Dysart Unified School District‘s unused land up for lease

The Dysart Unified School District offices in Surprise at sunset.
The Dysart Unified School District offices in Surprise at sunset.
While convening for the second monthly meeting of the Dysart Unified School District Governing Board Jan. 22, the board was presented with information regarding an expansion to a current agreement in place with Catholic Charities Community Services with a request for access to land.
Additionally, the board approved the plan to distribute results-based funding.
DUSD Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Ken Hicks said the district was approached by the program about its desire to expand out of El Mirage Elementary School, 13500 N. El Mirage Road, El Mirage, from which it rents classrooms.
“They were awarded a federal grant for expansion and are now asking to lease some land, and I know we don’t hardly have any land, but we have some space next to Dysart High School and Dysart Elementary that is not being used and sitting vacant adjacent to the schools,” Mr. Hicks said.
“We did the site tour and got their feedback and they love it and would like to move forward. This is really another piece of property and they would modify this and work with the city of El Mirage to get everything done. They want to add a parking lot and 6,700 square feet of modular space.”
There will be 60 preschool students and a couple of offices for outreach to serve the community and the district likes the idea of expanding services and providing more services to the community and improving the land.
The cliental is different and does not overlap the preschool services the district already has in place.
“The lease will probably be 15 years and would improve the value of the land,” Mr. Hicks said. “We want to have access to the parking lot for after-hours activities and such and want them to improve the sidewalk and flow to make it safer for students.”
DUSD Superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellis said this is a unique opportunity for a program that has been displaced and was moved to El Mirage Elementary in the portable buildings. He said they are not moving, just adding to it.
“It’s a benefit to the district and right now the field has been sitting there empty for probably 100 years and the district doesn’t have to make improvements, but a community partner will and we can benefit from it,” he said.
The governing board was reassured there would be no cost to the district and no tax implications. The program will have to cover their own insurance in the case of any liability.
Boardmember Christine A.K. Pritchard requested Mr. Hicks inquire about opportunities to use the facility.
The item will be brought back for approval at a future governing board meeting.

DUSD approves distribution of results-based funding

The Arizona State Legislature in previous years passed allocated funding to eligible school districts and charter school based on a statutory formula.
The state requires the funding allocated directly to enhance, expand or replicate the school site that generated the results-based funding with supplanting.
The majority of funds must be used for teacher salaries, to hire teachers, for school leader salaries, for classroom supplies and for other strategies.
A portion may be used for the expansion and replication of that school site as a quality model.
Funding must be used to sustain and replicate results; to serve more students on a waiting list at the awarded school site, mentoring school leaders and teachers from other sites to replicate the model and physically expanding the model at another location to improve academic outcomes.
The plan proposed includes eligible teachers, interventionist/reading coach, principal, assistant principal and instructional assistant/paraprofessional.
They must have been employed in an eligible position during the 2017-18 school year at one of the awarded schools and is currently employed by the district at the time of distribution.
One-time payment amounts for teachers will be $2,000, with interventionist/reading coaches, principals and assistant principals receiving $1,750 and instructional assistant/paraprofessionals $1,500.
Any qualifying position will get the full amount even if part-time.
Mr. Hicks said stipends represent approximately 85% of funding and the remainder will be used on professional development.
At his request, the board approved the proposal and making payment after the final amount for the Arizona Department of Education is complete by May.