School board discusses gym for Green River
A new gym may be in the future for Green River students. Royd Hatt school board member petitioned the board for approval to begin looking at architectural plans for a practice gym for Green River students.
During basketball season, the high school teams boys and girls, junior varsity teams boys and girls, sophomore teams, junior high teams and junior jazz teams all vie for practice time in the one available gym at Green River High.
The one gym is also used for P.E. classes, cheer and drill team practices and the elementary school uses the gym because they don't have a gym at their school. "The current gym is scheduled nonstop all day to 10 p.m. every day. A new gym would be an asset to the community," said Hatt.
Hatt said estimates for the project were $1.4 million. He mentioned other activities could be held in the new gym as well. Currently the Green River gym has one of the largest seating capacities in the 1-A division. The new gym would be for practice with limited seating and tournament games could possibly be played there as well. Business Administrator, Ross Huntington said that capital outlay funds are currently available which could fund the project. Board member Rue Ware made a motion to get going on the project and get a plan in place for board approval. The new gym would be built adjacent to Green River High.
The board meeting was held at Castle Dale Elementary and Betsy Johnson a teacher at the school gave the report of activities at the school. She said two needed repairs to the school have been made with the addition of a swamp cooler and with roof repair. "Our staff works well together. We have two new teachers, Robin Saupan and LouAnn Jensen. Each of our teachers have 20 plus years experience in teaching. These teachers are not set in their ways and readily accept and implement new ideas and programs. They have adapted the new reading program which has taken a lot of extra time. They also attend workshops to find ways to become better teachers. They love kids and they love teaching. We participate in a reading program with the high school. Mrs. Whittle's literature students come down to the elementary and work with first and second grade students on their reading skills. This helps the younger students and also helps the high school students become more confident and gives all involved a valuable experience.
"Our PTA is a great asset to our school. They operate a reading incentive program and help our school with classroom needs. They helped us get a moving display board which lists school activities and spotlights the students celebrating birthdays. The board welcomes the community to our school and the students really enjoy seeing their name in lights on their birthday.
"Our school is a gold medal school which emphasizes exercise and good nutrition. Since we started the program our students have walked 50,000 miles. We have a positive action program where we catch students being good. They fill out a slip and enter a drawing for prizes each month. We are lucky at our school to have Ralph Worthen as our principal. He deals with parents and takes a proactive approach. He is very supportive and encouraging for staff and students. We have 156 students enrolled in our school this year," said Johnson.
Laurel Johansen, board president, complimented Castle Dale Elementary for the job they do in educating students and promoting good behavior. She also congratulated the staff for making their yearly progress.
A couple from Emery approached the school board to obtain an easement across school district property for utilities. They plan on building a new house in Emery and recently moved here from McCall, Idaho. The board said they would work with them to obtain what they need as well as working with Emery City on the changes.
Board member Sam Singleton said it is important to help people who want to move into the area.
Mark Justice approached the board and thanked them for their help during the Castle Valley pageant. The district provides buses for transporting people from Castle Dale to the pageant site.
In the superintendant's report, Kirk Sitterud presented a list of new employees to the board for their approval. Sitterud reported on the enrollment for the new school year, it is down 37 students from Oct. 4, 2004. There have been increases at Ferron and Huntington elementaries. Both junior highs combined are down by 30 students. "Things are still on the decline and we hope things pick-up, but overall we are OK. We don't want to see any more decreases and we hope we get some families in here," said Sitterud. On Oct. 3 the official count will be taken. Emery High currrently has 523 students and future projections for enrollment at EHS will drop to 420 students in the coming years.
With the new reading program, four of five goals have been met and the program will stay the same and close tabs will be kept on test scores.
Emery City has sent a letter to the school board announcing their support of the new swimming pool project near Emery High.
Sitterud mentioned a back to school program and year wide effort involving student education and the legislature. This emphasizes becoming familiar with local legislators and the duties of the legislature. Sept. 19-23 is the kick-off for the program.
Sitterud reported the district will continue to monitor the high fuel costs and if current trends continue the board may have to look at reducing extra curricular activities and some bus routes. It is Sitterud's hope that the legislature will deal with the problem and look at higher reimbursements to school districts for activities. The past few years transportation costs have increased dramatically and the reimbursement has remained the same.
Roger Swenson, transportation manager, said the district has two 10,000 gallon tanks which were recently filled before the last big jump in price. The diesel fuel will last until November. Sitterud also mentioned that the state doesn't reimburse for field trips and that such activities often cost $3 to $4 per mile when all costs are factored in. "Transportation costs really hit the rural districts hard because of the distances involved in travel," said Sitterud.
Leroy Maxfield said the trees at Emery High are causing a problem with the rubberized track. The roots are growing under the track and causing upheavals. The damage is contained to one lane at the present time, but if something isn't done the damage could extend to other parts of the track. It was determined the trees be cut down to avoid further problems. Maxfield felt this could be done without much expense and suggested tables be made out of the stumps with chairs and maybe an awning to beautify the area after the trees are removed. The same problem occurrred at the Green River track where 19 trees have been removed. While Nielson's Construction is working on the road to Green River High the roller will be utilized to see if it can roll down the track. But, Maxfield expected parts of the Green River track will have to be repaired or replaced.
The wages for beginning bus drivers was discussed. The district recently lost two bus drivers and new drivers are needed. The beginning pay has been $9 per hour for the first year of employment before raising to the pay scale of $12.23. It has been at $9 since the early 90s and Swenson requested the beginning pay start at the $12.23 rate. It is hoped that the raise will help with the recruitment of new drivers. The board approved the increase for beginning drivers.
The next school board meeting will be Oct. 5 at Emery High at 7 p.m.