Middle school site layout OK'd by board

The Kingman Unified School District Governing Board approved at their meeting on Tuesday the site layout for the new White Cliffs Middle School at the intersection of Airway Avenue and Prospector Street.<br>Courtesy

The Kingman Unified School District Governing Board approved at their meeting on Tuesday the site layout for the new White Cliffs Middle School at the intersection of Airway Avenue and Prospector Street.<br>Courtesy

KINGMAN - The Kingman Unified School District Governing Board approved the site layout for the new middle school.

In a unanimous vote at their Tuesday meeting, the board approved the layout on the northwest corner at the intersection of Airway Avenue and Prospector Street.

With the layout, the district has room to develop an elementary school on the 37-acre site. Also, there is room for athletic fields and a fire station in cooperation with the city.

A key component of the layout is the realignment of Airway Avenue, which will be the responsibility of the seller of the site, Director of Construction Oz Enderby said.

With unanticipated delays in completing the approximately $1.2 million purchase, the project is at least a month behind schedule, Enderby said. The district faces the completion of due diligence before the purchase is anticipated to be completed on Oct. 1, he said.

The school is scheduled to open by fall 2009. At that time, students from White Cliffs Middle School will be moved to the new facility.

District goals

Superintendent Roger Jacks presented to the board for discussion the 2008-2009 academic year goals unanimously adopted by the district staff and schools. With five main goals, Jacks broke down each one.

The first goal dealt with the district and school climate.

Part of the goal is to create a safe academic environment, ensuring student learning. The climate would have collaboration, shared decision-making and trust with all employees.

Utilizing customer service, the administration strives to meet the needs of students, parents and employees.

"We're working very hard to improve our parent communications," Jacks said.

The second goal dealt with student achievement by improving scores, meeting standards, developing a remediation plan and developing and implementing a school achievement plan.

The third goal is facility maintenance and improvements. To meet the goal, the district wants to complete all bond projects on time within budget, maintain clean and functional facilities, open the new middle school by Aug. 1 and identify sites for a new school.

The fourth goal deals with budget and finance. While they want to operate within the 2008-2009 approved budget, they want to develop and implement a plan to give employees salary increases next year. They also want to develop a five-year capital plan along with a plan to increase the district budget reserve to 4 percent.

The final goal is to expand recognition programs for students, parents and employees. Beyond the expansion of the use of assemblies, media releases and personal letters, the district plans to establish a program to recognize exceptional customer service.

Reports

In a quick presentation, Jacks played the public service announcement recorded by Kingman Police Chief Robert DeVries in support of the truancy reduction outreach.

Jacks addressed the current state of the transportation department.

"We've been working with the community, parents and our own staff to make adjustments to the routes," Jacks.

Part of the adjustments included the addition of three routes, while combining two routes for one bus.

"It could be two to three weeks to see definite savings," Jacks said.

An alteration whose savings have already been determined was the reduction of bus monitors from 16 to eight. Jacks estimated the action will save the district $100,000.

When in comes to the financial state of the district, Budget Director Wanda Hubbard updated the board on the bond. The district is looking at bond scheduling for the remaining $40 million.

"We want to make sure we're not holding up the construction process because we're out of money," Hubbard said.

For the 2009 fiscal year, the district expects $61.6 million in revenue.

"We are in a very tight budget situation with our declining budget and the state of the state," Hubbard said. "We all know we are facing a bumpy road."

Other business

The board approved the first reading of a change in policy for the admission of foreign exchange students. The change would limit one foreign exchange student for 450 local students.

The change would also require each foreign exchange student to pay $5,600 in tuition. While not required yet, they received tuition from three foreign exchange students this year.

The board also approved the first reading of a change in policy for student dress. In the change, the policy would incorporate the elementary schools into the language.

In an effort to improve students' scores and assess needs, the board approved Assessment Technology Inc. as the sole source provider for the Galileo kindergarten through 12th-grade online program. The program tests students' readiness for the Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards test, Hubbard said.

"We have found it be an invaluable tool to assess where the students are at," Hubbard said.

The board will hold a workshop at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss the bond projects, future siting and academic issues at the KUSD Office, 3033 MacDonald Ave. Call (928) 753-5678 or go to kusd.org for more information.