Tuba City School District looks to voters to approve bond funds for improvements

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Tuba City Unified School District (TCUSD) administrators have a vision for a new instructional program driven by state-of-the-art technology appropriate for each grade level but they need voter approved bond funding to pay it.

That vision would have the latest digital devices in the hands of all the district's students connected through a wireless system available throughout the entire school complex.

The Hot Spots or nerve centers for each grade level would be in a collaboration area while the research center (library) would serve as a common resource for investigation and exploration.

Technology-rich classrooms would be grouped into small learning communities with a learning-resource center for each pod intended for collaborative work.

The district vision is for project based, interdisciplinary instruction under a collaborative environment and calls for new classrooms different from the old buildings of yesteryear.

Many of the elementary and middle school classroom buildings in the district were built in the 1950s. New facilities are needed to accommodate wireless technology and state of the art education equipment. There are also current Occupatinal Safety and Health Administration requirements that need to be considered for student safety as well.

The district governing board has called for an Impact Aid Revenue bond election to provide additional money for the construction of buildings to meet the needs of the schools in the district.

The state of Arizona, pursuant to its Students First legislation, is required to provide funds for the construction of adequate schools for the district's students.

But the money the district receives from the School Facilities Board is not adequate to meet all the needs of the districts schools and students and needs to be supplemented through a bond.

The impact aid revenue bond money will be used to demolish current district school buildings and to construct a new kindergarten through fifth grade building, a new sixth through eighth grade building and, if there is any leftover money remaining, new teacher housing.

The impact aid revenue bond money will also be used to build a playground, parking lot with solar paneling and the construction of sidewalks, sewers, utility lines, roadways, and other related improvements.

The district will not use any portion of the money from the bonds for any construction, maintenance or other improvements to the school districts property except improvements necessary to assure the safe travel to and from public school property.

The issuance of bonds shall be made a part of the itemized statement regularly filed with the county school superintendent showing the amount of monies needed for the expenses of school within the school district for the ensuing year. In addition, bond proceeds will go to a reserve fund for the bonds and to pay costs of issuance associated with the bonds.

Governing Board members estimate the total costs of construction at $28,000,000 covered by school improvements bonds and the impact aid revenue bonds, if voters approve both bond questions.

The new construction will allow the district to provide online hybrid learning models to more students. This on-line hybrid learning includes on-campus and off-campus extended classroom learning.

Outside of class, students can work on a course schedule by watching recorded mini-lectures, reading texts, writing essays and working on problem-solving sets. In real-time seminars, time will also be devoted to engaging in discussions based on work covered in their daily classroom settings.

The District e-College Readiness Program is an important component of the school district digital teaching and learning environment. This component places digital learning opportunity and freedom at the core of the college readiness studies. In partnership with Stanford University, the district has committed resources to a long-term investment in blended on-line distance learning.

Voting for this new school construction will take place on Nov. 4.

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