Thu, July 18

Burns hired to lead county's Accommodation School District

Kellie Burns

Kellie Burns

YAVAPAI COUNTY - Not all high school students are able to commit to - or are able to get to school to take the classes they need to graduate.

And not all of those students consider it a suitable option to take a General Education Development test - also known as GED.

Today, some students need to work, as well as seek an education, while others become pregnant and need more flexible hours so they can take care of their children.

Hence, the Accommodation School District, which offers an education that acclimatizes based on the needs of its students.

Recently, Kellie Burns was named District Executive Officer of Yavapai Accommodation School District #99. Burns, who had been serving as the district's interim district executive officer since February 2016, has been with District #99 for the past two years.

Burns began her work at District #99 as dean of students. According to Burns, accommodation schools play a "vital role in allowing students who may not succeed in a traditional schools to thrive."

Alternative school by nature

Said Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter, the Accommodation School District system is analogous to the program at South Verde High School, a magnet school within the Camp Verde Unified School District.

"It's similar in that it is an alternative school by nature," said Carter, who also serves as District #99's President. "Not a traditional campus. But it's funded like any other school district. Though there is no property assessment. All funds come out solely from the general fund."

Burns says her goal as district executive officer is "to continue helping lead students down the path of success by implementing new ideas with the help of a great team of staff, students and parents."

Coursework in Yavapai Accommodation School District #99 meets "state standards, across the board," according to Carter, with a blended learning program that allows students to take some classes on campus, but other courses can be attended via computer.

There are close to 100 students in the Yavapai Accommodation School District #99, with campuses in Prescott and Prescott Valley, though approximately 20 percent of the students live outside the Prescott area. According to Burns, the district's teachers have "a deep passion for students and their success."

Said Burns, "together we work hard to help them reach their goals of obtaining a high school diploma and furthering their education by a unique, individualized program based on the needs of each student."

Formalizing the choice

On May 10, the district's governing board will finalize Burns' position at its regular meeting. According to Carter, Burns was one of three "very well-qualified" finalists for the job.

Before joining the staff at Yavapai Accommodation School District #99, Burns spent nine years in Seligman where she taught "a variety of grades and subjects," including a combination fourth- and fifth-grade class, fourth grade class and middle school mathematics.

Burns also serves as small school representative on the Forest Fee Management Association (FFMA) Board of Directors.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42 and on Facebook at @CampVerdeBugle