The governing boards of Camp Verde Unified School District and Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education met Tuesday, Oct. 10, to review issues impacting the relationship between the two districts.
According to VACTE Superintendent Bob Weir, VACTE had recently drafted goals in consultation with Yavapai County Superintendent of Education Tim Carter.
Following the draft, Weir met with representatives from all five of the Verde Valley’s school districts, Yavapai County Supervisors Randy Garrison and Thomas Thurman, as well as representatives from Yavapai College. The CVUSD Governing Board had unanimously approved an Intergovernmental Agreement with VACTE for the 2017-18 school year Aug. 8.
The IGA stipulates no less than a 70/30 percent split in CVUSD’s favor: For the 2017-18 school year, at least 70 percent of funding generated through high school campus attendance in VACTE’s programs goes to the high school, while no more than
30 percent goes to VACTE.
Based upon a 70/30 percent split mandated by the IGA, Weir estimates that Camp Verde will be allocated $193,000 in the 2017-18 schoolyear, an $8,000 reduction from last year’s distribution. Tuesday, Weir said VACTE had fully invested in its “new philosophy of a central campus,” accentuating programs hosted off the high school campuses — contrasting markedly with prior VACTE administrations, which largely emphasized satellite, or on-campus, programs.
“Right now our central enrollment is double,” Weir said, adding that increased central campus enrollment, which generates a larger share of money into VACTE’s coffers, means more funding for administration and facilities, leaving more room for funding to go to CVUSD and other member districts.
To the end of increasing enrollment capability for central programs, Weir has already started the transition out of VACTE’s headquarters at 830 S. Main St., Cottonwood, to a 7,700-square-foot facility at 3405 SR 89A, the former site of Flip City Gym.
Eight Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Sedona high school students enrolled in VACTE’s inaugural construction program are helping turn the facility into new headquarters to accommodate two classrooms and an office — an increase in capacity over the current headquarters, but not enough for a long-term solution.
Weir’s ultimate goal is to build a Career and Technical Education Center, such as the facility used by Mountain Institute and Yavapai College students in Prescott. But before investing in building an independent facility, Weir said, VACTE needs to prove its ability to sustain programs.
According to Weir, in order to sustain programs VACTE needs to build more positive relationships with its partner districts, increasing awareness of CTE programs not only among high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, but also among seventh, eighth and ninth graders, home-schooled children and representatives of post-secondary institutions such as Yavapai College.
We really want to work with you,” Weir said to the CVUSD governing board, adding that while CTE programs are expensive due to high supply, facility and instructional costs, they grow when enrollment is increased centrally and on satellite campuses.
“We want to get more students in CTE in your school and outside [your school].” Weir said VACTE is considering programs to reflect the two most commonly requested programs: Law enforcement and cosmetology.
Both, Weir admitted, are limited by a variety of factors — lack of similar programs locally in the former’s case, restrictive cost in the latter’s — but options are still being mulled over.
“I like where you’re headed here,” CVUSD board member Helen Freeman said. “I think it’s going in the right direction.”
As to VACTE’s current facilities, Weir is looking to offer a three-year leaseto-loan option to the office space’s next occupants.
Other District News
On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board approved a budget revision to include a 1.06 percent raise for teachers, a total budget allocation of $598.
CVUSD District Accountability and Testing Coordinator Vicki Douvikas announced the district’s AZMerit test scores from last year and the district’s letter grades as measured by the Arizona Department of Education. According to Douvikas, K-8 schools were graded on “proficiency/stability, growth, English language learners proficiency/growth, acceleration/readiness and special education bonus points.” Using this formula, Camp Verde Elementary received a letter grade of C.
Camp Verde Middle School received a letter grade of D. Douvikas said the state’s high schools were graded using a different formula based on “proficiency, growth, English language proficiency and growth, graduation rate, college and career readiness, [a] selfreport sealed score and a special education bonus.” Using this formula, Camp Verde High School received a letter grade of C.
South Verde High School and the district’s accommodation school were not rated due to low enrollment numbers.