School uniforms at O.C. Johnson Elementary were unanimously approved Monday by the Yuma Elementary School District governing board.
Of the 422 ballots distributed in English and Spanish to kindergarten through fourth-grade students to take home to their parents or guardians, 372 were returned. Of that number, 68 percent were in favor of uniforms and 32 percent were opposed.
O.C. Johnson Principal Tom Neuman remarked that the Parent-Teacher Organization and staff on campus had been talking about school uniforms since the 2011-2012 school year. They determined that the uniform tops should consist of a blue or red polo shirt along with a O.C. Johnson spirit shirt allowed to be worn on Fridays only, and the bottoms would consist of khaki or blue denim.
In other meeting news, Peggy Pisano was also unanimously approved as the new principal of Pecan Grove Elementary School. After it was announced that current principal Jorge Zepeda was retiring, the district began seeking a replacement to fill the vacant position on March 28.
Currently the Otondo Elementary School assistant principal, Pisano was selected from a pool of 11 candidates for the job. “I'm very excited and can't wait to get started,” she remarked.
According to the monthly enrollment report, as of the 160th day of school the district was down 200 students compared with last year at this time.
Jones said there are various reasons for the drop, including more restrictions on travel for migrant students and their families and also the issue they are facing of lack of jobs.
In response to a question from board president Maureen Irr as to whether the lower enrollment number is due to students moving to other districts, Jones said that does not appear to be the case.
“Looking at our enrollments and withdrawals, we're about even with the local schools,” he said.
Also at the meeting, the school board approved the Proposition 301 Performance Plan as well as the Meet and Confer funds recommendation.
The total proposed Prop 301 payments for the 2013-2014 school year is $5,400, which is $890 more than the $4,510 in 2012-2013. The district's Prop 301 Performance Plan consists of three goals teachers must meet to receive performance funds: student achievement through professional development, student achievement through site implementation of school improvement plan and student growth.
Certified and classified staff who will be retiring at the end of their 2012-2013 contracts were also recognized at the board meeting for their years of service in education.
Certified staff recognized included Catherine Brekke, Cynthia Brodie, Rosa Brown, Don Curry, Hilda Etherton, Eldaa Galindo, Ricki Gribble, Kathryn Laguna, Bruce Mahan, Diane Manfull, Melody Pinkston, Shirley Rutledge, Karen Shearrow, Laura Sullivan, Sherri Wayman and Jorge Zepeda. Classified staff included Hui Chon-Kim, Jose Jimenez, Harvey Kirby, Julian Medina, Mary Reyes and Guadalupe Valdez.
Also shared at the meeting, the monthly donations for District 1 totaled over $15,000, bringing the year-to-date total up to over $154,000.
Sarah Womer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.