JTED, K-9 coming to KUSD

KINGMAN - With voters' approval, the Kingman Unified School District is moving forward with the Joint Technical Education District.

In a 4-to-1 vote, the school board appointed Kingman Planning and Zoning Division Planning Administrator Tom Duranceau and Rotary Club of Kingman secretary Jack Pozenel to serve on the JTED Governing Board beginning Jan. 1.

The two board members will be representing KUSD on the JTED board. Their terms end at the next general election in 2010.

Board member Bill Goodale voted against the appointments, because he wanted KUSD to seek more applicants from the public and to see resumes before the decision.

"This is an important decision and I don't take it lightly," Goodale said.

In January, the JTED board will have a workshop and a separate meeting. The JTED officially begins on July 1.

For Kingman property owners, the formation requires a stationary 5-cent per $100 of secondary-assessed-property-value tax.

Assistant Superintendent Betsy Parker discussed the next steps for the JTED at the KUSD Governing Board meeting Wednesday at Manzanita Elementary School.

The first organizational meeting for the JTED was on Wednesday, Parker said. At the meeting, there was six-page checklist for the formation of a vocational district.

Some of the steps for the new district include:

• Establish a regular board meeting time and place.

• Publish a proposed budget before July 5 and adopt it by July 15.

• Hire or appoint a superintendent.

• File necessary paperwork with the state and federal government.

• Establish intergovernmental agreements.

• Develop a mission statement, goals and policy manual.

The JTED was approved for the district by voters in a 70-to-30-percent vote, according to unofficial results from Mohave County Elections Department.

KUSD joined the Colorado River Union High School District in a 64-to-36-percent vote, and the Lake Havasu Unified School District in a 67-to-33-percent vote to approve the JTED.

The three school districts in Mohave County will join with Parker Unified School District to form the Western Arizona Vocational Education district. Parker had the closest vote, with 53 percent approval.

Basing programs on district and community needs, WAVE offers career pathway courses. The JTED provides students with workplace and post-secondary readiness for the future, with hands-on technical training.

Next year, the high school will have a Mohave County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit through the school resource officer program.

"Unfortunately, illegal drug use continues to be a problem at the high school," Superintendent Roger Jacks said.

In a unanimous vote, the board approved the K-9 officer at the Wednesday meeting.

It will cost the district $735 a year for the drug K-9 dog. With funding available within the high school, the money would cover handling costs for the animal.

Deputy Kerry Schanaman will undergo the necessary training beginning in June.

The K-9 will be based at the school beginning with next academic year and back with the MCSO when school is out of session.

Schanaman has been a MCSO deputy for more than 10 years, nine of them as a school resource officer.

"For those nine years working with the schools, I have recognized the need for additional tools to help keep drugs out of our schools," Schanaman wrote in a letter. "An opportunity has arisen to add another tool in this fight, and I am reaching out to the community to help achieve the sponsorship of this K-9 program."

MCSO now has five personnel on the K-9 Unit. Four members are based out of Kingman, while one works out of Lake Havasu City.

Miscellaneous

Other actions approved by the board:

• A change in policy for graduation requirements, increasing math from two credits to three, and social studies from two-and-a-half credits to three to align with the coming state requirements.

• The KUSD policy manual.

• Seeking the remaining $49.9 million in bonds to cover construction expenses on bond-related projects.

• Setting Dec. 16 as the groundbreaking for the new White Cliffs Middle School at the intersection of Airway Avenue and Prospector Street.

• Noting donations, including $6,000 from the Chrysler Foundation for the Kingman High Robotics program, and $587.11 from Kingman Regional Medical Center for classroom resources at La Senita Elementary.