Date: October 24, 2017 Location: Room 207 Time: 4:07 – 6:20 pm
Certified Representatives: Eva Lange, Matthew Barany, Ashley Depugh, Michael Halfmann
Student Representatives: Austin Molina, Katelyn Kubly
Parent Representatives: Maria Saavedra, Sunshine Turner, Craig Courville (Late-did not vote), Nelson Brown
Classified Representatives: Lori Emrich
Community Representative:Darryl Day
Bobby Estrella (Arrived 4:20-no vote)
Patricia Hurley (Arrived 4:20-no vote)
Call to the Audience: (Both administrators were not present for call to audience)
Mr. Rocky Lane, Spanish teacher at Sahuaro since 1999 and SHS grad voiced concerns:
Students are disregarding the rules with no consequences. They go into the buildings during lunch, the students’ #1 complaint is how dirty the school is, excessive tardies during first period, dress code is non-existent, lack of respect to adults, wandering the hallways during class (pulling fire alarms), bathrooms in horrible condition. Mr. Lane does not want to point any fingers, this is a community problem. SHS should be a pleasant place to work and attend. Climate of the school is deteriorating. Reiterated that there seems to be a lack of consequences, or the kids’ perception is that it is nonsense and not a concern. What are successful schools doing? How can we put this into practice?
Mr. Dave Bertoglio, Spanish teacher with five children who graduated from SHS spoke next. Re-iterated that climate is deteriorating. Mr. Bertoglio worked at Santa Rita HS prior to coming to SHS – he is seeing the same signs prior to their decline happening at our school. Mr. Day asked them if this is the worst they have seen the school’s climate – both agreed – worst in twenty years. Mr. Lane added that he came to school Sunday after homecoming on Friday, and the school had not been cleaned from the festivities. Ms. DePugh added that Rincon (not UHS) has beautiful and clean grounds and the student girls’ bathroom has paper towels, in a dispenser, all stalls work, doors close…
1. Approve minutes from September 12 meeting – Mr. Brown motioned to approve, Mrs. Saavedra 2nd.
2. Vote to spend $2000 for stipends for Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Robinson for Speech and Debate as discussed last meeting. Eleven members present. Unanimous approval. Each will receive $1000 stipend.
3. Request for undesignated tax credit funds to be used for Robotics Team
a. Mr. Ben Davis and Mr. Andy Christian requesting support. Mr. Davis spoke: started Engineering class six years ago. Got a grant for Robotics team. Difficult to receive money from TUSD. He paid for one kit out of pocket in order to start Robotics team. Throughout January and February they have Saturday tournaments ($50 fee per tournament). He estimates that both have each contributed approximately 120 hours of their time outside of school hours. They respectfully requested a $1000 stipend each. This will be placed on the November 14 agenda for a vote. They also requested a donation to the club account so that they could have two robotic teams and the resources to fund them. It is $1500 per kit, $150 per team. The dollar amount will be discussed and voted upon at the next meeting.
4. Requests for undesignated tax credit funds for technical equipment
a. Ms. Emrich made several recommendations. Through AIA sports who use the gym, we can upgrade the sound system.
• $20,000 would be an “acoustic treatment” that would carpet walls
• The speakers can be replaced for about $11,700
• Amplifiers and speakers would be about $16,000
• A mounted projection screen can be purchased with undesignated tax credit funds through any sport that holds banquets in the cafeteria. This would be $950. It is a large endeavor to mount the screen for events (banquets, senior breakfast, PD, etc.) and it is beginning to tear and is sliding off the mounting.
These suggestions will be added to action items and discussed and voted upon. Anyone is welcome to email [email protected] with input
5. Mrs. Emrich – tax credit campaign update. $500 has been spent (not tax credit money) for a mailing to 25,000 residents. SHS is hoping to increase donations to the school.
6. Site Council Training information from 9/21/17 meeting
a. Making recommendations for school’s 301 plans – at the training Ms. Lange attended on September 23 presented by Dr. Trujillo, Richard Gastellum (Asst Superintendent) and Ms. Versluis (Student Finance Manager), incorrect information was given. SC does not make recommendations for 301 goals – it is mandated by the district.
b. Discussing allocation of discretionary budget and for school’s curriculum
• Mr. Estrella will present at the next meeting how much SHS has in discretionary budget (including Civics funds) and how it is currently being allocated. Lack of classroom resources has been a complaint by many teachers, especially in the Science department, where teachers who are old-timers have “hoarded” supplies and there are no funds for supplies for hands-on, interactive learning to take place. The English department does not have workable printers. Lack of classroom resources has been cited as one reason the state of Arizona ranks 51st for education. The laminated PBIS posters all teachers have received this year has come from discretionary funds. Site Council would like more transparency on the use of the funds and SC should be making recommendations for the allocation of said funds to support school curriculum.
7. Retaining teachers as AZ ranks 51st in education
a. Providing classroom resources and administrative support
• Arizona has dropped from 49th to 51st for education. AZcentral.com reports that AZ has the highest teacher turnover rate. Wallethub analyzed 21 key indicators. By 2024, we will have the least number of people entering the profession. Although nothing can be done about spending per student or teacher salaries. Two things can be changed and that will be the focus of SC: providing classroom resources and better administrative support. This includes the need for administration to respond to emails, use “teachable moments”, have interventions for racism be more geared toward rehabilitation and cultural awareness, be more culturally responsive themselves, and have real consequences for discipline issues.
8. Hate symbols and racial slurs not being cleaned up on campus
• Eva Lange, English teacher, The Paper Cut sponsor, and Site Council facilitator brought up an incident on campus that made her aware of all the racial slurs and hate speech on this campus that remains for long, indefinite periods of time. Three students reported seeing a student with a swastika on his backpack, vandalizing a lunch bench with swastikas. They took a photo of the bench and sent it to Ms. Lange. She emailed all 4 administrators and did not receive a response. After almost two weeks and four attempts, she tracked down the student and called security. The student denied the vandalism.
b. The main issues that arose from this:
• there was no “teachable intervention” for the student with the hate symbol.
• The students who adhered to PBIS by being “responsible, reliable, respectful” rather than take matters into their own hands were invalidated and felt disregarded by administration;
• No action was taken to pinpoint the bench with all the swastikas on it and remove the symbols
• Further discussion with many SHS students led to several revelations:
1. Tori Moore, Site Engineer told Ms. Lange that the elevator had a racial slur for 3 years. Upon her promotion this summer, she removed it. She stated that at first it bothered her seeing it every day, but then she became “immune”
2. The boys’ bathrooms have racial slurs and hate symbols. The upper 200 building had it in giant letter for months last semester until the summer; the PE, Fine Arts, and locker rooms currently all have demeaning slurs.
3. Katelyn Kubly stated that the girls bathrooms have “bullying” and demeaning messages, urging girls to kill themselves and telling them they are worthless
4. An article released prior to Fall Break showed a racial slur on the bottom 200 building locker
• Although Mr. Estrella stated that the expectation was that hateful graffiti should be cleaned immediately, clearly it is not. After brainstorming solutions, it was agreed that the admin team would discuss this further, come up with 2 specific ways someone can report this type of graffiti: one via social media with a photo, another to one specific place or person in the front office who can be held accountable for ensuring the removal; and a set time frame for the expected removal.
• Mrs. Hurley reported information that did not pertain to graffiti, but a complete lack of respect for our custodial staff, our health sanitation, and this school. Boys will purposefully urinate on the floors and defecate on the floors and smear it on the walls. This was disturbing to everyone and recommendations were made: close down some bathrooms and monitor the others more efficiently; start a campaign “See Something/Say Something”; explain this to the staff and keep logs on who leaves a room, for how long, and when; have a monitor outside trouble bathrooms and show ID to enter. This contributes to the deterioration of the school climate and culture. All agreed that as Sahuaro receives students from our feeder schools which are C-rated Gridley, D-rated Magee; and F-rated Secrist and Booth Fickett, these issues will only get worse.
Mr. Estrella discussed PBIS and MTSS catching students in need of academic intervention, and stated that the PBIS lessons given at the beginning of the year should include race relations in the future. He stated that PLC’s are closing the gap among teachers, and gave kudos to StuCo for homecoming, NHS for blood drive, Mrs. Smith for FAFSA, Girls Volleyball for Cougar Care Night, and more.
Mr. Estrella reported findings from a form used to monitor data on Level 1 and 2 infractions and teacher reportings. He stated that SHS referrals went down across mostly in every category from August to September. Mr. Brown pointed out that perhaps that data was skewed and that many teachers simply stopped filling out referrals as the school year progresses and teachers become over-worked and do not see results from their efforts.
Parent report – parents had much to contribute during discussion and did not have their own report. They want action in removing racial slurs and they would like administration to have clear expectations on how to address this growing issue. Mrs. Turner stated that after reading the articles in the newspaper and seeing the agenda, she asked her bi-racial son if he sees this, and he sent her a photo within minutes. Parents agree that the focus of Site Council should be on improving the climate and culture of Sahuaro.
Student Council report – none
Community report – Mr. Day would be happy to lend equipment from his business to support cleanup.
Announcements: The next meeting of the Sahuaro Site Council will be November 14, 2017. This is an Open Meeting. If anyone would like to provide their input, you may email [email protected] or speak for three minutes during the Call to the Audience.