School board discusses girls soccer
The Emery County School Board met for their monthly meeting at Canyon View Junior High. The board approved the following new hires for the district; Karl Jensen - Teacher at Cleveland Elementary, Madison Higley - Teacher at Green River High, Scott Lofley - Teacher at San Rafael, Amanda Frandsen - Teacher at Castle Dale Elementary, Kaylei Garcia - Teacher at Castle Dale Elementary, Tawni Jensen - Teacher at Green River High.
Principal Larry Davis from Emery High School presented his findings on starting a girls soccer team at Emery High.
At the beginning of each school year students participate in a survey to gauge interest in sports and other activities. A total of 39 girls were interested in a girls soccer team. If Emery High were to add a girls soccer team it would bring the number of female participants in line with male participants in Emery High Programs. Depending on a final decision by the UHSAA there would likely be a divisional placement of 2A for girls soccer for the first year.
This would have to be approved by the UHSAA. The UHSAA could make one of three decisions; allow Emery to play in 2A, let Emery run an independent schedule or decline the request and ask for a submission at a later date. A girls soccer team would provide more opportunities for students.
The difficulties of adding a girls soccer team would be the additional expense of another athletic program. The boys had supporters to fund the start-up equipment through fund-raisers. There has been no such promises from supporters of girls soccer.
The boys soccer coaches also donated their coaching pay back to the organization. There will be additional work for the athletic director, financial secretary and attendance secretary. Coaching will create problems. If a coach is on the school staff he/she will miss instructional time.
A non-staff coach may not have the same connection with students or school staff. Facilities would also create a problem. The football field would not be available for daily practice and rarely available for matches.
The only field available would be the softball field which would require establishing boundary lines. The water is usually turned off by the time school starts, if the softball field is used it could cause harm to the grass. The pending realignment next year could put Emery in 3A, which would be very difficult for a beginning soccer program. With a girls soccer team, Emery High would have six athletic programs during the same season. It is possible that all of the programs would have road contests on the same day. This will create a greater demand on transportation, also considering the buses must maintain their regular bus runs.
Principal Davis recommended to hold off on starting a girls soccer program, unless it is deemed essential to narrow the gap between male and female participants at Emery High. Emery High will continue it's feasibility study in the 2014-2015 school year.
Principal Davis will present the study findings in the December school board meeting at Emery High.
The school board considered the matter based on the information given and deemed a girls soccer team would not be feasible right now.
They will consider the matter again in December.
Principal Jim Jones and Coach Dean Stilson made a request for use of summer buses.
They asked the board to consider letting the sports teams use the buses to attend summer camps. Coach Stilson asked if the board if they could come up with a reasonable cost to allow for the use of the buses.
The average cost of a bus is between $3.70 and $4 per mile.
The cost to attend these camps would be incurred by the students and parents so they don't want it to be a burden for parents. Coach Stilson gave a sample proposal for the girls basketball team to attend one summer camp using district transportation. He would like to use suburbans unless the numbers dictate a bus is necessary. In order to accommodate this camp Coach Stilson would schedule one less tournament during the regular season and use a summer camp in place of that tournament. The players would help pay for the transportation costs. The board voted and approved the use of district transportation for the sports teams to attend summer camps.
The board will give their final cost to use district transportation in the June school board meeting.
The board approved the Landtrust Plans for the individual schools.
The board approved changes to policies. The suicide prevention policy change allows for teachers to ask questions to someone they believe is suicidal or in imminent danger. A revision to the student attendance and truancy policy, actions would not be taken against a student with a 3.5 GPA for being habitually truant. School community councils will hold elections at the beginning or end of the school year. Home school curriculums will no longer be dictated by the state. The current policy for the summer use of buses was rescinded to allow for summer use.
Approval of capital outlay projects was approved for HVAC upgrades to Emery High and Castle Dale Elementary, a parking lot redesign at Bookcliff Elementary and approval of an auditing firm for the next five years.
The principals report was given by Principal Jones. He said the end of year testing is nearly complete.
At the band festival the Canyon View 8th and 9th grade bands received superior ratings. The County Days track meet, band concert and chorus concert is coming up soon.
The closing program will be on May 21 at 6 p.m. Awards will be handed out on May 23. The Canyon View goals are to add honors classes. The community council decided to continue with the tutor trackers.
Since they have been hired all of the 9th grade students have passed their classes. Ferd Allred is working on an intramural sports program.
This would give more students the opportunity to participate in sports due to the integration of 9th grade students into high school sports.
The school now has 32 Chromebooks. Principal Jones asked the board to consider hiring a part-time counselor to meet the needs of the students. He is working with Four Corners to meet the counseling needs of students when the counselor is at another school. There is a real need for counseling services.
Roger Swenson addressed the board concerning the issue of trip buses being assigned to Green River. Swenson said his utmost concern is safety of the students especially when he sends them on a trip. He doesn't want to send a bus that keeps breaking down. On one of the trips Swenson sent a 2009 bus to Green River because it had a book rack to put things on.
He did not send a 2010 bus because they have a history of breaking down. For example: on a football trip to Manti one of the buses broke down because it was leaking antifreeze.
On another trip to North Sevier, Swenson received a call from the Utah Highway Patrol called him about the bus being broken down in the canyon.
There was a report of a 2013 bus breaking down, which wasn't true. The check engine light came on and the driver called Swenson to see what to do.
The driver checked all of the fluids and did not find a problem. The bus continued to its destination without further incident.
Swenson further stated the history of the buses with the luggage racks has not been good and he doesn't want to send a bus to Navajo Mountain or another rural school and have the bus break down.
There is no guarantee cell phone service would be available to phone for help. A possible solution would be to send a 2013 bus with book racks and request a suburban with a utility trailer to hold luggage. This could alleviate the problem.
The board discussed their assignments for graduation and the meeting concluded.