A variety of topics were on the agenda for Yuma Union High School District’s November Governing Board meeting Wednesday night. Here’s a look at some of the items addressed by the board.

Students participate in Washington Leadership Training Institute

Six of the 99 CTE students who participated in SkillsUSA’s Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) in Washington, D.C., shared their experiences with the governing board. The group spent five days in September touring national landmarks in the nation’s capital and extending their communication, professionalism and leadership skills. Some of the students had never flown or traveled that far from home before, and they each reported a positive experience that grew them academically and professionally.

“WLTI is a great opportunity for students all around the country to learn how to be leaders in the world of work and I’m honored to have been part of it this year,” student Robert Hernandez said.

YHS culinary arts project

To furnish Yuma High School’s culinary arts department with more up-to-date equipment, the department is moving from the bottom floor of the Old Main building to the technology building.

The move will provide the department with a new kitchen, classroom and dining area just under 1,700 square feet.

According to Chris Thompson from Thompson Design Architects, who presented an update to the governing board alongside Liz Riddle from design consulting company Arcadis, demolition has already begun. The designs will be finalized and submitted to the City of Yuma this week.

Construction on the new space is slated to begin in January and finish in July to be fully operational on the first day of the 2020-2021 school year.

2019-2020 internal budget update

According to Chief Financial Officer Dianne Cordery, the district is “tracking under budget” for maintenance and operations, having spent 27% of the budgeted amount thus far. Twenty-four percent of the funds budgeted for capital expenses has been used primarily to outfit the district with 17 new school buses.

Performance audit report

The district recently completed a 24-month evaluation done by the Arizona Auditor General’s Office. Randomly selected in June 2017, the district is the last in Yuma County to be audited.

The Auditor General’s review of district facts and numbers from 2015 had two general findings, according to Cordery. The report found that the district’s administrative costs were higher than other union high school districts in the state; according to the report, this is primarily due to the higher staffing levels in YUHSD.

Additionally, the auditor general’s report found YUHSD also had higher transportation costs in comparison to peer districts. According to the report, accessible at azauditor.gov, this may have been attributable to “insufficient program oversight.” The department has since simplified its formulas for calculating costs.

Education affiliation agreement with ASDB

The governing board approved an education affiliation agreement between YUHSD and the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind (ASDB). The agreement will replace the existing agreement in place between the two entities to continue providing specialized services to student populations at Cibola and Kofa High School.

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The district’s next governing board meeting will take place Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 5:15 p.m. in the Professional Services Building at 3150-B S. Avenue A. 

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