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DVUSD to reconsider science textbooks

Posted 3/28/17

By Delarita Ford

Independent Newsmedia

Deer Valley Unified School Board is taking  a relook of its approval of science textbooks at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 28 at the District Office board …

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DVUSD to reconsider science textbooks


By Delarita Ford
Independent Newsmedia

Deer Valley Unified School Board is taking  a relook of its approval of science textbooks at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 28 at the District Office board room, 20402 N. 15th Ave.

Board members Darcy Tweedy  and Jenny Frank both requested the Feb. 28 item be brought back.

Ms. Tweedy said she was recently been notified that the Science Curriculum the Board adopted on will incur additional expense at the campus level and the Board was not made aware of this during the presentation. She said she felt she did not have adequate information to make an informed decision when she voted to adopt the curriculum.

Ms. Frank shared the same concern.

This come on the heels of the Board's approval last week of $587,000 for new math books over the objections of  Ms. Tweedy and Ms. Frank.

During the March 14 meeting, the Board voted 3-2 with Ms. Tweedy and Ms. Frank dissenting.

As board members began with summaries of their recent community and school involvements, Ms. Tweedy took the opportunity to express her disdain for the Board’s intent to proceed with the purchase.

She said she preferred the money was used for “intervention over textbooks,” more things benefiting the students’ wellbeing and emotional support.

“It seems disingenuous for the board to approve. I can’t support this,” Ms. Tweedy said, adding that curbing class size, supporting campuses and ensuring that students have enough emotional support are more important.

“We are going to have to vote on a balanced budget, but lacking everybody’s input,” she added.

Ms. Frank, board vice president, said she echoed the sentiments.

Their failed attempt at encouraging the board to delay the decision on the hardback textbook order included their comments their voices and public input were being overlooked.

“There were additional costs that were not revealed,” Ms. Tweedy said. “Adopting this and approving $800,000 is fiscally irresponsible.”

Ms. Frank agreed that the decision to spend an exorbitant amount on math textbooks was excessive especially because the district is looking at a $1 million deficit.

“I understand the current materials aren’t current,” Ms. Frank said. “It is incumbent upon us to take a look at the big picture and prioritize before we spend this money.”

The two board members wanted to know what legal recourse they had because they maintained their input was not initially included in the fund-designation decision.

Proposals were due from vendors on Oct. 21, 2016. Payment for the multi-term contract will be done annually, according to an amendment issued on Oct. 12, 2016.

“I don’t know if we can legally bring it back. It’s already been approved,” said Board President Kimberly Fisher.


Ms. Fisher added the money was already in the budget. She asked for math teachers’ input from the audience.

“I want conversation regarding concerns for math teachers. Ultimately, they are the ones who are going to utilize this tool,” she said.

Although reluctant to speak, some math teachers agreed that they have not had a curriculum adopted since 2009. They said the extra support from new material would be helpful mainly for new math teachers and the material will allow an opportunity to improve state test scores because proficiency in the high schools is far below that of elementary schools.

After asking what happens if the money was not spent that night, Ms. Tweedy added that she has “some experience with students in math and if you told me what I know now - I would not have taken the textbook.”

Jim Migliorino, DVUSD deputy superintendent of fiscal and business services, said the money can be carried over to a future year as long as it is allocated for any legal-purposed expenditures in the district.

“This was a planned expenditure for what’s been planned this year,” Mr. Migliorino said of the approximate $2 million set aside for textbook adoptions.

From reviewing the material to ensure it aligns with state standards, to forming committees and surveying high school teachers, he and other district administrators assured board members that the bid process was followed without any opposition from the public, although no one from the public attended the forums.


  • In addition to reports showing how DVUSD was comparable to other districts, the board unanimously approved a $7 million guaranteed maximum price for the Desert Sky Middle School Modernization Project.


  • In other board news, board members recognized state wrestling champions Stone Crooks, a Boulder Creek High School senior, in the 126-pound weight class; and Carlos Vargas, a Deer Valley High School senior, in the 106-pound weight class.


  • The board was presented with a draft by Ray & Associates, Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the superintendent search. However, members and the Superintendent James Veitenheimer, voiced concerns about the verbiage and missing information on the pending flyers and posters

Editor Cecilia Chan contributed to the story.