Happy New Year and welcome back to the final months of the 2018-2019 school year! This time of year gives students, parents and staff a unique opportunity for a fresh start and the chance to tackle new challenges. 2019 will certainly be a year of transitions and new beginnings for PVSchools.

The governing board welcomed a new member to the board in January. Mrs. Susan Matura joins the board after being elected in November. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge of the district and public education and is a parent of three children, two of whom attend our schools. If you see her around, please give her a warm welcome to the PVSchools leadership team. (Read Susan Matura's bio.)

We also have a superintendent search in progress. In November, the board hired Ray and Associates to perform a national search for candidates for superintendent of PVSchools. The position attracted many quality candidates and the board held an executive session on January 22 to review the top candidates and develop a timeline for the next phase of the process. As soon as we are able, that timeline will be made public.

Speaking of new beginnings – the Campo Bello construction project is in full swing and that community will have a new building for the 2019-2020 school year. The repurpose plans for Arrowhead and Aire Libre are underway, as well, so those neighborhoods can also look forward to new opportunities.

PVSchools is working to incorporate a new approach to student discipline, restorative practices. Restorative practices:

“Focus on a whole school approach to encourage positive behavior, while at the same time building and restoring relationships. This proactive approach relies on hearing student voices and building a positive school climate to cultivate an inclusive, equitable, and non-judgmental community. Restorative Practices encourages individuals to accept responsibility for their actions, repair the harm, and learn new behaviors that support social emotional well-being.”

We are excited to see how restorative practices influence not only academic success for our students, but also their social and emotional growth.

Hope to see you at Bagels with the Governing Board on February 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Larkspur Elementary School, located at 2430 E. Larkspur Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85032. (Visit Larkspur's website for directions.)