KUSD discusses possible charter school; new high school principal named

Community response to a survey will dictate whether the Kingman Unified School District charters a school within its district and what that school would offer to students.

Members of the KUSD Governing Board met Tuesday night and gave approval to acting superintendent Mike Ford to investigate the need for a charter school in Golden Valley and design a curriculum for it, depending on public input.

Pat Mickelson, now an assistant principal at Kingman High School North, will move into the office of principal Greg Parker next year when Parker joins the district administrative team in another action approved at the meeting.

Betsy Parker, acting assistant superintendent for KUSD, told the board she, Ford, Carole Hartle, director of support services for the Kingman Elementary School District, and Black Mountain Elementary Principal Scott Rhoades discussed how to make use of the back portion of Black Mountain next year when the KESD and Mohave Union High School District merge to become the KUSD.

A wing in the back of the school contains 10 classrooms and two kitchens, Parker said.

"We've discussed the possibility for self-paced academic excellence with a curriculum where students can work independently," Parker said.

"We also thought of the possibility of a four-day work week.

There are some people interested in teaching in a setting like that and some students who would be interested in going to school in a setting like that."

"There also is the option for an alternative calendar and the one that seems most popular is nine weeks on and two weeks off with an expanded vacation in the summer."

Freshmen now begin Kingman High School by taking algebra.

Parker said a charter school could serve as a math academy as another possibility.

She further stated district administrators would like to get Mohave Community College to "buy in" and offer courses at night to high school students in Golden Valley.

Parker said the group first discussing the charter school envisions starting at the fourth-grade level, but community response could ultimately decide that.

She stressed there is no intention to shut down Black Mountain Elementary School or move any of its staff.

She added the charter school would offer academics only, no extracurricular activities.

Any charter school formed within the KUSD in Golden Valley would be open to all children in the district, and Ford said he foresees a waiting list to get into it.

He added up to 250 students could attend.

"We'll do a survey and see what the needs are and what niche we can fill," Ford said.

"We'll get the surveys out to everyone we can so we get feedback on what they want or don't want.

From that feedback we'll design what we feel will meet the needs expressed and bring it back to the board for approval."

The board also approved an organizational chart for the KUSD presented by Ford.

It names program directors, while keeping principals and assistant principals unchanged at buildings in the district.

Betsy Parker will be in charge of curriculum for the district and handle building supervision for K-6.

Henry Stapleton will be plant and facilities director, while Barlow Quinton will be executive director of business and finance.

Greg Parker, Betsy's husband, will move into the administrative offices as human resources coordinator and building supervisor for grades 7-12.

Ford said Parker has been discharging some of the human resources duties like recruitment and staff retention within the MUHSD, so it does not mean adding a new administrative position.

Mickelson will step up to become principal next year.

John Wienshienk will remain an assistant principal at the school and Tim Casson will double as an assistant principal while keeping his duties as athletic director, Ford said.

The board also approved a contest open to all students in the two districts to design a logo for the KUSD.

Students are to create the logo only with no wording.

Governing board members will add any wording deemed appropriate and, at the same time, reserves the right to make some changes to the logo.

A savings bond, expected to be in excess of $200, will be awarded to the contest winner.

A panel, headed by high school special education director Barbara Fuller, will judge the entries.

Entries must be submitted by Nov.

28 in black and white or color on an 8.5 by 11-inch sheet of paper and the winner will be announced at the board meeting of Dec.

20.