The meeting, which was broadcast on Facebook Live, was held by the governing board via telephone due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Districtwide pay increases approved
The board unanimously approved raises to certified and classified staff.
Certified staff will see a base salary increase of $1,183, plus an additional 3% of their 2019-20 base salary, according to the district.
To be eligible for a base salary increase, an employee must work one day over half of their work calendar in the current school year.
The top of the salary range will be increased by 1.74% for cost of living, according to the district. Employees who are currently at or are reaching the top of the salary range will be placed at the top of the salary range and will receive the balance of the approved increase in a one-time payment scheduled for December 2020.
Support staff employees will receive a 5% increase in their base hourly rate, according to the district. The top of the salary range will be increased by 1.74% for cost of living.
Administrative and all other salary schedules will also see a 5% increase in their base annual salary and the top of the salary range will be increase by 1.74% for cost of living.
The new compensation is for the 2020-21 school year. The board approved the changes unanimously.
Approval of resolution on sale of bonds
The board also unanimously approved the adoption of a resolution providing for all matters relating to the sale and issuance of school improvement bonds.
The resolution authorizes the issuance of bonds of the district to raise funds for capital projects.
This series of bonds is the first sale from the 2019 bond election, in which voters approved a $290.25 million bond.
Board approval puts the district in a position to execute the transaction "when the timing is right," according to the district.
"Because of market volatility as a result of the coronavirus, this resolution includes additional flexibility regarding the method of bond sale, in addition to the most commonly utilized negotiated tax-exempt public offering," read the agenda item. "The additional bond sale options permitted in the resolution will only be utilized if advantageous to the district. The additional sale methods referenced in the resolution allow: bonds to be sold to the Maricopa County Treasurer (taxable basis, first 5 years only); bonds to be privately placed with a commercial bank; and bonds to be sold through a combination of sale methods."
Approval on school improvement projects
The board unanimously approved projects at several district schools while students are not in the buildings due to the COVID-19 school closures ordered by Gov. Doug Ducey.
Andersen Junior High School, which opened in 1988, is in need of a "facelift," according to the district. This will include the removal of all vinyl wallpaper for the walls as well as work to tape, texture and paint all classrooms, doors and frames. The district selected Riddle Painting and Coatings to perform the work, which will cost $423,662.18.
Additionally, the board approved the second guaranteed maximum price for work at Weinberg Gifted Academy for $3.5 million, bringing the total scope of the project to just under $4.7 million.
The scope of work under the second guaranteed maximum price includes: millwork, metal soffits, framing and drywall, flooring, electrical, special systems and access control.
The board also approved new flooring at Hamilton High School. The flooring at the high school has not been replaced since the school opened in 1998. The project is anticipated to cost $758,680.71.
Santan Elementary school will get new flooring as well. The project is expected to cost $444,939.26.
Galveston Elementary School is in need of a roof replacement, according to the district, and the district intends to remove and replace about 10,000 square feet of the roof. The project is expected to cost $189,576.63.
District officials said they do not expect major delays due to the COVID-19 projects in terms of the improvement projects scheduled. All contractors working at the schools are expected to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on social distancing, but contract work is considered an essential service in Arizona and is therefore scheduled to continue.