The Fountain Hills Unified Schools District Governing Board met for a business meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The board conducted two public hearings and received the evaluation results of a school facility audit.

The first public hearing was a presentation on the Annual Financial Report (AFR). The AFR is a summary of the finances from the previous year, and the district is required to submit a report to the state each year. Superintendent Kelly Glass said everything on the report met the expectations on the school budget.

The board then held a hearing about the sex education and sexuality curriculum in schools. Due to new amendments, the board is required to have two hearings, and must review and approve the sex ed course of study. Parents and stakeholders can submit a feedback form for the board, which can be found either in the District Office or online at fountainhillsschools.org. Go to “Student Services” under “Departments” and select “Sex Education.”

The board will conduct the second public hearing over sex education on Nov. 10 and will receive feedback for review on Dec. 8. The board is required to review and approve the course of study by Dec. 15.

The board then listened to information reports from local groups. The Golden Eagle Education Foundation has resumed its mentoring program with students after a hiatus due to the pandemic. Three student government representatives gave a report on homecoming as well, and STUGO is now focused on fundraising and prom.

Gordian audit

Gordian’s audit results were also presented at the Oct. 6 meeting. Over two weeks, Gordian did building inspections, staff interviews, data review and strategy meetings concerning school building maintenance.

In Gordian’s 10-year cost breakdown, the high school requires the most attention. Gordian estimates 27.9 million in upgrade expenses, and 11.5 million alone at the high school.

The football field falls into the category of high urgency. In total, high urgency upgrades at the high school are estimated to cost $5.98 million. The field passed a safety inspection before the 2021-22 school year, but it is not expected to be safe for use two years from now.

Other areas of need include safety equipment like fire alarms, improved cooling, water pumps and more.

“This audit provided some great information about the exact needs of our facilities,” Glass said.

Board action

The board tabled a discussion about a student trip to Greece planned for the week of spring break. The biggest concern is that the district will not be able to refund families who pay using tax credits in the case of a trip cancelation. The board wanted that information clearly communicated to interested families before further consideration.

The board approved a new policy that teachers can miss time in the first or last 10 days of the school year for a “once in a lifetime event,” like the birth of a child or taking a child to college. The missed time must receive superintendent approval first.

The board also approved a new self-evaluation form. The board will use the new self-evaluation system in November.

The board will next meet for a work study session on Oct. 27 at 5 p.m. The next business meeting will take place on Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m.