Superintendent remains full-time at Beaver Creek
School board tables discussions to cut Karin Ward’s hours
RIMROCK – For the past month, Beaver Creek School District Superintendent Karin Ward has considered ways to scrimp and save money for what she says will be a tight budget for fiscal year 2017-2018.
Probably her most revolutionary idea was asking the district’s governing board in June to let her step back into part-time status, though she made it clear her availability would not change all that much.
“I’m still available 24/7,” she told her board on June 12.
Well Ward may be available around the clock in 2017-2018. But Monday, the governing board said no – at least not now – to Ward’s recommendation, as it collectively tabled discussions to cut Ward’s hours as a way of allocating money toward instruction.
“We had a lot of good conversation,” said Jackie Harshman, board president at Beaver Creek School District, following Monday’s meeting. “It’s still on the table. Karin’s still here full time. Nothing’s changed, nothing’s different.”
In executive session, both Ward and her district’s governing board spent close to an hour Monday leading up to the district’s official public hearing and subsequent approval of the fiscal year 2017-2018 budget, a budget that was approved 5-to-0 at about $2.532 million.
We’ll do what we need to do in a current-year funding formula to take care of the needs of the district,” Ward said.
Before its unanimous vote, Ward told the governing board that the fiscal year 2017-2018 budget is about 8 percent less than last year’s budget.
“By the way, this is a lot of work,” Ward said, somewhat in jest.
Ward also said that by the end of the week, a copy of the approved fiscal year 2017-2018 budget would be available on line at the Arizona Department of Education website at: www.ade.az.gov/schoolfinance/Forms/Budgets/ProposedBudget/EntitySelection.aspx.
Roadwork Ahead: Minds at Work
For the new school year, the district’s “growth mindset” is Roadwork Ahead: Minds at Work. Implemented with an eye toward the future, Principal Katrina Sacco told the board that the Beaver Creek School staff “know[s] we can do things well.”
“And we know that we will do things well,” Sacco said.
Part education, part empowerment, Roadwork Ahead: Minds at Work means that giving teachers, administrators, office people “the tools to move ahead,” Ward said.
“It’s about every piece of the organization,” Ward said.
Part of the roadwork, so to speak, is the district’s AZMerit scores. Said Sacco, “there’s room for growth” especially when it comes to the district’s mathematics scores.
Though students’ collective math scores decreased by one point, they have improved overall since AZMerit replaced AIMS three years ago.
Reading scores have increased in the past three years, Sacco also told the board.
“Reading went up two percent, and has gone up I think 10 percent in three years,” Sacco said. “So I’m celebrating that.”
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42