Yuma board ac­cepts $4.1M from STEDY


The Yuma Union gov­ern­ing board ac­cepted $4.1 mil­lion in funds from Yuma County’s joint tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion dis­trict at its meet­ing Wed­nes­day evening.

The monies pay for ca­reer and tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion of­fered and pro­vided by Yuma County’s JTED, the South­west Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Dis­trict of Yuma. The two dis­tricts that com­prise STEDY are Yuma and An­te­lope.

Yuma Union plans to hire six more full-time equivalent in­struc­tors, said YUHSD Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Di­rec­tor Eric Pat­ten. The in­struc­tors will teach cos­me­tol­ogy at Kofa and Vista high schools, nurs­ing at San Luis, mu­sic and au­dio pro­duc­tion at Kofa; men­tal and so­cial health at Vista and San Luis; and en­gi­neer­ing at Ciobla, which will feed into a new drone pro­gram.

The full amount that the dis­trict was al­lo­cated is $4,111,412.02. Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion in­cluded with the agenda item, the dis­trict had a car­ry­for­ward bal­ance from fis­cal year 2018 (which ends June 30) of about $2.8 mil­lion.

Pat­ten said the dis­trict ex­pects stu­dents to con­tinue to seek out CTE pro­grams. CTE pro­grams have grown steadily since the in­cep­tion of STEDY in 2015.

“We had more than 7,000 stu­dents en­rolled in CTE this year and ex­pect that num­ber to con­tinue in­creas­ing as we con­tinue to fine-tune ca­reer in­ter­ests of our stu­dents,” he said.

STEDY it­self is ex­pect­ing an in­crease in en­roll­ment. Its pro­posed bud­get, filed Tues­day with the Ari­zona De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, es­ti­mates its av­er­age daily mem­ber­ship to top 1,300 stu­dents.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Gina Thomp­son re­ported that the dis­trict has been named a co-au­thor in a re­port in­cluded in the Jour­nal of Ap­plied Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice Ser­vices. It is the first time in re­cent mem­ory that the dis­trict has been pub­lished in such a large-scale jour­nal.

Thomp­son noted that the ar­ti­cle about the case study has been an on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion and part­ner­ship with the Yuma County Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice Ser­vices Di­vi­sion

Thomp­son said that the pro­gram is de­signed to keep stu­dents mov­ing for­ward “re­gard­less of what might be in their case be­ing worked up.”

“That one er­ror or se­ries of er­rors or just a bad spot in life — we don’t want that to keep our stu-

dents from con­tin­u­ing their aca­demic in­volve­ment,” she told the board. “We are very com­mit­ted at ev­ery sin­gle cam­pus that if a stu­dent does some­thing wrong be­hav­iorally that we want them to know that they still have hope. That school is the an­swer to a bet­ter life­style and a bet­ter liveli­hood and bet­ter choices and we’re not toss­ing them away.”

The ar­ti­cle, “High School As­sign­ment Com­ple­tion: A Case Study of a Col­lab­o­ra­tive In­ter­ven­tion in De­ten­tion,” de­tails the col­lab­o­ra­tive in­ter­ven­tion be­tween the high school dis­trict and the Yuma County Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice Ser­vices Di­vi­sion. The find­ings of the case study sug­gests that in­tera­gency col­lab­o­ra­tion con­trib­uted to youth aca­demic suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to a syn­op­sis of the ar­ti­cle.

Board mem­ber David Lara asked Thomp­son to re­cap a meet­ing at the Somer­ton City Coun­cil con­cern­ing the fu­ture high school in that city. The school dis­trict has been try­ing to pro­cure pes­ti­cide covenants from prop­erty own­ers in the lots within a half-mile ra­dius of the pro­posed site, which is on the west side of Somer­ton. The City and the high school dis­trict will be work­ing to­gether to find a so­lu­tion, if pos­si­ble, to procur­ing the fi­nal covenant, Thomp­son said. A meet­ing is planned next week with the new city man­ager.

In other news, the board also approved the sale of a se­ries of bonds for the dis­trict. Julie Bice of Wed­bush Se­cu­ri­ties and at­tor­ney Jim Giel of Gust Rosen­feld were on hand to an­swer ques­tions about the process.

Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Dianne Cordery noted that this is the sec­ond round of bond sales in a planned se­ries that was approved by vot­ers in 2015. The pro­ceeds from the sec­ond sale will fin­ish up im­prove­ment and con­struc­tion projects, while the third bond sale will be used for the new high school in Somer­ton.

Dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tion also sought ap­proval for a new grant writer po­si­tion.

“I keep hear­ing that there are all these dol­lars out there for grants money and dif­fer­ent things, es­pe­cially in the area of school safety,” Thomp­son said, not­ing that it is a “huge com­mit­ment to re­search funds and write for them and then bring those dol­lars to the dis­trict.”

The po­si­tion was approved on a 3 to 0 vote.

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