Letter to the Board and Superintendent

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_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

June 26, 2019

Scottsdale Unified School District
7575 E. Main St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Cc: Nick Noonan  

Dr. Kriekard & SUSD Governing Board Members:

Cocopah Middle School has an engaged parent and teacher community that is committed to helping improve the educational experience for our students. We are dedicated to supporting our administration and staff.

Reflecting on the past year, we would like to provide feedback from an APT perspective on the use and allocation of staff resources. We are aware that the district generally allocates resources on a per campus basis. While appropriate for a majority of schools; the rule is inadequate for Cocopah, your largest middle school campus, which has enrollment numbers exceeding 920 students and has a current waiting list.

We are asking the district to re-evaluate staff resourcing on our campus for the 2019-2020 academic year. There are many student to staff ratio imbalances in multiple areas needing improvement:

  1. Staffing Cocopah with only one Vice Principal is inadequate based on approximately double the student ratio per Vice Principal that exists at Chaparral. There are a myriad of issues that need to be handled with this transitional age group that could be addressed more effectively with an additional VP.
  2. Likewise, our Counselors are understaffed. We have 2 Counselors, which equates to one Counselor for every 450+ students. Students confront significant challenges during middle school (for example the increase in bullying), and given the importance of these formative years it is critical that students have access to counselors. The ASCA* recommends a counselor to student ratio lower than 250:1. We are not asking for this ratio, but when student mental health is at the forefront of school wellness and safety discussions, we should have at least one more counselor here.
  3. Similarly, one Nurse is inadequate for 900+ students. This poses a significant risk from a liability standpoint for the district.

Please reconsider applying the “general rule” regarding resource allocation to our school. Instead, apply a more appropriate student:support-staff ratio to determine what positions would best serve our students. The APT appreciates your consideration.

Sincerely,
Lara Vineyard, APT President 2018-2019

Latest Signatures
90 Mrs Robin M. Parent
89 Ms Jennifer A.
88 Ms Jacque B. Parent
87 Mrs Laura E. Parent
86 Mr Thomas C. Parent
85 Mrs Lori C. Parent
84 Dr. Matthew K. parent
83 Dr. Lynne W. parent
82 Ms Irene S. Parent and APT Member
81 Mrs Bethany A. Parent
80 Mrs Monica A. Parent
79 Mrs Danielle M. Parent
78 Mrs Kim P. Parent
77 Ms Alissa B. Parent of student
76 Ms Belinda L. Parent
75 Mrs Jessica K. Scottsdale
74 Dr. Andrew G. Past and current parent
73 Mrs Brenda G. Past and current parent
72 Mrs Diana K. Scottsdale
71 Ms Barbara W. Parent
70 Ms Jennifer C.
69 Ms Randy D. Parent
68 Ms DeeDee D. Parent
67 Mrs Monica M. Parent
66 Ms Ben L. Parent and APT volunteer
65 Mrs Jackie W. Parent
64 Mr Nicholas D. Parent
63 Mrs Holly D. Mother
62 Mrs Whitney H. Parent
61 Mr Barry B. Parent
60 Mrs Angela B.
59 Ms Shelby R. Local business owner
58 Mrs Wendy C. Cocopah Parent
57 Mrs Elana K. Parent
56 Mrs Teerin H. Parent
55 Mrs Tina S.
54 Mrs Ariella L. Parent
53 Mrs Laura M.
52 Mrs Maria N. Parent and APT Member
51 Ms Kelly F. Past and current parent of Cocopah students
50 Mr Ken S. parent
49 Mrs Kathy C.
48 Ms Shelly D. Parent current and incoming students
47 Mrs Cherie K. Teacher, Future parent
46 Mrs Juli M. Former parent
45 Ms Sharon N. Future parent
44 Mrs Maxine B.
43 Ms Alba C. Parent
42 Ms Andrea A. Future Parent
41 Ms Michelle R.
40 Mrs Heather F. Future parent
39 Mrs Sabrina L. 2020-2021 incoming parent
38 Mrs Tracy M. Parent
37 Ms Christine S. Future parent
36 Ms Raymond P.
35 Ms Gena Z.
34 Ms Aimee F.
33 Mrs Rebecca P. Parent
32 Mr Cory M. Parent
31 Mrs Susie O. Parent
30 Mrs Amy B. Parent
29 Mrs Nicole K. Parent
28 Mrs Bridgett S. Past and future parents of student
27 Mrs Jennifer M. Former Parent
26 Ms David Z. Parent
25 Mrs Jane P.
24 Dr. Anthony N.
23 Mrs Kimberly Z.
22 Ms Heidi P. Parent
21 Ms Elizabeth H. Parent
20 Mr Ian F.
19 Ms Jenna P. Parent
18 Mrs Brenna P. Parent
17 Ms Sheryl B. Parent
16 Ms Melanie U. Incoming cocopah parent
15 Ms Bryn D. parent
14 Ms Tanya K.
13 Ms Cheri S. Educator at Cocopah
12 Mrs Chanen B. Parent and APT member
11 Ms Linda L. Parent and APT volunteer
10 Ms Elizabeth F. Parent
9 Mr Scott V. Parent
8 Mr Bradly D. Parent of student
7 Ms Siobhan U. Parent
6 Mrs Patti P. Parent
5 Mrs Courtneay O. parent
4 Mrs Cari M. parent of student
3 Ms Michel G. Scottsdale
2 Mr Patrick M. Parent & APT treasurer
1 Mrs Lara V. parent

*https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/Publications/ratioreport.pdf

___________________________________________________________

More Support Staff Needed at Cocopah Middle School

June 26, 2019

Scottsdale Unified School District
7575 E. Main St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Cc: Nick Noonan

Dr. Kriekard & SUSD Governing Board Members:

Cocopah Middle School has an engaged parent and teacher community that is committed to helping improve the educational experience for our students. We are dedicated to supporting our administration and staff.

Reflecting on the past year, we would like to provide feedback from an APT perspective on the use and allocation of staff resources. We are aware that the district generally allocates resources on a per campus basis. While appropriate for a majority of schools; the rule is inadequate for Cocopah, your largest middle school campus, which has enrollment numbers exceeding 920 students and has a current waiting list.
We are asking the district to re-evaluate staff resourcing on our campus for the 2019-2020 academic year. There are many student to staff ratio imbalances in multiple areas needing improvement:

- Staffing Cocopah with only one Vice Principal is inadequate based on approximately double the student ratio per Vice Principal that exists at Chaparral. There are a myriad of issues that need to be handled with this transitional age group that could be addressed more effectively with an additional VP.

- Likewise, our Counselors are understaffed. We have 2 Counselors, which equates to one Counselor for every 450+ students. Students confront significant challenges during middle school (for example the increase in bullying), and given the importance of these formative years it is critical that students have access to counselors. The ASCA recommends a counselor to student ratio lower than 250:1. We are not asking for this ratio, but when student mental health is at the forefront of school wellness and safety discussions, we should have at least one more counselor here.

- Similarly, one Nurse is inadequate for 900+ students. This poses a significant risk from a liability standpoint for the district.

Please reconsider applying the “general rule” regarding resource allocation to our school. Instead, apply a more appropriate student:support-staff ratio to determine what positions would best serve our students. The APT appreciates your consideration.

Sincerely,
Lara Vineyard, APT President 2018-2019

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