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Sat, Feb. 23
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Column: Your input is crucial to PUSD

I wanted to take a moment to thank the citizens of Prescott for the incredible support of the Prescott Unified School District (PUSD). As you all know, the bond and override election has taken up much energy, air time and ink in the Prescott area over the last few months. We are grateful for the interest of our community, and I would like to thank the many people who have asked excellent questions throughout the process. Our goal is to be transparent, and if we do not have answers, it is our job to get answers. We have done our very best to get the facts out in every way possible.

 A few reminders: 1) If you have not already done so, please get your ballot in. It is too late for mail. You will need to drop your ballot at the ballot box on the west side of the Fair Street County building at 1015 Fair Street; 2) If the bond and/or override pass on Tuesday, the district will voluntarily create an oversight committee to be an additional layer of transparency and input, and to ensure that the dollars are spent as promised. If you are interested, please contact us after the election, and; 3) As we move forward, I would like to remind everyone that PUSD offers a Budget 101 course every semester, and the next one will be in the spring. Keep an eye on our website for details. In addition, the presenter, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Dickerson, offers to present to groups anytime they would like to learn more about our budget, as he recently did at Las Fuentes.  

PUSD schools are community schools. No matter the outcome of this election, Prescott Unified School District will continue to need the input and support of this community. I am quite excited for our next phase of community engagement. Believe me, it will be much more rewarding than having to ask for money to support our infrastructure. We will be visiting community clubs and groups, and creating forums and surveys in the near future to gain input for updating our goals and strategic plan. As I said, PUSD schools are community schools and your input is crucial as we look into what we all want for our students and community in the future. This will include concepts as concrete as what we want to happen to our buildings, to a philosophical snapshot of what our community would like our successful graduates to look like.  

I look forward to the continued conversation regarding these community schools.

Joseph W. Howard is superintendent of the Prescott Unified School District.

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