05/07 - Scottsdale district counting on next leader’s ideas - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

05/07 - Scottsdale district counting on next leader’s ideas

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Posted: Friday, May 7, 2004 10:21 am | Updated: 5:42 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A next Scottsdale schools superintendent comes to town July and board members are hoping he’s packed a bag filled with innovative ideas.

The five Scottsdale Unified School District governing board members already are talking about the kind of innovation that John Baracy used to perk up the Tempe Elementary School District as they look at their own declining enrollment and financial pains.

Baracy has promised to listen for 100 days to the community before recommending what will improve the school district, and won’t yet comment on any particular plans.

That hasn’t held back the dreams of individual school board members, who foresee new magnet schools, more self-contained gifted classes and the kind of schools that would bring students from all over the state.

Board member Christine Schild wants the district to begin focusing on magnet schools in every high school, with different programs inside of the traditional campuses.

"We can pull kids back into our system," she said.

Board member Joel Feldman has a similar concept, of working with local colleges or universities as well as health care businesses, to create more collaborative schools within the high schools.

"I think we have great potential now in our area for our schools," Feldman said. "These kind of companies can

show us how to move our curriculums ahead with cuttingedge programs."

Board member Shari Avianantos said she hopes to see the gifted program expanded to include more classes for gifted students only. The district begins its first such class next year.

"If we don’t do it, we will lose our gifted (children) to other districts," she said. "I think Dr. Baracy will really bring to the table some good ideas, that he has accomplished in the Tempe district and that will work in our district also."

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