SIERRA VISTA — With 2019 winding down, Sierra Vista Unified School District is approaching the new year on a positive note, according to district board president Barbara Williams.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, members voted to look for a webmaster to redesign and update the district’s website, something board members agree is badly needed. In other business, the board also went into executive session to discuss Superintendent Kelly Glass’ yearly evaluation, per district policy.

“We discussed her evaluation first, then in a separate decision, we agreed to grant her the performance bonus included in her yearly contract,” said Williams, who noted the performance decision was based on the fact that Glass had accomplished goals set by the board.

“She was successful in balancing the budget, assured the district is in compliance with different programs such as special education, and she did a good job of reviewing and realigning our staffing needs.”

Williams also credits Glass for a partnership the district is in the process of forming with the Boys & Girls Club, where an after-school program at Carmichael Elementary School will be available once terms of the agreement are completed.

“As we look towards the new year, our students are thriving,” Williams said. “We have some fantastic programs such as our JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), our fabulous Buena choir is going to Ireland, and the elementary schools are achieving academically while building student relationship skills. We’re excited about all of these accomplishments.”

Since Glass announced she will not be returning to SVUSD after June 30, 2020, the school board will need to search for a new district superintendent, which the board touched on.

“We need to get moving on this because the timeline is tight,” said Williams, who offered to contact the Arizona School Boards Association to see what their terms would be for advertising the position. Williams plans to bring her findings back to the board at its next meeting on Jan. 7, 2020.

In a discussion about the website update and redesign, board members Yulonda Boutte and Connie Johnson expressed concerns about a one-time cost of $8,000 the district will be spending for the updating the web page.

“The website has not been updated in years and continues to have very old information on it,” explained Glass, who added that the district needs to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act rules and other needs.

“This will be a huge benefit to the district,” added Glass, who noted that the district will likely need to consider hiring a webmaster at some point.

“I’m excited about the website being more user friendly,” Williams said. “The $8,000 is an investment in increasing our enrollment and retention of students. When people come into town, they often go to websites and look at schools, so our website needs to be current to create a positive first impression for our district.”

For those reasons, Williams said the money spent on redesigning and updating the site will be “well invested in our school community.”

Other than an hour-long executive session for the superintendent’s annual evaluation and goals for 2020, Tuesday’s meeting was fairly routine.

“It gave us an opportunity to reflect on some of the positive accomplishments throughout the district during the past year, which is a great way to start 2020,” Williams said. “As a district, we’re in a much better financial position than we were this time a year ago,” she said.

The next SVUSD board meeting is January 7, 2020.

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