"But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by...any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward [district], it is a belief against all experience." --Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feb. 22, 2011 Board Meeting

Work Session

Bond Survey
The schedule for the Bond Survey and meetings on the bond was discussed.  Please see the notes from the Feb. 8 board meeting for the schedule.  Please be aware that the Public Input Meetings AND the PTA/SCC Cluster Meetings are open to the public.  The information presented will be the same, so choose whichever one works the best. The results from the bond survey will be available on April 18 and will be presented to the board at the April 19 board meeting. 

Claims and Account Information
Our Business Officer, Rob Smith, spent the rest of the work session reviewing the account codes used on the claims report, discussing the budget, and how the monthly claims and budget reports work.  I found this MOST helpful.

Account Codes:
The Account codes are made up of five parts, separated by periods.  Most of the account codes are structured according to the State Office of Education's recommendations, in conjunction with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The goal of these account codes is to allow consistent, measurable reporting.  The account code structure is as follows.

Function--4 digits
Object--4 digits
Program--4 digits
Fund--2 digits
Location--3 digits

For example, the 1000 function deals with instruction.  So, a report, listing all account items with with function yields a total cost of instruction.  The object code of 0100-0199 is for salary.  So, to see all instructional salaries, you would look for 1000.0100... - 1000.0199... items.  To see instructional salaries for special ed (program code 1200-1299), it would be 1000.0100.1200... - 1000.0199.1299.... and so forth.  To see a list of the account code definitions, please go here.

ClaimsThe claims are an accounting of expenses, after the fact.  They are the verification of the budget process set in June.  (See below.)  Some items to look for in reviewing the claims are as follows.

1. Large or infrequent claims: Last board meeting, I had inquired about a large payment to AF Hospital.  The fund code associated with that transaction was 60 which is for Workman's Compensation.  ASD self-insures for Workman's Comp.  So, whenever there is a claim, the district pays the provider from the 60 fund.

2.  US Bank: ASD uses purchase cards for purchasing in order to simplify the process.  Last month, I noticed a very large sum associated with a single individual.  This individual is the district's main purchasing person.

3.8100.007 accounts are school reimbursement accounts.  Each school has its own budget.  However, to facilitate transactions, many items are paid for through the district, and then reimbursed by the school.

Every expenditure/receipt must be reviewed and approved by the individual's immediate supervisor.  As amounts of expenses go up, there is a hierarchy of who must approve those expenses. 

Monthly Budget Report
The budget report tracks revenue and expenses from the budget and provides any adjustments (i.e. a new grant, reductions in state revenue) to the budget.  If you look at the percentage spent, it is helpful to see how close the budget is.   

Budget Process
Every year, the board creates a budget (by June 22) for the coming fiscal year which starts on July 1.  If you think of the idea of using envelopes for each budget item, the board decides how much money will go in each envelope (budget area).  A final budget for the current year (ending June 30), is also adopted by June 22.  The board may, as needed, adjust the budget, during the year by official board action.

By law, the claims and the budget report are provided to the board, monthly, for on-going verification of the budget process.

Board Meeting

Students and teachers of Fox Hollow Elementary were recognized, and reports from the PTA, SCC, and the principal were given.  I appreciated the PTA president saying they were utilizing email and facebook to communicate with parents.

There were no community comments, so we went to the board committee reports.  There has been some clarification on this issue.

Policy Committee
The policy committee is reviewing policies and making them brief and to the point.  There are also associated procedures that will contain more detail.  There is a new policy on internet usage.

Technology Committee
The district is close to capacity on its wireless network structure.  Interestingly, the measurements are taken right after Christmas, when everyone comes back with their new gadgets.  It is projected that in a year, the network will be maxed out.  There are two issues with wireless at the schools and district office.  First, there is the physical bandwidth component.  At some point, there is a limit on how many devices can be connected to the wireless network.  Also, there is a financial component for every device accessing the internet.  (It comes to approximately $70/year.)  Since students, parents, teachers, and other visitors may access the internet via the district's network at each of our schools there is a discussion about how to handle both of these components.

Legislative Committee
There are more education bills before the legislature this year than ever before.

PR Committee--BYU-PSP Leadership Associates Meeting
The PR Committee attended the BYU-PSP Leadership Associates Meeting in St. George in January.  Since the partnership has disassociated itself from the National Network for Education Renewal (NNER), the meeting was conducted to discuss the mission and values of the partnership, as a separate entity from NNER.  There was quite a bit of discussion and is an on-going process.  However, it was agreed that the values were good values and all were contained in the Utah Constitution.

My comment: I was pleased with the break from the NNER.  I thought the partnership group could and should establish their direction, using our shared goals and values without looking to an outside group for our inspiration.

PR Committee
ASD is getting a new website.  It is more streamlined and user-friendly.  I am pleased to be on this committee to review this process.  We are hopeful the new website will be launched by the beginning of April.

North Utah County Medical Coalition
I represent the board on this medical coalition.  It is a collection of representatives from the district, and several health-related agencies in the county (e.g. Wasatch Mental Health, Nurses' Association, Utah County Health Department, BYU Comprehensive Clinic).  We had a presentation from Kids on the Move about their Early Intervention (home visits, library resources) and Early Head Start (weekly in-home visits dealing with health habits, etc) programs.  There is also a Day Care program, specializing in irregular hours.  Finally, we heard from the director of the "Bridges" autistic program.  There are many people who are unable to get into the Giant Steps program for autism and "Bridges" is a good alternative.  The final part of the coalition meeting is for those to discuss what needs and/or resources they have, and see if someone else may be able to help or use those resources.

Community Comments Format
The board has adopted a new format for community comments, as follows.
1. Total time limit of 30 minutes, per meeting.
2. Sign up before the meeting.
3. Time limited to 3 minutes/person.
4. No sharing of the 3 minute period.
5. Follow-up with a district staff member.
6. If a group attends, a representative from that group will be given 5 minutes.
7. We may ask for the group to raise their hands to get to know how many share that issue.
8. If a large group needs more time, we may arrange a time for them to meeting with district officials and a few board members.

Board Member Resignation
Board Member, Guy Fugal, has tendered his resignation, effective March 9, 2011.  He and his wife will be serving a mission for the LDS Church in London.  I am grateful for the association I have had with Guy, his welcoming attitude, and helpful advice.

The board has 30 days from the date of resignation to fill the position.
Feb. 25 - Mar. 18: Posting of the board position.
Mar. 8: The board will agree on the interview questions.
Mar. 22: The board will review the candidates.
Mar. 29: The board will interview the candidates in an open board meeting.
Mar. 30: A special board meeting will be held to announce the appointment.


  1. Thank you, thank you, PSP, for disassociating from the NNER. I agree, the PSP (and ASD) can and should have its own values, independent of outside organizations like the NNER.

  2. If I understand correctly, the board will choose the new board member from a list of self-nominated candidates. If a candidate says that he/she is completely opposed to Investigations and is ready to make changes in the district, are there enough like-minded board members that this person would be appointed? Or are there enough current board members interested in maintaining the status quo that they will only appointment a new board member who feels the same way?