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9:55 PM Wed, Jan. 23rd

PUSD board OKs funding athletic trainer, renews pact with Yavapai Symphony

The Prescott Unified School District Governing Board on Aug. 7 unanimously agreed to approve funding for an athletic trainer position, a plan for gifted education, and renewed the district's agreement with the Yavapai Symphony Association.

Prescott High School has for the past few years contracted with local physical therapists to act as athletic trainers, but the trainers often left within the school year because of what they said was insufficient pay. This year, no one responded to the same proposal, said Joe Howard, assistant superintendent.

The district recommended approving a full-time athletic trainer/instructor position at PHS to be paid on the current certified teacher salary schedule with additional stipends for each of the three athletic seasons to cover added hours, days and travel, Howard said.

Athletic auxiliary funds previously dedicated to athletic trainer services would pay for the position, with maintenance and operations money already allocated to PHS covering the remaining costs, Howard said.

When other schools play games at Prescott High School, PHS provides the athletic trainer for those students as well as PHS students, Board President Dee Navarro said.

"Right now, I'm having to scramble for some of our first athletic events," said Mark Goligoski, dean of students and athletic director of PHS. "Some folks are willing to step up and volunteer their time, but that's a lot to ask."

Thad Rummage, a local physical therapist and certified athletic trainer assisting with impact testing at Prescott High, cautioned the board against loading the athletic trainer with many classes and establishing them as a full-time teacher.

"I don't think people truly understand how many hours of athletic events are happening, and if you have a certified athletic trainer how many hours they'll be there until every practice, event and tournament is over," Rummage said. "They're responsible for that, and over 60 percent of our injuries occur during practices."

Students in the athletic sports medicine program miss almost three classes a day with travel back and forth to Prescott Valley for that program, Goligoski said.

"If we can bring this on-site at Prescott High School, we can get more kids recruited, and keep it at two to three classes a day, right in line with what's practical," Goligoski said.

In other business, the board:

• Asked Superintendent Dave Smucker to inquire into the fair market value of the Dexter Family Resource Center, since Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy, which currently leases the front building, has asked to also lease the back building for the 2013-14 school year.

• Approved the plan for education of gifted students to be submitted to the Arizona Department of Education.

• Approved the annual agreement between the district and the Yavapai Symphony Association that enhances students' classical music appreciation through exposure to classical music concerts. "We support this. It takes place in classrooms, culminating in the Yavapai Symphony concert at Tim's Toyota Center, and it's very successful," Smucker said.

• Approved emergency procurement of $4,900 to pay two companies for their work cleaning up and repairing damage after water leaked into the Fine Arts Building at Prescott High School from a July 22 rainstorm.

• Approved a list of students for early entrance to kindergarten.

• Approved an equipment license agreement between PUSD and Yavapai County Educational Technology Consortium.

• Appointed Dr. Kristen Rex, superintendent of the Seligman Unified School District, and Dr. Lloyd Gillum, a retired hearing officer from Phoenix, as hearing officers for student long-term suspension hearings for 2012-13.