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Tue, July 16

Several topics on PUSD retreat agenda

PRESCOTT – Bond priorities, the school calendar and closed campuses top the list of items the Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) Governing Board will discuss Wednesday.

During an all-day retreat at which no voting will occur, the board plans to discuss which projects to pay for with the first $3.75 million in bond money, which should become available in March.

Schools prioritized their project lists and district administrators used those to compile a district-wide "A List," for a combined total of more than $6 million, PUSD Supt. Kevin Kapp said Monday.

Voters in November approved an $18.7 million capital bond for the district.

During its Dec. 21 meeting, the PUSD Governing Board approved a school calendar for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years. The calendar excludes all early release days (including Club Day at the high school) and all holidays that the state does not require.

It includes a one-week fall break, two-week winter break and one-week spring break.

At Wednesday's retreat, Kapp said Monday, he will talk with the board about administrative details that pertain to the calendar, such as specific holidays the state mandates, late starts to accommodate professional development and times for parent/teacher conferences.

Also, this past week, board member Dee Navarro said the board may discuss other aspects of the calendar, including the elimination of Club Day at Prescott High School.

Club Day, in which each of six class hours is five minutes shorter, providing a half-hour after school during which students participate in clubs, other organizations and tutoring, occurs once a week and has for more than 20 years.

Although closing the Prescott High School campus would not become a possibility until the district uses bond money to build a new cafeteria, Kapp said, Navarro placed a closed campus item on the agenda for discussion.

Kapp said schools employ different closed campus methods, including allowing only seniors off campus or giving out passes to qualifying students. He said administrators for a while have felt concerned for the safety of the large number of students who leave campus and drive around during that short period of time every day.

Director of PUSD's special education program, Nancy Martinez, will talk with the board Wednesday about dealing with special education programs, whose populations are growing exponentially compared with the rest of the district's population.

The board also will discuss:

• The benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing food service and transportation service.

• Expanded after school programs.

• Future school calendars.

• Benefit medical pay for employees who retire and then come back to work for PUSD through a third party.

• Arizona School Boards Association legislative proposals.

The board retreat begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. It will take place at the Mountain Club Clubhouse, 910 Clubhouse Drive West in Prescott (off White Spar Road). For more information call 445-5400.

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