The Equity Challenge Begins
A message by ASBA President, Julie Bacon
I am extraordinarily excited for governing boards throughout Arizona to begin working on the President’s Equity Challenge. Addressing the needs of all students is critical to the success of our communities, state, and nation. As you know, public district schools are the only schools in Arizona that educate every student who walks through the door, regardless of skin color, learning abilities, socioeconomic status, identity, or any other diverse quality. And because of that, we need to be hyper-focused on giving all students the tools they need to be successful.
On January 11, my district, the Paradise Valley Unified School District, held our 2nd Annual Equity Symposium. All of our administrators gathered for a full day devoted to issues of equity. Speakers included Dr. David Garcia and Dr. Carl Hermanns of the Arizona State University, but the most powerful moment of the day came in the closing session when students from Paradise Valley and North Canyon High Schools spoke with poise and emotion about their experiences in school.
They talked about positive episodes and people, certainly, but they also described biases evident in the community, and it was indeed a sobering moment for us to acknowledge the challenges still to be conquered in our schools. PV Schools is committed to training staff in cultural competence and developing equity plans at each of our school sites. But, for as much work as we have done, much remains to be accomplished.
To see how you and your district can start your equity journey, please visit the President’s Equity Challenge page on the ASBA website.
You will find the tools you need to address equity in your school district and a variety of social media graphics to let the world know you are doing this important work. And be sure to register for ASBA’s Equity Event, which will be held April 5-7 at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel & Spa. You won’t regret it—I promise! Above all, I thank you for your time and commitment to all the students of Arizona—let’s keep working hard to give them the resources they need to succeed and lead!
ASBA board of directors discuss goals, vision at New Board Retreat
A message by ASBA President-Elect, Linda Lyon
Earlier this month, the ASBA Board of Directors started out the new year with the annual board retreat, which was a huge success.
Over the three-day retreat, the Executive Committee met to discuss several items of business including the board self-evaluation results. The committee gleaned some valuable information from it and have an actionable plan to respond to the feedback. The committee also had a roundtable discussion with Carol Burris, Executive Director of the Network for Public Education (Diane Ravitch’s organization) to discuss the impact of charter schools in Arizona.
The full Board of Directors began working on the strategic plan with facilitation services of consultant Paul Meyer. During the process, the Board of Directors learned what makes a successful 21st century association, specific roles and responsibilities in strategic planning as well as conducted an environmental scan, and created a lengthy list of future assumptions that might affect the organization.
The committee also affirmed the mission and vision approved last year, developed ASBA’s longer-term vision and envisioned future as well as discussed, the organization’s priority goals and objective in support of the envisioned future and brainstormed possible strategies. The group was also entertained by the Shadow Mountain High School boys and girls a capella groups from the Paradise Valley School District.
By the end of the retreat, the group affirmed the strategic plan and discussed what implications that plan might have to ASBA’s finances, staffing, governance, partnerships, and discussed next steps. The Board of Directors left the retreat excited about ASBA’s progress and ready for a great new year!
Photos from the Board Retreat
Arizona Public Schools are the Public’s Choice
Celebrate National School Choice Week Jan. 22-28
ASBA has created a toolkit of resources to help school districts celebrate parents choosing local public schools as their educational choice during this year’s National Choice Week, Jan. 22-28, 2017. Download samples and templates to help celebrate your local public schools, azsba.org/national-choice-week.
When it comes to education, parents in Arizona have more choices than parents in almost any other state. More than eight out of ten families in Arizona continue to choose local public schools. School districts around the state are encouraged to utilize these resources to thank their parent communities and communicate all the great programs, achievements and opportunities local public schools provide.
Superintendent Searches Continue
Superintendent, Crane Elementary School District
Superintendent, Tanque Verde Unified School District
Superintendent, Crane Elementary School District
Executive Director, Flagstaff Arts & Leadership Academy
Please apply here, azsba.org/jobs/executive-search
School Extracurricular Tax Credits – Still Time to Donate and Receive Credit on 2016 Tax Return
Did you know that Arizona taxpayers have until April 15, 2017 to donate (up to $200 for a single tax filer and $400 for a married couple) to your school for extracurricular activities, and still receive credit on their 2016 tax return?