Arizona School Boards Association

Friday, December 11, 2015

The advantage of AdvancedED

Dr. Connie Harris and a panel of Superintendents discussed the benefits of attaining the AdvancED Accreditation. The accreditation serves as a road map for continuous improvement as well as focuses on the organizational mindset to create a culture of continuous improvement. One of the beliefs of AdvacED is all institutions, whether public, private, charter, early learning or parochial- year long, traditional or online, should strive to improve continually the instruction, resources and services they provide to the students of their community. To find out more about the program visit

Don't draw conclusions: be purposeful with your arts program

Washington Elementary District undertook a culture shift to reincorporate the arts into the district systemically. Support and partnerships with community arts organizations was critical to its success, according to Tee Lambert, governing board president.

Results of a 2010 study showed 87 percent of Arizona students had access to at least one arts course a week. The study showed low performing schools provided less arts education than high performing schools.

To address this gap, Strengthening Schools through Arts Partnerships called for proposals resulted in four funded partnerships: 
  • Avondale Middle School and City of Goodyear Arts and Cultural Commission
  • Alhambra High School and the Rag Collection
  • Children First Academy and Free Arts
  • Morgan Maxwell School and Odaiko Sonora

The projects delivered measurable results that positively impacted student achievement and engagement.

This interactive session asked participants to assess their arts programming and look at ways to creatively fund it. One thought is to use Title I funds. Visit to learn more about this novel concept.

MECESA offers STEM strategy

The STEM Identity program developed by the Maricopa County Education Service Agency has two goals.
  • increase students' achievement and engagement by redesigning course content to develop STEM identity, and
  • increase teachers' effectiveness and competence in implementing redesigned course content and instructional practices.

AIA realignment seeks balance

The AIA's realignment means more equal numbers in six conferences, but David Hinds, assistant executive director says the difference in competition will be addressed through scheduling with schools able to play up or down between conferences in non- region games. This allows school districts with teams in different conferences can still play each other. Schedules for football will be decided Jan. 12.

Keynote Speaker, Arizona: land of anomalies and tamales

Arizona’s official state historian Marshall Trimble has also been called the “Will Rogers of Arizona.”  He lived up to that billing by playing his guitar and singing tales about our state.  “I use statistics like a drunk uses a lamp pole… more for support than illumination!”  Marshall shared several interesting statistics and stories of Arizona history along with his philosophy: We are surrounded by beautiful land; We produce good people; and Community life is centered around our schools.

Legislative session is coming: tag, you're it

Geoff Esposito gives members a tutorial on legislative process and how to participate.

Open meeting law: it may not be entertaining, but it is relevant

Chris Thomas of ASBA tells audience members " I can't guarantee you entertainment, but I can provide you relevance" as he provides overview of open meeting law.