School board passes budget for district
The Emery County School District held their monthly meeting on June 16. A public hearing was held concerning the school district budget. Jared Black, business manager presented the final legal budget for fiscal year 2014 and the tentative budget for fiscal year 2015. For the 2015 fiscal year $500,000 has been moved from the capital outlay fund to a maintenance fund. This was accomplished by doing a tax shift. There is a health insurance increase of $75,000. The district will switch from a traditional insurance plan to a high deductible plan. The budgeted revenue for 2015 is $25,972,729 and the expenditures are expected to be $22,847,070. The projected fall enrollment is 2,353 students. The board voted and approved the final legal budget for 2014 and the tentative budget for 2015.
The board approved new hires in the district, Heather Atwood - Teacher at Cottonwood Elementary, Kristy Senn - Teacher at Book Cliff Elementary, Nathan O'Bryant - Teacher at Green River High, Stuart Morris - Teacher at Green River High, Josie Mitcheson - Child Nutrition Worker at Huntington Elementary, Joylinn Bloomer - Child Nutrition Worker at San Rafael Junior High, Hollie Smith - Child Nutrition Worker at Ferron Elementary, Kristi Guymon - Child Nutrition Worker at Canyon View Junior High and Amanda Lake - Educational Assistant at Cottonwood Elementary.
Emery High Principal Larry Davis reported on the drug testing pilot report and policy revisions. The pilot program began in the spring. The Emery County Medical Center administered the tests. They were very flexible to work with the school. The cost was $15 per test, higher than originally thought. A total of 49 students were tested (six freshman, 13 sophomores, 21 juniors and nine seniors). All of the tests were negative. There was two reasonable suspicion tests, one student retested with negative results and one sample was sent to a lab for further evaluation with negative results. Principal Davis believes the random drug testing is making a difference because talk of students being involved in drug and alcohol use has decreased since the implementation of the random drug testing.
Principal Davis proposed one revision to the policy to include eighth grade students who tryout for the drill team.
A concern was raised about legal prescription drug use. The policy does have a clause for prescription drugs. The student is given a form on which the student may list any medications legally prescribed to the student, which he/she has used in the preceding 30 days. If the test is positive the parent or guardian will need to confirm the student's legitimate use of the prescribed medication.
The drug tests are administered at random times and days during the week so there is not a predictable pattern of testing. A copy of the drug policy will be sent to Principal Nolan Johnson at Green River High for consideration.
Principal Davis requested a change in the fee schedule for Emery High. A $15 fee to cover the costs associated with the drug testing from all participants in drug tested activities (all sports, drill team, cheerleading and student government). A $25 fee for students participating in forensics. There is no fee for this program right now. The organization typically competes in 10 overnight meets leading up to the state and region meets. A fee of $50 for football because of the high cost of equipment and maintenance of the football program. Football equipment has a limited longevity compared to other sports. It is expected 70 students will play football this year. Emery High is also requesting to eliminate the $50 cap fee and require a fee for each approved sport and activity. This will ensure each sport and activity receives a fair share of fees to help run the program.
Principal Davis presented to the school board the AdvancED accreditation review. The school received two days of evaluation. The evaluation team interviewed groups of parents, teacher and students. The school is graded on a scale of one to four, with one being the lowest score. Emery High received scores of one in two areas; the school engages in a systematic, inclusive and comprehensive process to review, revise and communicate a school purpose for student success. Emery High will include school purpose for student success as a topic of discussion in the school improvement meeting, the initial community council meeting and as a part of a learning strategies presentation. The school will create a parent newsletter to inform parents and solicit input.
The other score of one was in the area of professional development. Emery High holds PD-360 every Monday. The problem is getting teachers to attend. PD-360 hours are currently allowed for re-licensure points and district extended days. The school could also give hours in lieu of SEOP and possibly pay teachers for attendance through lands trust public development. Teachers need to be creative in finding funding for off-campus professional development. The state and district need to help fund professional development. Professional development days could also be added to the district calender. Teachers need to understand participation in professional development is embedded in the standards of the new evaluation instrument.
Emery High received scores of four in four areas; the governing body ensures the school leadership has the autonomy to meet goals for achievement and instruction to manage day-to-day operations effectively. The school has a formal structure whereby the student is well known by at least one adult advocate in the school who supports that student's educational experience. The school maintains facilities, services and equipment to provide a safe, clean and healthy environment for all students and staff. The school provides services that support the counseling assessment, referral, educational and career planning needs of all students. Emery High received a five year advance for accreditation. The school board thanked Principal Davis for his presentations and information.
The 2015 SHARP survey was approved by the school board. The survey is conducted every two years to assess substance abuse, anti-social behavior, and the risk and protective factors that predict these adolescent problem behaviors.
There were several items on the agenda for revision or rescinding. The use of summer buses was approved for activities. The cost will be $1 per mile for buses and $.50 for suburban and other vehicles. The cost of the driver will vary depending on the length of the trip. The cost will also vary due to the fluctuating cost of gasoline.
The cash disbursement policy was revised. Every expense needed to be preapproved. Now, approval for expenses under $500 is not required. It is still recommended but not required.
The building permit and use policies were revised. If a school is used for a civic center the user will have governmental immunity. The district will need to get more signs stating use at your own risk. If a school is used for a profit organization a certificate of insurance will need to be provided. A school has the right to deny its use if it will interfere with school instruction.
The board rescinded portions of the district rate schedule, Emery High rate schedule, building use rules, rules governing use of buildings and restriction and limitations policies were rescinded.
Superintendant Sitterud congratulated the Emery High baseball team on their second championship. The board went into a closed session and the meeting ended.