Fri, Dec

The Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Governing Board voted unanimously to consolidate COCSD with Mingus Union High School District as a single school district Dec. 5.

“We respectfully request the [Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter] call an election to allow the collective district voters to determine the consolidation question at a November 2018 election,” Tuesday’s motion read.

What do Camp Verde Unified School District, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and Sedona-Oak Creek School District all agree on? Endorsing the Arizona Education Progress Meter, which uses eight indicators to measure how close Arizona is stacking up against the goal of reaching a 60 percent post-secondary education rate by 2030.
The Progress Meter was developed by Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona in 2016. In addition to the local school districts named, Coconino and Yavapai counties have endorsed the Arizona Progress Meter.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Steve King said he is unwilling to endorse a realignment of district schools until all of the information is in.

King, who entered his first year as superintendent for the 2017-18 school year following the departure of longtime COCSD Superintendent Barbara U’Ren, has been tasked by the COCSD Governing Board with exploring the possibility of realigning three of the district’s five schools into two kindergarten-to-eighth-grade schools — a move that would likely result in the closure of one of the three schools.

Teachers, administrators and parents of students in Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and Mingus Union High School District can breathe a sigh of relief:The votes of the Nov. 7 election are in, and both districts’ override continuations passed with a clear majority.

3,457 voters in the two precincts comprising COCSD, or 60.86 percent of the vote, cast ballots in favor of the override continuation, while 2,223, or 39.14 percent, cast ballots against.

Following the announcement of a significant increase in enrollment, Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education is forging ahead with its new central headquarters. Eight Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Sedona high school students enrolled in VACTE’s inaugural construction program are helping turn a 7,700-square-foot facility at 3405 State Route 89A in Cottonwood, the former site of Flip City Gym, into VACTE’s new headquarters.

At a joint school district governing boards meeting Wednesday, Sept. 13, superintendents and governing board members of the seven Verde Valley school districts round-table interviewed eight candidates for state superintendent of public instruction.

Sedona Red Rock High School hosted the event in its cafeteria, with Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter facilitating.

In the most contested race of the upcoming elections in November 2018, eight candidates are vying to replace Republican Diane Douglas, who has yet to announce whether she will run for reelection, as state superintendent of public instruction.

According to Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas [R], the state loses about
40 percent of new teachers during their first two years of instruction.

As part of her “We Are Listening” town hall tour, Douglas spoke with school administrators, district governing board members and Verde Valley community members at West Sedona School Monday, Sept. 11. She took questions for two hours, addressing concerns about school funding, teacher pay, instruction and legislative activities impacting education.

Douglas tackled the issue of teacher pay numerous times. She said low salaries are impacting the state’s ability to attract and keep talented teachers, ultimately resulting in negative student outcomes on a variety of fronts.

Despite having no intergovernmental agreements with two of its three member school districts, Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education has increased its enrollment in satellite and central campus programs over last year.

VACTE superintendent Bob Weir presented data on enrollment during the VACTE Governing Board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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