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Medicaid system) following close behind at 29% of state expenditures. After K-12 education has taken over a billion in cuts in the past few years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; cutting the proportion that Arizona spends on K-12 education from 46% to 37% in just four years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we see the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current Fiscal Year 2011 budget deďŹ cit being estimated at up to $825 million, depending on the outcome of the November 2 election. These deďŹ cit numbers continue to be large due to the perfect storm of less than anticipated revenues being received and previously enacted budgets encompassing temporary ďŹ xes rather than permanent, sustainable solutions. There is some merit to temporary measures to alleviate normal business cycles; however, with sustained economic strife and continued budget shortfalls, it becomes a painful exercise year after year. While the current ďŹ scal year deďŹ cit looms large, it is estimated to grow even larger â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to $1.4 billion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in Fiscal Year 2012. And thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a chance that the deďŹ cit will be even greater if AHCCCS grows by what analysts believe (6.9%) versus what was budgeted (3%). In addition, local districts will face a legislative change to the Homeownerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rebate that could signiďŹ cantly increase (or not at all) their local homeowner property taxes due to a change in the formula. This possible increase will come without any decision of the governing board or any change to the funding of the school district. Please be sure to consult your business managers so that you can begin the community conversation now. 14 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



We then head into Fiscal Year 2013 with an estimated $1.275 billion shortfall with the same caveat as in Fiscal Year 2012 with the AHCCCS roll increases. Finally, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates a nearly $2 billion deďŹ cit in Fiscal Year 2014 with the expiration of the temporary one-cent sales tax.

What You Need to Know: Upcoming Legislation and Policy Implementation In the face of these extraordinary budget issues that schools must grapple with, we have seen the passage of some of the most expansive education reform legislation and policy at both the state and federal levels. While these bills have been enacted into law, there is still much work to be done for proper implementation. Further, the importance of a quality data system becomes integral for implementation to ensure fair and reliable outcomes are produced. To that end, legislation was enacted to require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to enter into a contract with a public or private entity to evaluate the existing data system (SAIS and the Data Warehouse) and determine whether to update or replace the system to come into compliance with the requirements outlined in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. This is not only a compliance issue, but includes the 12 key data items that will provide the data for the following reforms. The State Board of Education is tasked with adopting a model framework by December of 2011, and every school district and charter school is required to implement a teacher and principal evaluation system in school year 2012-2013. The State Boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Teacher and Principal Evaluation Task Force has begun meeting and plans to advise the State Board of its recommendations early next Fall. Communication on this process and expectations will be critical for successful implementation.

on the bottom quartile of students Further, the Move On When Ready and their academic progress when legislation provided the framework for We then head into determining the school accountability various high school and postsecondary proďŹ les. These proďŹ les will also change pathways; however, the details must Fiscal Year 2013 with from the current range â&#x20AC;&#x201C; excelling to still be worked out. Groups such as the an estimated $1.275 failing to meet standards â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to a letterCenter for the Future of Arizona are based grading system of A through F. spearheading these conversations. billion shortfall â&#x20AC;Ś In addition, school districts have been On the elementary side, the Move and the Joint Legislative added to the accountability system, with on When Reading legislation, or 3rd each district receiving an overall grade grade retention, will not take effect until Budget Committee based on the aggregate scores of its the 2013-2014 school year, or when students under the new formula. Schools this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kindergarteners reach the 3rd estimates a nearly and districts will internally receive both grade. Notice is required to be given to $2 billion deďŹ cit in the current proďŹ le as well as the letterparents about how their childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reading based proďŹ le; however, the letter-based comprehension is tracking each year, Fiscal Year 2014 â&#x20AC;Ś proďŹ le will not become public until so that by the time the child enters 3rd August 2011. grade and is behind, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a surprise. The new common core standards adopted by the Most important, and yet to be done, is the task given to the State Board of Education will also likely have an impact State Board of Education to investigate reading intervention on Arizona LEARNS; however, not likely until school strategies and determine what options to provide to schools year 2014-2015 when the new common core assessments and parents.The big issue of who will fund these interventions begin administration. In the meantime, Arizona continues remains to be answered as well. development work as a governing state with the Partnership For Arizona LEARNS, our state accountability system, for Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) there are new formula changes that will take effect publicly consortium. Â&#x201E; beginning in August 2011. The formula puts added emphasis

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By Jim Deaton, ASBA Director of Policy Services

The Perplexing World of Policy Advisories

Before 2009, Arizona School Boards Association Policy Services Advisories were fairly few and infrequent. The situation has been dramatically altered for a number of reasons. As a result, Policy Services issued 79 Advisories over the 13-month period from September 2009 to October 2010. That represents a greater than four-fold increase over the average annual number of Advisories. Furthermore, approximately a dozen Advisories are planned for distribution by the close of calendar year 2010. An understandable result has been a substantial increase in the number of inquiries received by Policy Services related to this phenomenon. Following are paraphrases from some of the more common questions.

Why has the number of Advisories increased so dramatically? A variety of factors produce the necessity for issuing Advisories. Federal acts and regulations, case law rulings, attorney general opinions, and evolving social and educational issues all play a part. However, the primary driving force generating the largest portion of Advisories during 2009 and 2010 are enactments by the Arizona Legislature. Why is there a lag between the Legislature passing bills and the issuance of Advisories? A bill proceeds through a number of steps after it is dropped into the hopper. Even when a bill survives the legislative process, its ďŹ nal version can be totally different than its contents at introduction. If passed, a bill goes to the Governor for consideration. The Governor may sign the bill or allow it to become law without signature.The bill must then be chaptered. The law created by a bill generally becomes effective on the 91st day after the Legislature adjourns, unless it becomes immediately effective subject to one of several prescribed circumstances or by speciďŹ c directions within the bill. Only after a chaptered bill becomes available does Policy Services begin research into the billâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s provisions and all the afďŹ liated laws that might inform or alter the actual effect of the statute created or modiďŹ ed by the bill. Even following adjournment of a general session, special sessions of the Legislature can further revise newly enacted laws, as was particularly the case in 2009. Sometimes a word or two or a single sentence in a statute requires substantial time to perform the appropriate investigations to verify and validate the projected impact of the law. In addition to internal analysis, school law attorneys and other knowledgeable persons are consulted in the process of reďŹ ning opinions to form the 16 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



foundation for crafting a Policy Advisory. Along with the dayto-day operations, the process can extend to months from origin to culmination.

How are Policy Advisories announced? Advisories are announced via an e-mail message transmitted to the chief administrator and each governing board member of Policy Services subscriber school systems for whom ASBA has a current and correct e-mail address in its database. Commencing in September 2010, the announcements speciďŹ ed the IP address for accessing the Policy Advisories ďŹ les on the Policy Services FTP site. The FTP strategy was initiated to overcome difďŹ culties that arose when large Policy Advisories ďŹ les were attached to an e-mail message or other incompatibilities occurred. Why didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t some persons receive the announcements about the Advisories? As noted above, the messages are sent to board members and administrative personnel for whom ASBA has current and correct e-mail addresses. An eligible person who has not received the announcements should telephone or send an e-mail message to ASBA to check whether the proper e-mail address is on ďŹ le. Other instances include ones such as a userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s e-mail box being full, internet providers being unable to deliver messages or providers intercepting messages, sometimes rejecting them or categorizing them as spam or trash. Efforts are continuing to identify and resolve impediments to delivery of the announcements. Does the Governing Body have to take action on every Advisory in a set of Policy Advisories? No! A set of Advisories includes discussion and document model recommendations that affect from one to all of the

school system types.The chief administrator and board need to consider and take action on only those Advisories applicable to the school systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s type. Contingent on effective dates and the urgency of certain matters, a large set of Advisories may be divided into two or more subsets for consideration by the board and administration.

consultation, or the school systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lawyer for legal advice, as is appropriate and sufďŹ cient for the matter at hand. It is always preferable to get a document right the ďŹ rst time rather than having to back peddle and redo it due to a failure to seek assistance from those whose daily duties include focusing on and being informed about the topics.

Does the document model in an Advisory have to be accepted as recommended? Not necessarily. The instances where the underlying law is very deďŹ nitive and compliance is mandatory, there is little latitude for variance. Yet, there are other recommended documents, particularly philosophic and good practice templates, that can, and in some circumstances deďŹ nitely should, be customized to faithfully reďŹ&#x201A;ect the peculiar values and expectations of the given school system.

How quickly should the applicable Policy Advisories be processed at the local level? As soon as they can be properly taken under consideration and acted upon by the administration and board. Policy Services personnel have determined through years of experience that school systems where Policy Advisories are methodically and promptly addressed and adjustments responsibly implemented are among the most progressive and successful. Conversely, those that delay responding and fail to make timely decisions display other characteristics and evidences of less than desirable governance and administration with unsatisfactory outcomes as the consequence.

If there is a desire to restate or disregard a recommended document model, should the board or administrator ignore an Advisory or revise the recommended document model language and send a revised, ďŹ nal version to Policy Services? It depends. Topics of a philosophic or good practice nature may be altered with relatively low risk. However, policies and procedures responsive to directive laws and rules can easily and inadvertently create risky circumstances or actual violations. In nearly all situations, and especially those related to legal requirements, Policy Services should be contacted for policy

Is the current rate of issuing Policy Advisories going to continue in the future? That answer is beyond the ability of Policy Services to answer. The crystal ball is too cloudy to project every future inďŹ&#x201A;uence and event. The deďŹ nitive statements Policy Services can make are its commitment to remain diligent in the production of qualiďŹ ed Advisories, and the critical importance of school systems to devote serious and adequate consideration to the Advisories as an important strategy for successfully meeting the challenges to tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schools, whatever those might be. Â&#x201E;

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By John Gordon, ASBA Director of Leadership Development

Community Engagement is Essential ... and Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Essential to Do it Right! â&#x20AC;&#x153;It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Native American saying


ue to the current ďŹ nancial crisis and the demands of high academic achievement, never has the need been greater for quality leadership in school districts. Senior leaders (a common term for the superintendent and the governing board) are under great pressure to create and sustain a high-quality learning organization.The demands are great for senior leaders to ensure that every student is college and/or workforce ready and that the district is providing value for all stakeholders. The business term is â&#x20AC;&#x153;ROIâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Return on Investment.â&#x20AC;? (I thought of making the acronym for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Return on Taxesâ&#x20AC;? but thought better of it!) It is essential that the senior leaders personally and corporately promote a district environment that fosters academic and operational excellence including ďŹ nancial accountability. The decisions being made today about â&#x20AC;&#x153;schoolingâ&#x20AC;? in your district, operational and academic, affect the future of each student as well as the quality of the student experience. Thus all stakeholders involved in the studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; education have a right to be engaged in the decisions being made. The question is how do senior leaders engage all stakeholders to focus on the vision, mission and values that lead to action plans resulting in district excellence?

â&#x20AC;Ś all stakeholders involved in the studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; education have a right to be engaged in the decisions being made. The question is how do senior leaders engage all stakeholders to focus on the vision, mission and values that lead to action plans resulting in district excellence? 18 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



Community Engagement in the Management Plan To begin with, it is essential that senior leaders have as part of their management plan a process for community (stakeholder) engagement that will provide continuous improvement and sustainable excellence.The plan must be long-term in nature and be an integral component of the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategic plan. Listening to the voices of the community should be intended to be proactive and continuously innovative. Effectively Engaging Stakeholders The following are some engagement components senior leaders might consider to effectively engage stakeholders: X How does the district encourage open, fair and honest two-way communication in the district? X How does the district communicate key decisions? Examples of key decisions: increase in class size, change in the primary and secondary tax rate, adoption of a new curriculum, pay for play and school boundary changes. X What performance measures, academic and operational (such as ďŹ nancial), are openly reviewed to identify needed actions? X Following student, parent and other stakeholder satisfaction surveys, how does the district compile, analyze, review and communicate results? Additionally, how does the district compare its satisfaction survey results with its competitors (other districts, charter or private schools)? X How does the district manage student and stakeholder complaints? X How does the district use data and other information to identify opportunities for innovation? Data might include formal and informal feedback, student dropout rates, absenteeism of students and staff, teacher retention, student discipline, complaints and satisfaction surveys. X Perhaps most importantly, how does the district follow up with community engagement participants after their feedback is received, action plans deployed and results measured?

Before Beginning an Engagement Process Prior to beginning an engagement process, district leaders should make a determination of the following: X Who are your stakeholders? Be sure to include current and past stakeholders including former students, parents of former students, business and community leaders, and current students. X How do you listen to former students and parents of former students to obtain feedback? These two groups have been referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;shut-outs.â&#x20AC;? In other words, they are deemed not important since their feet no longer walk in the halls of the schools. Successful districts perform graduate followup studies and continue to include the voice of former parents in advisory groups. X How will you listen to stakeholders to obtain actionable information? Actionable information may be new thoughts, ideas, recommendations or feedback about district educational programs, offerings, services and outcomes. X How will you collect and disseminate this actionable information (publication, work study meeting, etc.)? X Do your listening methods vary depending on the stakeholder group? X How do you train facilitators? Will your facilitators vary depending on the engagement group? X How will you provide continuity if a member of the student leadership team changes (board member or superintendent)? Tips to Remember During the Community Engagement Process There are several actions to avoid, and things to keep in mind, during the community engagement process: X Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rush in! Make sure you have the right process and the right people at the table prior to beginning the engagement process. Just like in real courting, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t advisable to show up with an engagement ring on the ďŹ rst date! X Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t push an agenda. The engagement process is not for conďŹ rming what you already believe. The process should

provide creativity and innovation and be capable of making productive change. X Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask for engagement when the decision has already been made or the results have been collected. This is commonly called â&#x20AC;&#x153;combat dialogueâ&#x20AC;? and can lead to alienation of participants. X Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave voices out of the engagement process. As an example, utilize a study circle of graduating seniors to review the value of current academic and activity programs. X Make sure all participants of the engagement process are heard.Wait for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;softest voiceâ&#x20AC;? to speak before you leave the topic. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let the harshest critic dominate the table talk. X As the great college basketball coach John Wooden was credited with saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go fast but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hurry.â&#x20AC;? When doing community engagement work, it may take several years and more than 50 meetings to hear all the voices and collect momentum for action. X Finally, when senior leaders ask for community engagement, make sure they thoroughly review all aspects of the process leading to the recommendation and close the loop. To ensure a long-term relationship with the participants, be sure to support, encourage and celebrate. There is a fast track to mistrust and alienation if you ask for engagement then give little credence or encouragement to the hard work of the participants. As the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence in the Baldrige National Quality Program states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Community engagement is a strategic action aimed at achieving such a degree of loyalty that the stakeholder will advocate for your district and your programs, offerings and services.â&#x20AC;? Senior leaders should look at the community engagement process not as an event but as building a relationship. We all know how to build relationships â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we do it every day with friends, family and work colleagues. Apply the same relationship values to community engagement in the district and you will increase your odds for success and develop advocates along the way. Â&#x201E;

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²$UL]RQD6W\OH Engaging the Community to Ensure a Web of Support for Every Child/Youth By Derek Peterson


s Arizona slowly emerges from the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression, school boards are working to give kids what they need to succeed while simultaneously balancing their individual district budgets. Arizona school boards are prioritizing the essential personnel, programs and places necessary for student academic achievement and success. School boards understand that the reductions, reorganizations, freezes and cuts will impact student learning and student well-being. This is why ASBA will be working to engage individuals, across all community sectors, to share the responsibility for giving kids what they need to succeed. Over the past 40 years, schools have been called upon to do more and more for our students who are coming to school with less and less. Too many of our kids are coming to us with less family support, less academic preparation, less monetary resources, less safety, fewer boundaries and lower expectations.We have worked to do our best with the limited resources we have had. School board members know that our schools do extremely well with students who come to us: each morning, on time, following a good nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sleep, in a safe home, after a nutritious breakfast, from within a supportive family structure.

And, school board members also know that it requires a lot of resources to teach and support the kids who come to us with only a few of these supports. Today, we know what kids need to succeed. It has been researched, it has been deďŹ ned, and it has been measured and published. It is time that school board members tell, show and involve all sectors of the community in sharing the responsibility for giving kids what they need to succeed.

The Web of Support The science of youth development can be simply demonstrated via the illustration of a supportive net that is created by key individuals (anchors) in a child/youthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. These anchors ďŹ rst form the boundaries and second provide the supports (tangible and intangible) through authentic caring and high expectations. These anchors comprise a family, a clan, a tribe, a network or a safety net. No matter what you label it, every child/youth needs one. Conventional wisdom states that children and youth need one positive supportive adult in their lives. And, while this is partially true, it is just not true enough. Children and youth need more. They need at least ďŹ ve caring, supportive adults in their lives. One supportive adult is a good start, and 0KVV  3

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one is not enough to ensure success and achievement.We are looking for a personal village for every child. One day, when the community is engaged in educating and preparing our children, each child will be nurtured by a web of support, anchored by at least ďŹ ve caring adults.The beneďŹ t of having at least ďŹ ve adults involved in the developmental ecology of a young person is self-evident and quantiďŹ able. Once these ďŹ ve adult anchors have been established, they begin to weave a web by communicating, modeling and providing the supports, attitudes and behaviors that the youth needs. Anchors provide boundaries, offer support, teach skills, celebrate, provide opportunities to and ďŹ lter the world for each child/youth.

Outcomes of the Web of Support Today, the science of student achievement allows us to measure this support. 1. We have data sets based in comprehensive and peer reviewed research. 2. The language is easily understood by youth and their families. 3. The language is readily adopted by diverse segments of the public and across language, cultural and socioeconomic lines. 4. The framework is measurable, adaptable and ďŹ&#x201A;exible. 5. We have reliable instruments to assist others in measuring the supports in a young personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life.

We know that a Web of Support is a better predictor of student performance and academic achievement than: 1. race/ethnicity, 2. socioeconomic status, 3. gender and 4. family composition. The latest research, including the ďŹ rst longitudinal studies, shows that youth development has tremendous impact on the academic success of students from all backgrounds and in a wide variety of environments.The relationships between the web of support and academic success reveal the following: 1. The greater each studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current level of support, the higher his/her current GPA and test scores. 2. Students who increase their web of support over time also increase their GPAs. 3. The positive relationship between the web of support and academic outcomes holds true for students from various racial/ethnic, socioeconomic and family backgrounds.

Research Shows: The presence of the web of support INCREASES: X Student Achievement X Civil Behavior X Civic Behavior X Successful Transition between middle and high school, and high school and adult life following high school

About ASBAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Helping Kids Succeed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Arizona Style Project In the adult world, we identify our net worth as the amount of money we have. In the student world, we identify their net worth by the number of strings (assets) they have in their web of support. Students with higher net worth are far more likely to succeed in school than students with low â&#x20AC;&#x153;net worth.â&#x20AC;? School boards know that it is impossible for schools to assume the sole responsibility for increasing the net worth of all students. Through the Helping Kids Succeed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Arizona Style Project, ASBA is asking school board members to use their positions as community leaders to increase the shared responsibility for student achievement with the families, programs, youth serving organizations and faith communities in their districts. The project will engage individuals from across all community sectors through 25 community meetings that will result in: 1) All sectors of the community coming together to identify research-based, common-sense and measurable indicators for what kids need to succeed in school and in life. 2) Every individual seeing his/her role in increasing both student achievement and civil behavior in children and youth by increasing the support around them. 3) A cadre of community-based leaders who will share the work with members of their families, neighborhoods, places of worship, youth serving programs and community leaders.

ASBA County Directors will be integrally involved in coordinating the meetings, and ASBA members will be critical in the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. We thank you in advance for your assistance with and support of this important project. 22 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



Why Such an Ambitious Project Now? By Mossi White, Former Board President National School Boards Association

The most important thing we can do as school board members is to implement The Key Work of School Boards with an emphasis on the Community Engagement piece. There are many effective ways to engage your community. I especially love Helping Kids Succeed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Arizona Style and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;What Counts?â&#x20AC;? methods.

And DECREASES: X School Violence and Bullying X School Failure X Drug and Alcohol Use X Teen Pregnancy X Racial Intolerance

What ASBA is Asking Our Members to Do We are asking our members to send a Clarion Call to all sectors of the community to make sure that kids donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fall through the cracks in this economic climate. Our County Directors will be inviting representatives from the sectors within their communities to come forward and share in the responsibility for fully preparing Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children and youth for the future. In a two-and-a-half-hour gathering, we will: 1. Present the data on what kids need to succeed and share the research behind how a web of support almost guarantees successful kids. 2. Engage community leaders in ranking which protective factors are most critical to their families, schools, youth programs and community. 3. Learn from the participants/community members, how they build webs of supports for kids. How It Works Present the Data. We will show what the best research on youth development tells us about student success. Through a youth development lens, and a memorable framework, we will make the data come alive for the audience. We will give stakeholders the tools to share this data with all sectors of the community to have them see common sense, measureable outcomes for children/youth. Ranking the Assets and Indicators. Because every school district has unique cultural, socioeconomic, historical and geographical elements, we will ask stakeholders to identify the assets and indicators necessary for student success critical to their students, and present in their community.

I had the privilege of observing Derek conducting a three-day leadership course for high school students as part of Helping Kids Succeed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Alaska Style. On the ďŹ rst day, I sat next to a young lady who, with her entire body language, apologized for being alive. She never looked up, and she mumbled an inaudible monosyllable when she was directly addressed. She had an obvious distrust of all adults. I later learned she had been severely abused throughout her young life. After three days of intensive Alaska Style love and caring interactions, I again sat next to the same girl during the last session. Derek was giving a wrap-up inspirational speech in which he said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is nothing you cannot achieve if you put your mind to it. You could even become governor of this state!â&#x20AC;? To my astonishment the young lady rose out of her seat. With ďŹ re in her eyes and conviction in her voice she challenged Derek: â&#x20AC;&#x153;What do you mean I can become governor? I can become president of this country if I want to!!â&#x20AC;? My heart ďŹ lled with gratitude as my eyes ďŹ lled with tears. The change in this girl was truly miraculous. Through engaging the community we, as school board members, have the power to bring about life-altering changes in the lives of our children. I congratulate you on having the resolve to do so. It will be the most important thing you will do during your tenure as a school board member!!

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Learn from the Community. Following the identiďŹ cation of the assets, we will investigate the areas where the community has the highest capacity to increase the assets needed by children and youth. Ongoing work. Interspersed within the statewide community meetings, we are prepared and equipped to deliver: a) school-based presentations to staff and/or students, b) parent/guardian workshops and/or c) trainings to local youth serving programs. In addition to the above work, we will: Promote the opportunity to be involved in the initiative to Arizona statewide agencies and associations. X Present to state conferences, attend meetings and actively recruit partners. X Educate and support a core team to collect these passages. X Collect a database of at least 5,000 names of people who will be champions of this idea throughout the state. X Solicit at least 3,000 written passages for possible inclusion in the book Helping Kids Succeed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Arizona Style. X

Outcome In the fall of 2011, we will collate, review and analyze the collected data. This information will then be organized into a book titled Helping Kids Succeed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Arizona Style. The book, written by and for the people of Arizona, will be widely distributed to the public on the Centennial Anniversary of Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Statehood, February 14, 2012. The common sense, jargon-free book will provide local knowledge on what Arizonans are doing to build webs of support for our children and youth. Implications for Policy and Practice We know the web of support increases academic achievement. Some themes of this transformation process include: X An emphasis on transforming relationships and establishing positive school climate.This will show that caring and connection are signiďŹ cantly less expensive than other â&#x20AC;&#x153;whole schoolâ&#x20AC;? reforms that are more programmatic. X Because it unites all school adults and students around a common purpose, building webs of support can reinvigorate staff sense of purpose and mission and promote the collective belief of teachers that they can make a difference for all students. 24 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



Because youth development encompasses all dimensions and contexts of young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives, schools that build webs of support strengthen their relationships with studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; families and their partnerships with other community resources. These impacts positively affect achievement, but also more generally, they promote a healthier community and quality of life for all. Using a web of support and its measureable framework to create a personal village for every child is not another intervention. Rather, it is a cultural shift that creates caring and connected schools and communities. And, using this approach in a comprehensive effort will have a multiplier effect, resulting in a higher return on our investment of time, energy and money, without the need of additional dollars. Â&#x201E; X

About the Author: Derek Peterson is an international child/youth advocate. He served school boards in Alaska for nine years as the Director of Child/Youth Advocacy for the Association of Alaska School Boards. He has presented at eight NSBA conferences, and he works with NSBA as their students-in-governance program leader. Peterson has delivered more than 2,000 presentations on three continents, and his work has been taught in more than 40 nations around the world. His work is in the No Child Left Behind legislation, and he is the founder of the International Center for Student Support, sits on the board of directors for the National School Climate Center and is on the advisory board of the PassageWorks Institute. Peterson is seen as an international leader in implementing youth development principles, practices and measures in families, schools, programs, communities and agencies.

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We are proud to provide high-quality, effective legal services to all levels of education in Arizona, both public and private. For more than 50 years, we have emphasized a preventative law approach by getting to know our clients and their needs, vision and goals. We proudly support the Arizona School Boards Association in its advocacy for Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school districts through promotion of effective board leadership and informed decision-making.

â&#x20AC;˘ Education â&#x20AC;˘ Public Law â&#x20AC;˘ Elections and Bonds â&#x20AC;˘ Construction â&#x20AC;˘ Employment â&#x20AC;˘ Real Estate â&#x20AC;˘ Business & Corporate â&#x20AC;˘ Litigation â&#x20AC;˘ Probate, Trusts & Estate Planning Contact us at: 100 N. Elden Street â&#x20AC;˘ Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (928) 779-6951 â&#x20AC;˘ (800) 514-6064 â&#x20AC;˘ Fax (928) 773-1312 www.ďŹ&#x201A;agstaffattorneys.com A. Dean Pickett â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Of Counsel Franklin J. Hoover â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Partner Kenneth H . Brendel â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Partner Kellie A. Peterson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Partner Brandon J. Kavanagh â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Partner

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Community Engagement for Children and Youth; Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the Constitution By Derek Peterson

These words hold our nation together. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.â&#x20AC;? The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States is the reason ASBA is prioritizing community engagement around our children and youth. Those words echo the sentiments of a nation full of promise. They serve as the guiding principles for the entire spectrum of individuals who call America home.The preamble remains relevant and alive today because it gives us a vision of working together for the good of our children. Let me explain. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We, the peopleâ&#x20AC;? reminds us that we are in this together. It reminds us that we have a shared responsibility for our nation, its future and our children. It asks us to learn from one another, listen to each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s points of views and form relationships to one another. Our ultimate goal is to work together, respecting one another as equal partners, in order to make our community healthy, productive and a nurturing place for the children. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A more perfect unionâ&#x20AC;? speaks to the value of strong communities. Here, our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s founders ask us to connect to the people in our neighborhoods, villages and communities. They ask us to share some common values. Focusing on children and youth is a value that we share and will help us to create a more perfect union, no matter how diverse our community. By giving kids what they need to succeed and focusing our efforts on the developmental ecologies of children, we will form a more perfect union. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Domestic tranquility,â&#x20AC;? according to the popular press, is in short supply these days. Safety is important because without it we cannot reach our full individual potential. We must ask ourselves if there is domestic tranquility among the people, organizations and services of our community. If we ďŹ nd conďŹ&#x201A;ict, then what is the nature of the conďŹ&#x201A;ict, and can it be reduced and/or resolved? Is the goal of domestic tranquility strong enough to motivate us to support everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children, no matter whose they are?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Promote the general welfareâ&#x20AC;? invites each of us to do our share in educating the children in our community. Building webs of support for kids gives everyone who has a stake in the community a role to ďŹ ll. By giving children and youth the supports they need, our stake in our community increases. As our stake increases, we will be further motivated to build webs. This upward spiral is a natural process of community attachment. We ask ourselves these questions: What can we do to persuade others to promote the general welfare? What can individuals, organizations, businesses, schools, agencies, faith communities and government services do to build personal villages for every child and youth? â&#x20AC;&#x153;To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterityâ&#x20AC;? are the rewards we reap from a strong community. We build webs of support because children and youth will one day inherit America. If we have balanced our freedom with responsibility, we will reap the rewards of an open, safe and tolerant society. What needs to happen in our community to secure the blessings of liberty? What are the strengths of our community and how can we build upon these strengths to ensure that our children and youth have the liberty to pursue their gifts, talents and dreams? More than 200 years ago, the founders of our constitution knew what kids needed to succeed. They knew that people needed to come together, work together and stay together. Only from togetherness will we have an interconnected nation and freedom long into the future. By building webs of support for our children and youth, we will be building webs for ourselves. By building webs for ourselves, we will create a nation that will afford us the luxury of being as free as we choose to be. Â&#x201E; 0KVV  3

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3XEOLF(QJDJHPHQW  %\-RKQ*RUGRQDQG.DUHQ%HFNYDU/HDGHUVKLS'HYHORSPHQW At each of ASBAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 15 recent County Meetings in September and October, attendees participated in a public engagement activity centered on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Surviving These Financial Times While Maintaining Your Vision.â&#x20AC;? The idea was borrowed from a similar activity the Santa Rita Collaborative headed by William Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Callaghan conducted with superintendents in Ohio. At each County Meeting, ASBA facilitators presented information about the budget dilemma (current reality) including the last two years and the deďŹ cit projections for the next three years. In the face of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grim ďŹ nancial realities, the audience â&#x20AC;&#x201C; consisting of governing board members, superintendents, district administrators, elected state representatives and usually, the county superintendent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was charged with having dialogue focusing on a series of three questions. Although time was limited, participants were encouraged to name and frame the issue appropriately, engage in â&#x20AC;&#x153;deep listening,â&#x20AC;? be non-judgmental and make sure all the voices at the table were heard. ASBA began the process by quoting an old African proverb, â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the watering hole dries up, the animals look at each other differently.â&#x20AC;? How are school districts going to continue to cut programs, lay off personnel and still offer quality programs to children? The question sets and a brief summary of concerns, ideas and proposed actions are summarized here:

School board members from Maricopa County discussed the challenges their districts are facing at a recent County Meeting.

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As Arizona school districts face increasing budget challenges, it will be essential for districts to come together and share their strategies, experiences and solutions. Pictured are board leaders from Greenlee County.

Sharing Past Successes, Setting Boundaries Round 1: Most districts cited personnel What have you done reductions through attrition, to date? Where do using energy audits to reduce you draw the line? utilities, salary freezes, cutWhat are the nonbacks on sport travel, moving negotiables? What if administrators and teacheryou do nothing? librarians back to classrooms and increasing class sizes as ways that the budget was balanced last year. Some districts resorted to closing schools, eliminating all-day kindergarten, cutting sports and afterschool activities and moving to a four-day school week to balance their budgets. Furloughs and reductions in administration and support staff were also frequently mentioned. All districts wanted to keep reductions as far as possible from students and felt that doing nothing was not an option. However, most felt it was time to make sure that their communities understood that further cuts will impact students and the community. Small, rural districts noted that afterschool activities at their schools may be the only supervised options for students in the community. Maintaining a safe and secure environment for students and meeting federal and state mandates were considered nonnegotiable.

6KDULQJ,GHDV6ROYLQJ3UREOHPV Communicating Challenges District leaders felt that being How do you currently transparent and honest about communicate your the budget process was essenneeds, challenges tial. Keeping employees and and strategies in parents informed about proposed budget reductions and your district, in your community and within allowing suggestions for areas your county? What do to make cuts was important. A variety of processes were used you think you need to including management and do differently? staff meetings, town halls and other public meetings, phone trees, advisory councils and local media (newspapers, radio, school newsletters). Many districts felt that they needed to improve their communications with those members of the public who are not connected to the schools but still pay taxes. This might mean expending additional time for outreach to senior community centers, home owner associations, chapter houses on the reservations and local service organizations in addition to improving the budget information available on the district website. Many expressed how critical the face-to-face exchange of information is for building trust in their community.

Round 2:

Roundtable Outcomes One of the main themes extracted from the engagement activity was the great quote from Robert H. Schuller, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Going to Be, Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Up to Me.â&#x20AC;? No longer can school districts believe that a rescue team will arrive from the county, state or federal level to create budget capacity. In every county, there was hope for increased collaboration from local agencies and service clubs, as well as stronger partnerships among school districts and more creative solutions from the employees and volunteers of their districts. Another primary theme emerged:â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is time to take the kid gloves off and openly disclose to our community what the true impact has been to date.â&#x20AC;? Many participants did not feel their district had thoroughly informed all citizens of the severe pain created from the budget cuts. Another recurring theme was not having adequate information from the state or supportive agencies to make timely decisions. Finding solutions to â&#x20AC;&#x153;wicked problemsâ&#x20AC;? is not the sole responsibility of the leadership team. Inclusion of all members of the district can pay great dividends and assist the district leaders to keep students and staff performing at a high level while maintaining their vision during dire ďŹ nancial times. A full summary of information gathered at the 2010 ASBA County Workshops can be found at: www.azsba.org.

Sources of Assistance While additional dollars from What assistance the state and federal government was at the top of the list, do you anticipate everyone knew that this was needing? Where not likely in the near future. will you look for One board member summed it assistance? up: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to look to ourselves; we need to own the power we have. We are elected ofďŹ cials too.â&#x20AC;? District leaders discussed how to increase the involvement of parents, community members and businesses in their districts.While ďŹ nancial support was desirable, increasing volunteer support in the schools was seen as essential and would help lighten the workload on employees. Districts are looking for assistance from the educational service agencies for grant writing and professional development support. There is hope that the education associations can help develop uniďŹ ed messages about the current crisis to share throughout the state, and that an easy to understand education ďŹ nance template to help districts explain education funding to their community could be created and shared. Many small districts are beginning to work with their neighboring districts to see if there are opportunities to share resources. Districts need reliable and timely information about funding levels so they have adequate time to adjust budgets accordingly and allow time for input from the public. Â&#x201E;

Round 3:

Participants at the County Meetings shared highlights of their discussions with the group. Pictured is Bob Klee, Superintendent at Antelope UHSD in Yuma County.

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&RPPXQLW\(QJDJHPHQW /HVVRQV/HDUQHG $QLQWHUYLHZE\$6%$ZLWK:LOOLDPÂŽ&RUN\ÂŻ2Âą&DOODJKDQ Community engagement is becoming a strategy utilized by a growing number of educational leaders to build public support and address school district issues and concerns. In a recent interview with the ASBA Journal, William â&#x20AC;&#x153;Corkyâ&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Callaghan discussed â&#x20AC;&#x153;lessons learnedâ&#x20AC;? over the past 20 years as a community engagement consultant.

ASBA: Ask 20 people what community engagement is, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll likely get at least 15 different answers. How do you deďŹ ne community engagement? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: Community engagement is a shared decision-making process that utilizes the power of twoway communication to bring educational leaders, school employees and other community members together to address important issues and concerns. ASBA: What do you think are the biggest misperceptions about community engagement? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: There are two. One is that community engagement is mainly about the community. To effectively address important issues and concerns, many entities need to be involved in the shared decision-making process. They include governing board members, school administrators, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, community leaders and school district residents as a whole. The second major misperception is that governing board members relinquish their responsibility as elected representatives to make decisions when they engage the community in the shared decision making process. In reality, seeking input before making an important decision is not only a professional courtesy and sign of respect but, in many instances, improves the quality of the decision. ASBA: How are community engagement and public relations different? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: The difference is ownership. While public relations can be an effective tool for sharing information and building an image, you create ownership when you engage people in helping to make important decisions. As the saying goes, people own what they create.

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ASBA: Is community engagement more or less important than it has been in the past? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: It is much more important and here is why. If the ďŹ nancial watering hole for education continues to dry up, the need for citizens to come together and support their local schools will increase dramatically. In states like Arizona and Ohio, our citizens will at least have the option of passing local tax issues to keep their schools intact. In many states, local school ofďŹ cials must rely on the state and federal government for all of their funding. ASBA: How much time do you need for an effective community engagement project? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: It depends. Some decisions impact a limited number of people and only involve one or two meetings, while other decisions impact an entire community and involve many conversations over an extended period of months or even years. ASBA: In what situations do you think community engagement is especially effective? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: Community engagement is most effective when it occurs before rather than after important decisions are made.These decisions can include a wide range of challenges ranging from reducing the school budget or adopting a school uniform policy to placing a tax override on the ballot. ASBA: What are the steps and techniques for implementing a community engagement process? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: After identifying the problem or opportunity that needs to be addressed, the initial task is to clarify in the form of a PowerPoint and/or background paper what is at stake and how it impacts your schools and community. The next step, then, is for district staff to discuss the situation with the governing board â&#x20AC;&#x201C; followed by background brieďŹ ngs with the leaders of your employee associations, parent/booster organizations and community advisory groups.You can drive the discussion further into the community by mailing a letter and reply card to all school district residents â&#x20AC;&#x201C; inviting them to join the community conversation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and asking the members of these groups and organizations to host home discussions with 10 to 15 of their friends and neighbors. During the engagement

process, it is often helpful to survey the opinions of school district residents. The ďŹ nal step typically is to hold a districtwide community meeting to discuss the feedback from the home discussions and provide the governing board with additional input before making a decision about the issue at hand.

Contrary to the view that citizens are only focused on their own self interests, the community engagement process restores our faith in the willingness of people to get involved and make a difference for others.

ASBA: What do you think are the biggest challenges of community engagement? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: One challenge overshadows all others. It is to trust one another. Without trust, we cannot work through the difďŹ cult challenges that lie ahead. However, to generate trust, we must make ourselves vulnerable and put everything on the table â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including the good, the bad and the ugly. This, of course, is not easy and runs against the grain of focusing on the good things our schools are doing and avoiding exposing our problems.

ASBA: What are the greatest rewards when you embark on a community engagement initiative? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: It has been said that we overestimate how much people know but underestimate how much they care. When you engage people around important issues and concerns, you quickly learn two things: how much they appreciate being asked to help and how much they care about their schools and community. Contrary to the view that citizens are only focused on their own self interests, the community engagement process restores our faith in the willingness of people to get involved and make a difference for others.

ASBA: Are there situations in which community engagement is ineffective? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: Yes. If community engagement is a shared decision-making process, it does not work very well once an important decision is made. It is difďŹ cult to engage citizens in meaningful discussion after the fact.

ASBA: In what other ways can a community engagement project go awry? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: When citizens are asked for their valued opinions, they take it very seriously. If community engagement is used as a way to inďŹ&#x201A;uence public opinion or rubber stamp a decision that has already been made, people will see it for what it is and resent being manipulated. ASBA: What is your best advice for school boards and districts that are interested in undertaking or supporting a community engagement project? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;CALLAGHAN: Be sincere and be patient. If your heart is in the right place, you sincerely value the opinions of your school employees and your community. If you are patient with the engagement process, you will likely be successful. William G. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Corkyâ&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Callaghan is a public engagement consultant for school districts in Ohio and Arizona. He is a managing partner of the Santa Rita Collaborative and the author of several books and articles that provide educational leaders with practical ways to utilize the power of shared decision-making to effectively address school district issues and concerns. He can be reached at wocallaghan@earthlink.net. Â&#x201E;

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%UHDNLQJL earning Barriers 7 + 5 2 8 * +  & 2 0 0 8 1 , 7 <  ( 1 * $ * ( 0 ( 1 7 By Marjorie Kaplan, Ph.D.


rizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tolleson Elementary District has reaped signiďŹ cant rewards by providing a multitude of community engagement programs to its predominantly Hispanic parent population. The programs focus on breaking down barriers to student learning, which result in greater academic success for the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2,900 K-8 students. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beat the Oddsâ&#x20AC;? research study by the Center for the Future of Arizona identiďŹ ed six common practices used by Arizona schools with high-minority, low-income student populations that perform better than similar schools. It serves as the foundation for the BTO School Partners program, which is being implemented in 80 K-12 schools statewide during the current school year. Community engagement programs offered in Tolleson Elementary District reďŹ&#x201A;ect Beat the Odds principles such as collaborative problem-solving, build-to-suit solutions, emphasizing the achievement of every student and sharing responsibility for each studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. As part of the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s participation in Beat the Odds, Community Liaison Geanne Medrano and Lupita Hightower, Ed.D., assistant superintendent, participated in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Parents as Partners,â&#x20AC;? a series of workshops designed exclusively for school personnel who work with parents.

Focusing on Fundamentals The district has found three common cultural barriers that prevent parents from being actively involved in their childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s education. To overcome these barriers, the district reaches out to parents in a variety of ways, beginning with the parents of preschoolers. Through a grant from First Things First, parents of children ages 0 to 5 who live in the Tolleson Elementary District attend workshops where they are encouraged and trained to be their childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst teacher. According to Dr. Hightower, many Hispanic parents are reluctant to teach their preschool children because they fear making mistakes that will make the teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job harder later on. As a result, children miss out on valuable learning opportunities and begin kindergarten without the age-appropriate knowledge and skills needed to perform at grade level. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once they go through some of the workshops, they realize how important it is for them to work with their kids,â&#x20AC;? Dr. Hightower said. The district also provides parent/child training in diet and nutrition to develop an understanding of the connection between food choices and how children feel, think and perform. 32 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



Students participate in an Iron Chef-style cooking class in which they create healthy snacks that are judged on presentation and taste. Parents participate in the cook-off celebration.

Building Parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Skills Another barrier that the district faces is that, once the school starts assigning homework, parents often feel they are no longer able to help their children due to a language barrier or a lack of knowledge of the subject matter. To address this, English classes for parents are held at district schools four nights a week and on Saturdays. In addition, parents can learn computer skills, mathematics and a variety of other subjects at the elementary schools through the Arizona State University Community Learning Center. Some parents come to the training not knowing how to turn on a computer and, by the end of the coursework, know how to design Web pages. The district also provides build-to-suit solutions. When third graders were not achieving their math goals, the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s community liaison held several workshops that instructed parents how to teach math to their children.

The Promotion Project The third barrier that the district has encountered is that parents of children performing at grade level or above donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel a need to be actively involved in helping their children with their studies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a paradigm shift to work with parents of children who are doing really well,â&#x20AC;? Dr. Hightower said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have programs for students who need to keep reaching, and for those who are doing well and could do better.â&#x20AC;? The districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Promotion Project helps parents understand where their children are academically, and where they need to be. At a group PowerPoint presentation, parents learn about student proďŹ les and student growth plans, which are created for each student in the district.Then teachers share Galileo test data with parents and explain where their children stand academically.They discuss ways parents can partner with the teacher to push students forward, including the most successful students. Positive Outcomes All of the Tolleson Elementary schools received a â&#x20AC;&#x153;performing plusâ&#x20AC;? label for the most recent school year and made annual yearly progress (AYP). Tolleson is one of a handful of Arizona school districts to meet the annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for all students, including English language learners and special education students. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This shows how extremely important it is to have the parents, the principals and the teachers working together,â&#x20AC;? Dr. Hightower concluded. Â&#x201E;

About the Writer: Dr. Marjorie Kaplan is director of the Beat the Odds Institute, an education initiative of the Center for the Future of Arizona. For more information, visit www.BeatTheOddsInstitute.org.

PorďŹ rio H. Gonzales Elementary students strengthen their multiplication and addition skills by playing card games on Math Night.


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By Chris Thomas, ASBA Director of Legal Services

Consider Legal Issues When Engaging Your Communities The theme of this Journal is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Community Engagement.â&#x20AC;? There are a lot of legal issues that come up when engaging your community, including Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s open meeting and public records laws, use of school district resources and board authority. Here are several legal parameters of community engagement that are important to consider.


The Open Meeting Law doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t require a Call to the Public. Does that mean that we can adopt any rules we want â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including deciding not to have a Call to the Public for a given meeting? A. It is true that Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Open Meeting Law does not confer upon citizens a right to address the governing board in a Call to the Public. Still, to my knowledge, every school board in the state conducts such a call. Why? Because school boards realize that they must be accountable to the public and that the board exists to represent the community â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and how do you do that without hearing from that community? So, school boards have a Call to the Public, which is reďŹ&#x201A;ected in their local policies, otherwise known as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Law of the School District.â&#x20AC;? However, just because the Open Meeting Law does not give the public the right to speak at a meeting of the school board does not mean the board can adopt any rules they want. Once the board allows for public participation at its board meetings, it must comply with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In essence, the board has created a â&#x20AC;&#x153;public forumâ&#x20AC;? under constitutional law jurisprudence, which means that the speaker has certain free speech rights. Those rights are not unlimited however, and the board â&#x20AC;&#x201C; through well-articulated policy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; can create time, place and manner restrictions on that speech. For instance, the following regulations could legally be adopted: X Requiring speakers to sign in on speaker cards, with their names and the subject matter they would like to speak about X Limiting the length of time each speaker can speak (the shortest allowable limit is two minutes) or the overall length of time that public comment will be taken (if adopted, a good idea is to enforce this strictly at all times) 34 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



Restricting obscene language, threats of abuse or discussing information conďŹ dential as a matter of law (student information from a student that is not the child of the speaker) Other restrictions that have been employed by school districts from time to time probably WOULD NOT withstand legal scrutiny, such as: X Restricting negative comments about school staff X Not allowing non-residents to speak X Requiring that speakers state a position on an issue on the speaker cards X Restricting comments only to those persons who â&#x20AC;&#x153;signed upâ&#x20AC;? prior to the start of the meeting Most important to remember is that the Open Meeting Law restricts the board from discussing, deliberating or deciding any matter not listed on the posted meeting agenda. That means that if a member of the public brings up a matter in the Call to the Public that is not listed on the agenda, the board is precluded from addressing the matter other than to 1) refer the matter to the administration for review; 2) suggest that the matter be placed on a future agenda; or 3) respond to speakersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; criticisms (But be careful! No substantive discussion of the issue is allowed if it is not on the agenda!). X

Most important to remember is that the Open Meeting Law restricts the board from discussing, deliberating or deciding any matter not listed on the posted meeting agenda.


legislation.â&#x20AC;? Simply put, Two board members in my district (ďŹ ve member board) want materials of a political nature Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OK to empower your community to hold their own â&#x20AC;&#x153;community â&#x20AC;&#x201C; about an election or pendforumsâ&#x20AC;? where they hear from to be advocates for the district with ing legislation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; should never constituents â&#x20AC;Ś Can they? your state legislators, but remember be given students to take A. The short answer is yes. It is not home. In the case of a newsthat anything with a political tone letter that is normally sent a violation of the Open Meeting Law if less than a quorum of board home with students, if it has a should be mailed to the parents, members meet to hear from the political tone, in that instance not sent home with students. public without complying with the it should be mailed to the Open Meeting Law requirements. parents. Simply put, this is not a meeting of the board. However, there are many reasons why this is not Our district is about to begin the process of searching a good idea. First, the board members in question should for our next superintendent. We would like to engage know that they have no authority to do anything, promise the community during the process but also want to anything or direct that anything be done; it takes a majority ensure a good applicant pool by maintaining the of the board to do those things. conďŹ dentiality of our applicants to the extent law allows. In a nutshell, what parts of the search must we Second, the potential for a violation of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;serial comdo in public and what parts can be conducted in an municationsâ&#x20AC;? restriction of the Open Meeting Law is great; a Executive Session under the Open Meeting Law? conversation with either of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;rogueâ&#x20AC;? board members and A. In a very quick run-down, here are the rules â&#x20AC;Ś any of the rest of the board about matters brought up at the 1. The Board CANNOT meet in an Executive Session to meeting would trigger an Open Meeting Law violation. discuss the choice of a search ďŹ rm (decision in public) Third, the board members might want to consider how 2. The Board CANNOT meet in an Executive Session to such an action looks to the community and the rest of the create the candidate proďŹ le or job description (decision board. In my opinion, such an action looks like the board in public) is divided, that the two members holding the forum are not 3. The Board CAN meet in Executive Session to screen part of the board-superintendent team and that not everyone applications* (decision in public) is on the same page. 4. The Board CAN meet in Executive Session to interview candidates* As part of our community engagement effort, we want to empower our community to be advocates for 5. The Board CAN meet in Executive Session to perform the district with our state legislators. Part of this effort reference checks and have discussions with previous will be the placement of state budget information employers in school district newsletters. These newsletters are 6. The Board CAN meet in Executive Session to discuss typically mailed home to residents and sent home with strengths and weaknesses of each candidate postour students. Are there any legal problems with this? interview* (decision in public) A. YES â&#x20AC;&#x201C; speciďŹ cally, the part about giving the materials 7. The Board CANNOT hold a community question-andto your students. Arizona Revised Statutes section 15-511 answer forum in Executive Session prohibits persons acting on behalf of a school district from 8. The Board CAN meet in Executive Session to discuss using school resources to inďŹ&#x201A;uence the outcome of an eleccontractual terms with or without having identiďŹ ed the tion. Normally, this only applies to elections. ďŹ rst choice candidate* (decision in public) However, in section B of the statute, it reads: â&#x20AC;&#x153;(A)n 9. Last, candidates for employment are treated the same as employee of a school district or charter school who is acting employees under the Open Meeting Law as an agent of or working in an ofďŹ cial capacity for the  school district or charter school may not give pupils writ*Numbers 3, 4, 6 and 8 are assuming all candidates have  ten materials to inďŹ&#x201A;uence the outcome of an election or to been given 24 hour notice and the opportunity to move advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed the discussion into public portion of a meeting. Â&#x201E;



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/HW¡V3OD\ By Sandrea Kerr, SCF Safety Committee, Mohawk Valley Elementary School District Members of the statewide safety committee were dismayed at the high number of injuries reported by participating school districts. In order to bring this important subject to the attention of the school board members, superintendents and business managers, SCF Arizona will conduct a breakout session at the December ASBAâ&#x20AC;˘ASA Annual Conference. The sessionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s format will be based on the game show Jeopardy. While the game should be fun for the participants, the subject is quite serious.

Now to Play the First Round of Safety Jeopardy!! Our ďŹ rst category is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Exceptional School Districts honored at the Law Conference.â&#x20AC;? Three school districts won the prestigious safety award from SCF of Arizona. The school districts were recognized at the Law Conference in September. ANSWER #1: This district was the winner in Category 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those that have a premium less than $50,000 and a maximum loss ratio of less than 1%. THE QUESTION? What is Duncan UniďŹ ed School District? Yes, Duncan in Greenlee County is a small school with an outstanding commitment to safety. Very good, now letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s try the next one. ANSWER #2: This district was the winner in Category 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those that have a premium range of $50,000 to $100,000 and a maximum loss ratio of 4.5%. THE QUESTION? What is Red Mesa UniďŹ ed School District? That is correct; Red Mesa UniďŹ ed School District in Apache County is the winner in category 2. Next answer please. ANSWER #3: This district was the winner in Category 3 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those that have a premium greater than $100,000 and a maximum loss ratio of 4.3%. THE QUESTION? What is SnowďŹ&#x201A;ake UniďŹ ed School District located in Navajo County? Correct, the answer is SnowďŹ&#x201A;ake UniďŹ ed School District.

Dee Navarro, President-elect of the ASBA Board of Directors, congratulates SnowďŹ&#x201A;ake USD Superintendent Hollis Merrell.

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Congratulations for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winners! These districts have made a strong commitment to safety and have taken an active role in reducing employee accidents and injuries.

Back to the Game ... The second category is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trips, Slips and Falls.â&#x20AC;? ANSWER #1: The most common cause of injury in Arizona schools is this. THE QUESTION? What are trips, slips and falls? Your answer is correct, the most common cause of injury is trips, slips and falls. Most trips, slips and falls can be avoided with diligence on everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part. ANSWER #2: This is one tripping hazard that is easy to overlook. THE QUESTION? What is poorly maintained carpet and tiles on ďŹ&#x201A;oors? Yes, that is one tripping hazard that can be avoided by maintaining tile and carpet ďŹ&#x201A;ooring. Another tripping hazard is electric cords allowed to lay unsecured on the ďŹ&#x201A;oor. ANSWER #3: This causes many slips in schools. THE QUESTION? What are wet ďŹ&#x201A;oors? Correct. Wet ďŹ&#x201A;oors and pavement cause many slips that can be avoided by clearing up spills and marking the wet area with warning signs. The usual places for wet ďŹ&#x201A;oors are the bathrooms, halls and kitchens.When it rains or snows, accidents are more likely on the sidewalks. Snow can be tracked into the building and create a wet hallway. These wet ďŹ&#x201A;oors must be cleaned quickly or marked with warning signs. Next answer ... ANSWER #4: Handrails and slip resistant material on treads are required on these. THE QUESTION? What are stairs? You are correct. All stairs are required to have handrails and slip resistant material on treads. Using handrails should be mandatory for all students and staff using stairs. Teachers,

custodians and administrators should be the role models for students. Falling from stairs can cause serious injury. Running up or down stairs should be discouraged at all times. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continue the game. ANSWER #5: This is the most common equipment for climbing. THE QUESTION? What are ladders? Correct. Ladders, both tall and short, are used to reach high places. The correct ladder for the particular job needs to be used. A teacher might want to step on a chair to reach something higher than she can reach, but she needs to be instructed to take the time to ďŹ nd the equipment needed for the job. The next answer please ... ANSWER #6: Members of this committee may be used to inspect facilities as well as develop district-wide policies. THE QUESTION? What is the district safety committee? Your answer is correct. The district safety committee can be comprised of staff members willing to help with the task of implementing a culture of safety in the district. There are several resources the district can utilize. One of the resources, SCF Arizona, has brochures to help districts wanting to implement a safety committee. That Concludes Safety Jeopardy for Now, So Remember â&#x20AC;Ś

Red Mesa USD board members Lewis Tutt, Clifford Sagg and Ruth Roessel and Superintendent Secretary Carmelita Sagg are pictured with Dee Navarro (left).

Everyone has had a minor slip at some point in their lives, and it is easy to see how slips, trips and falls are the major causes of injuries in schools. Carpet and tiles need to be in good repair and electric cords must be properly secured.Wet ďŹ&#x201A;oors, although virtually unavoidable in a school setting, should be cleared up diligently and marked with the appropriate cautionary signage. Stairs must be maintained, and both teachers and students should be reminded to take their time climbing them. And please, although it is tempting to stack a box on a chair or a table, it really is much safer to use the appropriate ladder.The bulletin board will be waiting when you get back with the stepstool. Everyone has a responsibility to make sure he/she is making the best effort to be safe at work. Hope to see you at the SCF of Arizona breakout session in December at the Biltmore! Â&#x201E;

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By Michael T. Martin, ASBA Research Analyst

Working With Parents, Community Can Solve Chronic Absenteeism Although schools regularly collect attendance information, they might not be analyzing them for important problems. Recent research indicates that one important problem in schools â&#x20AC;&#x201C; chronic absenteeism â&#x20AC;&#x201C; may be occurring unrecognized. Several studies have illuminated the challenges of widespread chronic absenteeism starting at an early age, from pervasively poor attendance habits and decreased learning to impacts on classmates as teachers reteach material to bring absent students up to speed. Other risk behaviors are often the result of chronic absences as well. In many situations, understanding the underlying reasons for chronic absences and ďŹ nding solutions through parental and community engagement can get students back into the classroom.

The Data Hedy Chang co-wrote the 2008 report â&#x20AC;&#x153;Present, Engaged, and Accounted For,â&#x20AC;? published by the National Center for Children in Poverty. Her subtitle was â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades.â&#x20AC;? In that report she states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chronic absence refers to students missing an extended period of school when both excused and unexcused absences are taken into account. â&#x20AC;Ś We recommend deďŹ ning chronic absence as missing 10 percent or more of the school year â&#x20AC;Ś If children miss this much school while in grades K-3, it is chronic early absence.â&#x20AC;? A February 2010 Education Commission of the States (ECS) brief titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chronic Early Absenceâ&#x20AC;? and based on that 2008 report noted, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chronic early absence is often overlooked. Many states and districts do not know the extent to which chronic early absence is a problem in their schools.â&#x20AC;? The organization Attendance Counts (www.attendence counts.org) was formed in January 2010 to reduce chronic absence in American schools. Its website notes that in New York City, a 2008 research report â&#x20AC;&#x153;revealed that one of every ďŹ ve students in grades K-5 was chronically absent. In the poorest neighborhoods, the rate ran as high as one in three students.The analysis uncovered a problem that had remained invisible even though the New York City Department of Education had been monitoring school- wide attendance and had policies in place to follow up on student absences.â&#x20AC;? That prompted a task force in New York City to focus on chronic absence. The Attendance Counts blog on July 31, 2010, quoted Baltimore City schools CEO Andres Alonso as stating, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You 38 +=,+ 4Y_\XKV



can talk about teaching and learning all you want. If the kids arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t in school, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to happen.â&#x20AC;? The blog noted that Baltimore began a major attendance initiative after ďŹ nding â&#x20AC;&#x153;a 15 percentage-point achievement gap in reading proďŹ ciency and a 21 percentage-point achievement gap in math between students who were chronically absent and those who werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. More than 5,000 students in third to eighth grade were chronically absent last year.â&#x20AC;? Chang opened her 2008 report stating, â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the core of school improvement and education reform is an assumption so widely understood that it is rarely invoked: students have to be present and engaged in order to learn.â&#x20AC;? Chang avers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chronic absence in kindergarten has an immediate impact on academic performance for all children, especially Latino students. The long-term consequences are most signiďŹ cant for poor children.â&#x20AC;?

Issues of Chronic Absenteeism In a September 10, 2010, Education Week commentary titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Five Myths About School Attendance,â&#x20AC;? Chang countered the ďŹ rst myth â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Students donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start missing a lot of school until middle or high school â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with this: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Actually, one in 10 kindergarten and 1st grade students misses at least a month of school every year, national research shows. â&#x20AC;Ś Unexcused absences become a bigger problem in secondary school. But the bad attendance habits that lead to skipping school can become entrenched in the early years.â&#x20AC;? The Attendance Counts website references a study by Michael Gottfried titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Evaluating the Relationship Between Student Attendance and Achievement in Urban Elementary and Middle Schools:

An Instrumental Variables Approach,â&#x20AC;? in which he notes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sociologically, decreased attendance is related to increased alienation from classmates, teachers and schools. Missing school is also correlated with current and future risky behaviors, such as tobacco, alcohol and drug use.â&#x20AC;? Gottfried also cited previous research that showed â&#x20AC;&#x153;decreased attendance is correlated with exacerbated academic issues for urban, minority youth, especially when compared to their non-urban, non-minority counterparts. Further, declining levels of attendance are related to deteriorating academic outcomes for these urban students as they progress into later grades of schooling. For instance, Easton and Englehard (1982) found that within an urban school district, student absences were negatively correlated with reading achievement, and this relationship became even stronger as students entered grades 7 and 8.They attributed this heightened negative relationship to the fact that family home environments became less important in academic development compared to school settings for urban middle school students.â&#x20AC;? In a forthcoming Teachers College Record article titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Absent Peers in Elementary Years: The Negative Classroom Effects of Unexcused Absences on Standardized Testing Outcomes,â&#x20AC;? Gottfried noted, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most studies have not differentiated between unexcused absences and total absences.â&#x20AC;? He noted that â&#x20AC;&#x153;a general metric of absences does not differentiate between a high-performing student with the ďŹ&#x201A;u, and a student with behavior or disengagement issues.â&#x20AC;? Gottfried suggests that chronic early absence is associated with cascading social problems that could be averted through appropriate interventions: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Given that this study is based on a sample of primarily high-poverty minority students in Philadelphia, there are also urban policy implications. For instance, given the evidence that absences in early years of schooling are associated with a higher dropout rate, unemployment and probability of involvement in illicit activities, policies that prevent these students from early rates of absences through stimulated engagement can directly beneďŹ t the student and improve the community.â&#x20AC;? Gottfried sees chronic unexcused absences as an alert that a student is disengaging from school, and it also â&#x20AC;&#x153;may be indicative of negative family environments in which parents are absent from, unaware of or uninvolved in their childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schooling.â&#x20AC;? In this latest research report, Gottfried focused on the compounding effects of absences on the other â&#x20AC;&#x153;peerâ&#x20AC;? students in the classroom. He noted: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Academically, if absent students receive fewer hours of instruction and their inschool learning time decreases, then on their return, they often require remedial instruction. If teachers respond to educational needs of absent students by allocating regular class time, then non-absent students may be adversely affected because classroom instruction is slowed. â&#x20AC;Ś Similarly, if absences generate negative behavioral outcomes, such as school disengagement or alienation, and if these behaviors in

turn produce further problems in school, then absent students can generate non-instructional disruptions on return to the classroom, which can also slow the learning process for nonabsent peers.â&#x20AC;? Thus Gottfried avers that the consequences of chronic absences are not only negative for the student who is absent, but also affect the educational outcomes of other students in the classroom. This was also noted by Hedy Chang in her â&#x20AC;&#x153;Five Myths About School Attendance,â&#x20AC;? where in response to the second myth, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Absences in the early grades donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really affect academics,â&#x20AC;? she stated: â&#x20AC;&#x153;When too many students miss too much school, the classroom churn starts to affect the entire class, as teachers repeat material to help children catch up.â&#x20AC;?

Parental and Community Engagement Changâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth myth was, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not much that schools can do to improve attendance; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to the parents.â&#x20AC;? To this she responded, â&#x20AC;&#x153;While parents are certainly essential, schools partnering with community agencies can make a real difference when they work together.â&#x20AC;? In a September 11, 2002, New York Times article titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rx for Good Health and Good Grades,â&#x20AC;? reporter Richard Rothstein focused on a school district in Chula Vista, California, where they found,â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not unexpectedly, schools with low scores also had poor attendance.â&#x20AC;? The community realized that health problems, particularly asthma, had severe academic consequences. Rothstein wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Asthma, for example, does not harm performance just by keeping pupils out of class. If they are awake at night wheezing, they are too tired to pay attention even if they do make it to school the next day.â&#x20AC;? The solution was community engagement with local hospitals. Rothstein reported that this actually helped one medical center chief executive resolve â&#x20AC;&#x153;his hospitalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s uncollected bills for children without regular health care, who used emergency rooms for non-urgent treatmentâ&#x20AC;? by providing preventive medicine and screening at the schools with the highest absenteeism. Community engagement can also mean communicating with parents to discuss the problem of chronic absenteeism. Attendance Counts revealed that in New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bronx, a school was able to reduce chronic absenteeism when Muslim parents explained that they kept their children home during Ramadan lest they be tempted to break their fasts in the cafeteria. The school set up a separate lounge for Muslim students during Ramadan to avoid the cafeteria. Community engagement has many meanings, but it can be as simple as discussing problems with parents or community agencies. Attendance Counts reported that in Providence, R.I., school ofďŹ cials found that parents who worked overnight often failed to waken to take their children to school. The school began an early morning breakfast program where parents could drop off children before going home to sleep, and subsequent attendance increased. Â&#x201E; 0KVV  3

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120 North Beaver Street Flagstaff, Arizona 86002 (928) 266-0000 www.h2m2law.com

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By PanďŹ lo H. Contreras, ASBA Executive Director

ASBA Caucuses ReďŹ&#x201A;ect Your Student Community


SBA has had a very members looking for help. active Hispanic Native The caucus has provided Improving student achievement American Indian ideas for breakout sessions should be everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s number one Caucus for many years. A new and suggestions for keynote caucus focusing on Black students goal, and improvement in any groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speakers for our conferences is forming and will be considered and workshops, especially the performance improves the whole. at the Annual Meeting for Celebrating Opportunities inclusion on the ASBA Board of for Students of All Cultures Directors. Some folks have asked about the purpose of a Conference. The various chairs have been active on the caucus or caucuses in ASBA.There are several good reasons board of directors and kept the organization leadership to support caucuses. informed about the activities of the caucus. Goal Two of the Association is to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Represent and Recently, a save-the-date reminder was sent to you advocate for the diverse interests of public school governing regarding the Celebrating Opportunities conference boards.â&#x20AC;? One way to do this is to bring together interested scheduled for Santa Fe, New Mexico, on April 29 and 30, individuals to discuss, research, share ideas and promote 2011. This is a good opportunity to see what districts from programs that work for Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diverse populations. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California are doing to Anyone interested should participate, learn and contribute address needs. If you have never been to one, this conference by sharing successful approaches in improving student is a must-see and will energize you to become involved on achievement. It is important to focus on needy populations, behalf of all kids! It is also an opportunity to share your and interested individuals do just that. Everyone gains by programs that work. The deadline for submittals of model this! programs to ASBA is January 12, 2011. If you have a great It is not about Hispanic, Native or Black school board program or two supporting minority students, please submit members! It is important for anybody who has a signiďŹ cant them for consideration to be showcased there. population of minority students to be involved. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t The other aspect of caucus participation is leadership have to be a person of color to be a member. It is about development. Several ASBA leaders have come from the bringing focus to the unfortunate fact of low performance membership of the current caucus. An important aspect of among these students. We see data in many forms that bear an organization is the makeup of its leaders. It is important out this fact. NCLB brought this out with the requirements to have leaders from all segments of membership, and caucus to disaggregate student achievement data. Improving sturepresentation on the ASBA Board ensures it. The caucus dent achievement should be everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s number one goal, board experience and ASBA board experience simply make and improvement in any groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance improves the better board members at the local level as well. whole. I encourage you to get involved and learn what caucus The caucus has been helpful to ASBA in several ways. work is all about. Your ideas are needed and will be well The exchange of information and ideas at meetings has received. Your leadership in improving achievement for all served as a learning and sharing opportunity for caucus students is welcomed and appreciated. Â&#x201E;

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$6%$$IÂżOLDWH0HPEHUV AIG Retirement Group retirement plans, individual ďŹ nancial services Ann Zlamal 11201 N.Tatum Blvd., Ste.100 Phoenix, AZ 85028 602-674-2614 www.aigvalic.com

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The ďŹ rm thanks its many school law clients and welcomes the opportunity to continue to provide personalized, professional representation and specialized expertise to meet our clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; personal, family, business and corporate needs: Appellate Practice

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SPS + Architects Herb Schneider 8681 E.Via De Negocio Scottsdale, AZ 85258-3330 480-991-0800 Strategic Technology Communications Deborah Long 13828 N. 41st Place Phoenix, AZ 85032 480-281-6400

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Technology Coordinators Utilities and building renewal projects Ed Schaffer 2116 W. Del Campo Cir. Mesa, AZ 85202 888-474-5509 www.tc-az.com Thunderbird Mountain Facilities performance services David Johnson P.O. Box 10130 Glendale, AZ 85318 623-825-1730 www.thunderbirdmountain.com Traaen & Associates, LLC Human resources management, training and organizational development Teri J. Traaen, Ed.D., DPA 4831 E. Calle Tuberia Phoenix, AZ 85018 602-510-3989 www.traaenandassociates.com Trane Dave Palty 850 W. Southern Ave. Tempe, AZ 85282 480-258-9600 www.trane.com

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Arizona School Boards Association 2100 North Central Avenue Suite 200 Phoenix, Arizona 85004

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