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Oversight of K-8 study group transferred to Dr. Schauer

By: Jonathan J. Cooper

Nov. 18, 2006

The Kyrene School District’s Governing Board on Tuesday removed its own direct oversight of a two-year-old committee designed to evaluate and tweak the district’s program offerings.

Because of the changing nature of its work, the K-8 Programming Study Committee will now report to Superintendent David Schauer instead of the board.

The committee was established in 2004 to find more effective and affordable ways to educate Kyrene’s pupils, according to its website.

In 2005, the committee developed a controversial new middle school scheduling model that increased pupils’ time in core classes but reduced it in electives.

The committee also studied Kyrene’s kindergarten and gifted education programs as well as its custodial services.

The committee’s work has now shifted away from the governing board’s policy-making responsibility and toward implementation and evaluation, the superintendent’s responsibility, according to a document prepared for the board.

It would therefore be more appropriate for the committee to report to the superintendent than the governing board, the document said.

Anna Montalbo, an Akimel A-al Middle School teacher and committee member, said the committee has seen a shift toward a more-internal focus in its work.

“With Kyrene’s changing needs, and they are changing quite quickly, there’s probably a greater need for some administrative flexibility,” Montalbo said.

“We all agreed that this is probably a better way to have the committee do its work.”

Newly elected Kyrene board member Patrick McGill watched the meeting from the audience. Schauer and Board President Rich Zawtocki welcomed McGill to the board at the end of the meeting and thanked outgoing board Vice President Ross Robb, who trailed McGill by about 500 votes in the Nov. 7 election.

“I wanted to thank Ross for his dedication and his service,” Zawtocki said. “I’ve learned a lot from Ross.”


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