Scottsdale school board allocates $4.26M bond money to Navajo repair

Navajo Elementary School has been closed since an Aug. 22, 2018, fire. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

At its Feb. 12 meeting, the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board approved $4.26 million worth of restoration and renovation work at Navajo Elementary School, 4525 N. Granite Reed Road, beyond what will be paid for by the school district’s insurance company.

The Navajo campus has been closed since an overnight fire on Aug. 22, 2018, that resulted in extensive damage. The school has been operating out of the former Oak Learning Academy campus, 7501 E. Oak St., three miles away, since then.

A screenshot of video provided by the Scottsdale Fire Department of the isolated fire occurring overnight at Navajo Elementary School. (Submitted photo)

The official cause of the fire has been classified as “undetermined,” Scottsdale Fire Department Deputy Chief John Whitney IV said in a statement to the Independent.

The additional $4.26 million in work authorized by the board includes: the removal of asbestos from the 58-year-old school; the encapsulation of all lead-based paint; the installation of new, more energy-efficient mechanical systems in Navajo’s three classroom buildings; and the installation of improved security measures in a redesigned front office.

These additional expenses will come out of 2016 voter-approved bond funds, according to a press release.

Also at the Feb. 12 meeting, the Governing Board selected four vendors to provide new math curricula for all SUSD students, beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

An 80-member committee met over 10 months to identify gaps in the current curricula and develop criteria for new curricula, the press release stated. The panel’s recommendations cover math instruction from kindergarten in elementary school to trigonometry and pre-calculus in high school.

In making its endorsements, the group took into consideration student and teacher instructional materials, homework assistance resources and online materials for students, professional development offered to teachers, and alignment with Arizona mathematics standards.

“It has been a privilege to work with teachers, administrators, curriculum specialists and parents to review materials and provide a recommendation for the K-12 math adoption,” Sheryl Rednor, SUSD executive director of teaching and learning said in a prepared statement. “We are looking forward to full implementation, including professional development and support for our teachers, so we can continue to teach mathematics with excellence in SUSD.”

The district will use $2.49 million in capital override funds to pay for the new math curricula.

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