Archive | December, 2012

PUSD’s Denton Santarelli receives Arizona Superintendent of the Year award

18 Dec

Congratulations to Denton Santarelli, the staff of Peoria Unified School District, and the students who worked hard to make this achievement!

PUSD’s Denton Santarelli receives Arizona Superintendent of the Year award

Peoria Unified School District Superintendent Denton Santarelli has been named All Arizona Superintendent of the Year for large districts by the Arizona School Administrators (ASA) Association.

The award was presented at the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) Conference 11:30 a.m. Dec. 13 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

“With more than 31 years in public education, you will find no greater champion for students, parents or staff than Dr. Santarelli,” said Peoria Unified Governing Board President Hal Borhauer. “The district’s more than 36,000 students and nearly 4,000 employees are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Santarelli’s leadership and vision in shaping the future of education in the Northwest Valley. We are honored that his leadership and vision have been recognized by other professionals in Arizona.”

To further propel student preparedness for college and careers, Santarelli is spearheading the district’s efforts on the United States Department of Education’s Race to the Top District Competition, of which Peoria Unified was recently named a finalist. Under his leadership, Peoria Unified has been labeled an “A” District by the Arizona Department of Education, has a 93 percent high school graduation rate and was the first district in the state to receive international AdvancED Accreditation.

Arizona School Administrators Inc. is a non-profit corporation organized to promote the best interests of education in the state of Arizona. ASA works to advance the roles of administrative leaders by providing training and support services for its membership. The organization attracts talented individuals to the field and disseminates research related to current education issues. Its membership serves as a voice in the legislature, in their communities, and in other organizations promoting educational improvements that benefit students and schools.

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Balsz School District blazes trail for success story of more class time

10 Dec

Balsz School District blazes trail for success story of more class time

Posted: Dec 03, 2012 4:40 PMUpdated: Dec 08, 2012 4:40 PM

PHOENIX -Do kids do better in school if they spend more time in class? School officials in five states think so. They’re following the lead of a school district in Phoenix that’s already doing it — and it’s paying off.Schools in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee are adding 300 hours of time to the school year.

The Balsz Elementary School District in Phoenix extended its school year four years ago. It’s now a model for the rest of the country.

This is Beth Lewis’ 6th grade class at Griffith Elementary School, located near 44th Street and McDowell in Phoenix.

They’re working on math.

“We are doing percents, how to figure out percents from numbers that don’t equal one hundred,” says student Colynn Harvey.

Most students go to school 180 days a year. These students go 200 days. 20 more days — that’s four full school weeks.

“I like it because we have more days to learn,” says student Ben Denton.

“Do you ever feel like you aren’t getting enough of a vacation?” we asked.

“No!”

Teachers say more school pays off.

“I remember being young and getting back into school and there were so many cobwebs in my head,” says teacher Beth Lewis. “I think with the 6-week summer there is not a lot of time to forget.”

Four years ago Balsz School District was an under performing school district, but then came the changes and the expanded calendar, and since then the situation has improved dramatically. The schools district-wide got a B grade, and Griffith Elementary got an A.

Balsz has blazed a trail for other school districts.

“We are very proud of having made that bold move for our community which has embraced this opportunity for extra learning,” says Chris Canelake, Balsz School District.

Teachers in the district are paid a little more to work the extra days.

They like the program. They say it keeps kids busy and they learn better and more consistently than they do in summer school.

Healthcare Planning Done Right!

4 Dec

In today’s healthcare market, with so many changes and the impacts of National Healthcare Reform unclear, it is important for every organization to have proper healthcare planning.  Unfortunately, for most employers, even larger ones, healthcare is something looked at only during renewal time.  Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG) in conjunction with their consultant, Aon/Hewitt, provide annual healthcare planning sessions with the leaders of all their employer organizations.  These include the top executives and the human resource officials so that they can be informed at all times of where healthcare is going, and how to plan for it.  VSMG plans and implements for change on a regular basis for its members, but does not view that as enough.  ”We need to make sure all our members stay informed of our efforts, understand the reason for staying ahead of the curve, and approve of the direction we are leading,” said Tom Boone, Chairman and CEO of VSMG.

Tom Boone, VSMG

Tom Boone, VSMG

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Attached here is one such document provided to their members to keep them informed of the ongoing processes at VSMG:

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