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7/18/2014 6:00:00 AM
Classes, books and learning on tap for Kingman students
SPARKY KNOWLTON/Miner
SPARKY KNOWLTON/Miner
Key back-to-school information
Here are the start and end times for KUSD schools:

Manzanita Elementary (928) 753-6197

8:35 a.m./3:20 p.m.

Cerbat Elementary (928) 757-5100

8:35 a.m./3:20 p.m.

Hualapai Elementary (928) 753-1919

7:35 a.m./2:20 p.m.

Black Mountain School (928) 565-9111

9 a.m./4 p.m.

Desert Willow Elementary (928) 753-2472

7:35 a.m./2:20 p.m.

Mount Tipton School (928) 767-3350

7:50 a.m./4:15 p.m.

White Cliffs Middle School (928) 6216

8:20 a.m./3:20 p.m.

Kingman Middle School (928) 753-3588

8:35 a.m./3:35 p.m.

Kingman High School (928) 692-6480

8 a.m./3 p.m.

Lee Williams High School (928) 718-6000

7:35 a.m./2:35 p.m.

PASS/PALS/I-CARE/PACE (928) 753-8400

8:15 a.m./3:05 p.m.

Registration will take place at the various KUSD schools from July 29-31. For more information about times, dates and required paperwork, call the school at the number listed above. Web links to each school are available at www.kusd.org, and district news and comments are at www.facebook.com/kusd20.

Here are the start and end times for KAOL schools:

Primary School (K-3) (928) 692-2500 - 8 a.m./2:40 p.m.

Intermediate School (3-5) (928) 681-3200 - 8 a.m./3:50 p.m.

Middle School (6-8) (928) 692-5265 - 7:45 a.m./3:50 p.m.

High School (9-12) (928) 681-2900 - 8 a.m./4 p.m.

Registration will take place at the various schools July 30-31, and Meet the Teacher conferences are set for Aug. 5-6. For more information about times, dates and required paperwork, call the school at the number listed above. Web links to each school are available at kaolaz.org/home.html.


Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - When the school bells ring on the first day of classes Aug. 7 throughout Kingman Unified School District, all but three of the district's 11 campuses will start and end at different times from last year.

Jeri Wolsey, curriculum director for KUSD said she believes parents will appreciate the changes, especially at the high school level. Students who work after school or participate in academic or sports activities will have more time now.

New bell times are the only major changes this year in a district that saw an influx of new programs over the past two years.

District officials believe KUSD is heading in the right academic direction, but they have heard repeatedly that teachers need some time to adjust to and implement the changes - and that parents and students need a chance to absorb them.

"I'm feeling very confident that parents will find a warm, inviting, educationally sound place at all our campuses," said KUSD Supt. Roger Jacks. "We are maintaining our philosophy of educating the whole child, and even though financing has been difficult, we still put a premium on academics, the arts, athletics and activities."

What's new?

The district has been overhauling its curriculum and recently implemented Beyond Textbooks, Re-teach and Enrich and Daily Math Skills, specialized programs to help students learn. The district also began Cambridge Academy, an academic program that prepares students for college, and Gear Up, an initiative for middle-schoolers.

Teachers and administrators are now undergoing the training they need, said Wolsey, noting teachers report Aug. 4 to their buildings.

A new principal, Don Burton, is moving from Indianapolis to take over the reins at Kingman Middle School. He will be joined by Cynthia Vasquez, a new assistant principal at KMS from Wisconsin, who will replace Shelley Oeastman, new principal at Black Mountain School.

Hard to hire

The district now has 400 employees in all categories, said Jacks, and is still looking to hire 20 teachers before the start of school. Jacks said the states in the Midwest have been a good source of teachers in the past, but many are deciding to take jobs closer to home this year because of the low pay in Arizona.

"We are experiencing what a lot of Arizona school districts are facing," said Jacks. "We're having a difficult time hiring teachers. There's so much competition for teachers between the other states that two weeks after the teachers accept our offer, they call and say they're not coming.

"We've had a lot of teacher turnover this past year and we just have to work harder to get them to buy in and stay here."

The biggest need for teachers this fall is in the math and science departments at Kingman High School and in special education throughout the district, said Jacks. The district recently had about 80 vacancies in all areas, from cafeteria workers to librarians, but Jacks said that number has decreased substantially because of a focus on filling positions.

Filling desks

And district officials are hoping to see an increase in attendance this year, although they'll be happy to just maintain the current level.

Last year, 6,856 students enrolled on the first day of school, up from 6,586 registered at that time in 2012. Student population has decreased by about 800 students since 2006 because of the unavailability or loss of area jobs.

"Every year, we face attendance challenges," said Wolsey. "A lot of people here are transient by nature, but their children can't learn if they're not in school. We've moved students around at the schools and we're not expecting any big attendance issues this year.

"Each school has its own initiatives for getting their students to attend, and we hope the time changes are helpful with that problem."

Getting ready

The district's custodians have been busy cleaning up the schools for opening day, said Wolsey, and 11 technology employees have been updating each school's computers and Internet equipment. Also, the district has been installing cameras in various schools. New and additional cameras were added at Kingman and Lee Williams high schools and White Cliffs Middle School, and work at Kingman Middle School will be complete soon.

Kingman Academy

At the Kingman Academy of Learning schools, the first day of classes will be Aug. 11. The KAOL district, which has 140 staff members (including 72 teachers) is now gearing up for a total of 1,465 students who will be attending school this fall.

That number is slightly up from last year's 1,450 student population.

"We are really excited about this year because it's our 20th year, and it's good to be here and be thriving and providing an education to children living in the community," said Susan Chan, district administrator for KAOL. "We want to help them enjoy school and most importantly, prepare for the future. The world is changing and these kids need to have a fighting chance in it."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"Yeah, you beat that pathetic dead horse each time the “living wage” argument is brought up."

Well, I didn't bring it up, the other poster who advocates it did, even though they can't define it. That's like voting the party line, but you can't even say what the candidates views on the issue are.

Sorry, don't agree with your method of calculation. Since we don't know where that person was living, you need to use the federal minimum wage of 1973...not today's wage. I guess you used the simple calculator from that site based on your description, which would put today's number at $8.39...not the ridiculous $38 you stated. Good luck getting any service at McD's when they can only afford to pay 2 people per shift and have to charge $9 for a Big Mac, if $38 is the minimum wage.

Anyway, I'd have no problem with raising it to $8.39. Most people can find jobs that pay more than that now if they have a modicum of intelligence.

I personally, doubt the veracity of the persons claim, unless she was a full time waitress or similar and was making good tips. Of course, food, housing, and fuel were much cheaper, so if she was raking in $5 an hour equivalent, it's quite possible. Notice she didn't stay in that position her entire life. There's the rub.


Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Article comment by: Lee M

I have 3 high school students who attend Lee Williams High School...The change of time to an earlier start is an issue for this household...They need to get up before 5am in order to catch the bus by 6am and still will not be home before 4:30pm this makes for a very long day not to mention any after school activities plus all the homework, when you factor in dinner time there is no time left for anything. The schools always preach make sure your student gets plenty of rest well its hard to get a high school student in bed by 8pm.......I also believe the school year should start in Sept. after Labor Day and end in June because of the excessive heat we all have here in the desert, it would help cut down on the AC for the schools and the extra wear and tear on school bus tires etc. not to mention a lot of the buses don't even have AC....July and August would be the perfect months for using the lake and vacationing.........

Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@Vic

“There it is again, that ephemeral ‘living wage’ that no one can yet define.”

Yeah, you beat that pathetic dead horse each time the “living wage” argument is brought up. I have an idea – why not look at comparables?

A couple of years ago a GOP’er legislator (sorry, I don’t remember her name) made the statement that at her first job in the early 1970s she lived very well, on her own, on the minimum wage (now I don’t know if that was a “living wage” or not).

So why don’t we extrapolate that minimum wage standard from 1973 to today’s dollars using 1973 as our base line. From “Measuring Worth” - the relative value of $7.25 from 1973 is now $38.00 with the answer resulting by multiplying $7.25 by the percentage increase in the CPI from 1973 to 2013 (2013 being last full year for comparison).

Perhaps we should not look at a “living wage” as much as a minimum wage equivalency in today’s dollars.


Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Article comment by: Sandra McFarland

Being in an early-start school this year will be wonderful! Yes the alarm clock is going to be a bit more annoying for a few weeks. But I will be able to schedule doctor and dentist appointments and not have to find coverage / sub for my class!

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Article comment by: Sandra McFarland

It is so wonderful to hear positive comments in regards to Kingman's Teachers. We are beginning to return to our classrooms. Many of us fresh off of professional development courses this summer. We are often "beat up" by some who TREAT US like babysitters and will publically bash us (sometimes by name) on social media. THANK YOU! Your support means so much to us.

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"...maybe if we paid a living wage..."

There it is again, that ephemeral "living wage" that no one can yet define.

Please, tell me, since no one else has, what is a "living wage" for a 23 y/o teacher? Do we pay them more if they got married young and have 2 kids? Do we pay them less if they are frugal and live in a 1 bedroom apartment and drive an older car? Do we pay them both the same so that one can drive a 6 y/o Toyota while the other drives a brand new BMW?

I'm as tired of "living wage" as I am "fixed income". Everyone is on a "fixed income" unless they work commissions or beg at Walmart.

Everyone says to the Goverment, "Live withing your means!", but that doesn't apply to everyone else?

Currently, of the taxes on my bill, the majority goes to schools. Maybe they should "Live within their means also"?


Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014
Article comment by: KUSD Mom

A couple of thoughts - to the school board - maybe if we paid a living wage, we could recruit more teachers.

To all the readers - I am as tax-adverse as everyone else, but the money has to come from somewhere. Maybe if the city as a whole were willing to pass some kind of bond measure and invest in our kids we could dig out of this hole with the electives, teacher shortage, etc. Not every tax is bad - particularly the ones that are paid and kept at home.


Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2014
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

"parents two full months to worry about how to occupy their kids time while they still have to go to work. I remember when school ended the first week of June and didn’t start back up until September…while as a student that was an awesome thought, as a parent it can be overwhelming and stressful. "


Seriously? They are your kids and you are overwhelmed and stressed at t he thought of 2 full months with them? Schools are not daycare centers.


Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"Most young kids in elementary school are not awake at that time of morning..."

Odd...when I had a elementary school age child at home, as long as he went to bed at a decent time, he was wide awake by 6AM.

During the summer break, my neighbors kids are often out playing, screaming, having fun by 7AM.

So, maybe it's a bed time issue?


Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Article comment by: Sara M

Ludo, have you ever looked at a calendar for the school year? There is not one full month that students are in school. The high school gets out end on May and resumes beginning of August. That gives students two full months off and parents two full months to worry about how to occupy their kids time while they still have to go to work. I remember when school ended the first week of June and didn’t start back up until September…while as a student that was an awesome thought, as a parent it can be overwhelming and stressful. While some students do have jobs, many don’t and this change gives them that much more time to have to fill.

Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Article comment by: Roy Leggett

It's really easy to set early times (7:35 A.M. ) for Hualapai Elementary but I wonder if the school board will be in their offices working at that time of morning. Most young kids in elementary school are not awake at that time of morning much less be able to comprehend what the teacher is saying. I would like for the school board to tell me how making youngsters go to school earlier will help them to learn. This time schedule does not seem to make sense. If anyone knows when the next open meeting of the school board will be, please let me know. Thanks

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014
Article comment by: Re: Ludo Bagman -Really

Really Ludo,

As a teacher, you are the type of parent that really concerns me. Is this the first year you and your family are going to school in the Kingman area? If so, realize you get out earlier.

But, you should be ashamed for your last statement - "if we are treating school as our baby sitter". It is your mentality that schools and teachers are no more than baby sitters that is one major factor why Kingman Schools are failing. How much do you volunteer, how often do you show up for parent meetings, board meetings, anything to do with school?

As, a teacher I wish that we were paid as well as baby sitters and each parent had to pay for our services. Lets see - 30 + kids at 200 minimum for the week plus meals, I would be rich - 6000 a month - 72,000 a year. A first year teacher starts at 29,000. Why don't you and the majority of parents go to a board meeting and suggest that you would like schooling to b babysitting services instead and that you are willing to pay for it. The district would love all of you.

Treat Teachers and Teaching with RESPECT. It is a profession, and teachers invest more time and effort with the communities children than most parents . By the way it is both hours and days. .

Go Teachers. May you have an amazing year.
Parents Be Involved



Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014
Article comment by: Frustrated Parent

Not true, Roger Jacks! Your district is only interested in test scores. You no longer educate the whole child. Gone are many electives such as choir & drama and band can no longer offer a quality program. The extreme pressure and punishments to pass standardized tests have chipped away at student attitude and excitement to attend school - not mentioning teacher morale.

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014
Article comment by: Ludo Bagman

Come on, I understand that each student has to spend a certain number of hours (or days) in class, but starting classes at the beginning of August is a bit much don't you think? Isn't it still unlawful in some states to start before September, so that the child can help on the farm? Didn't August used to be the vacation month for everyone else? Are we better-off because our kids start classes in early August?
I guess we are, if (and only if) we are treating school as our baby-sitter.




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