Override, consolidation/unification on Cottonwood-Oak Creek board agenda
COTTONWOOD – Though Tuesday’s override election is one of the first items on the Nov. 7 agenda, there’s really not much that the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District governing board – nor Superintendent Steve King – can say about it.
Polls close at 7 p.m. as voters consider extending the 10-percent maintenance and operations override for both the Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts.
Tuesday’s meeting of the COCSD board begins at 5:30 p.m. By the time agenda item 3.01 rolls around, the polls will still be open.
“It’s unique times in public education,” King said. “We’re not just thinking outside the box, but get rid of the box.”
That both Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts are seeking extended support of their long-time maintenance and operations overrides at the same is a good thing, according to David Snyder, director of business services for Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.
“You’re really serving the same group of students,” Snyder said. “The message is easier understood when it’s brought at the same time.”
With talk for much of the year not only on the override but also the possible consolidation and unification of the two districts, King said it’s only natural that people connect the two as interlocking.
Also Tuesday, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek school board will decide which two district staffers will become part of the fact-finding committee connected with the possible consolidation and unification of Mingus Union and Cottonwood-Oak Creek school districts.
Tuesday in a joint meeting, the two boards agreed to the structure of a committee that would include both board presidents, both board vice presidents, two staffers from each district, and between three and four community members at large.
On Nov. 8, Cottonwood-Oak Creek Board President Jason Finger and Vice President Joanne Cook will meet with Mingus Union Board President Anita Glazar and Vice President Jim Ledbetter to exchange names of the district’s respective staffers to join the committee. The board presidents and vice presidents will also sift through a list of community members and select between three and four to also join the committee.
At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District’s governing board will meet at the District Office, located at 1 N. Willard St. in Cottonwood.
Tuesday, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District’s governing board will go into executive session for an evaluation of its superintendent.
The policy at COCSD is that any review on a first-year superintendent is done not on paper but verbally, says David Snyder, the district’s director of business services.
When asked about his accomplishments since taking over for longtime superintendent Barb U’Ren on July 1, C-OC Superintendent Steve King reflected on how his staff will “come together and discuss problems, and come up with solutions.”
Not a fan of school grades, King stopped short – far short – of giving himself a letter grade so far this year. But King says the “previous administration was set up to create a smooth transition to stay the course.”
“That’s what Cottonwood-Oak Creek has is stability,” says King, the district’s fourth superintendent in the past 35 years. “Stability matters. Top-to-bottom stability is huge. It’s tough to build traction without that.”
One challenge King says he hopes to work at during his first year is the district’s “efficiencies.”
“How do we maximize what we have?” King asks.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42