School District board news
The Emery County School District Board meets once each month in the schools of the county. They hear a principal's report from the school they are visiting and conduct board business.
Shelley Wright, Director of the Children's Justice Center program in Carbon and Emery Counties was invited to present to the Board. She reviewed the history of the Children's Justice Center in Castle Dale. The previous Center was leased and when the owners decided to move into the house, the Emery County program had to start using the Center in Price, which has been the case since that time. Wright explained that a new facility in Emery County would be a tremendous help to her program, eliminating the need for caseworkers to transport children to another county.
The Emery County Commission has agreed to fund the materials for a new Center; however, both land and a builder are still needed. Wright explained that she is requesting that the School District donate the 0.19 acre piece of land across from the high school. It is a sufficient lot size and the location is just right due to its residential setting. Also, Wright explained that she would like the Emery High School construction program to build the house. Superintendent Kirk Sitterud mentioned that the lot size is too small for the typical house that would be built by the construction program, so this request would be a good use for the lot. It would also provide the construction program with an additional building experience close to the high school.
Laurel Johansen. board chair, asked what would happen to the lot if the Justice Center program defaulted. Wright responded that the land would belong to the county because the school district would be donating the land to the county. To clarify, the county would own the land and facility, and the Justice Center program would lease the facility from the county. Johansen indicated that she would like the school district to still have some control over the property in the event that the center defaulted. At this point, Rue Ware made a motion to support the concept of donating the property for the use of a Children's Justice Center with the condition that a letter of agreement be signed with the county allowing the school district to negotiate the future use of the property if the Justice Center defaults.
Superintendent Sitterud presented an updated agreement from the Boy Scouts of America concerning their use of Canyon View Junior High School this upcoming summer. The biggest change in the agreement is that it extends the weeks of use from one to two. Sitterud reminded the Board that they had previously agreed to rent the property for $500. He then recommended approval of the agreement. Ware asked what it would involve to provide hot water lines for portable showers. J.J. GrantÃ¯Â¿Â½Secondary Supervisor for the District responded that this particular detail has not been worked out yet, but that they will also be using indoor showers.
Superintendent Sitterud next presented the following policy requests to the Board:
GCQ/GDQ: Employee Orderly Dismissal (Revision).
GDP: Support Staff Probation, Suspension, and Dismissal (To Be Rescinded).
Sitterud explained that policy GCQ/GDQ (Orderly Dismissal) is based on Utah Statute, and it covers all of the employees. It was previously thought that this policy only covered our licensed employees, but that is not the case. Because of this, there is no need to have a separate policy for support staff. For this reason, Sitterud recommended that policy GDP be rescinded. Policy GCQ/GDQ is revised with updated language which clarifies the difference between "non-renewal" and "termination" and needs to be approved.
Superintendent Sitterud presented a letter of request for unpaid leave on behalf of Tiffany Conover, a Teacher at Ferron Elementary School. Sitterud explained that Conover is requesting 20 days of unpaid leave for personal medical reasons. She does not qualify for Family Medical Leave yet, and therefore is requesting unpaid leave to use after her sick and personal leave exhaust. A substitute has been arranged for and it passed by unanimous vote.
Jared Black, business manager, explained that he and Superintendent Sitterud have been meeting with Roger Peay who owns land adjacent to where the Emery High construction program currently builds houses. Peay is developing a subdivision on his property and would like to propose a land exchange with the school district. The exchange would give the District 13,000 square feet of land and the district would give up 5,000 square feet. Peay considers this an equal trade because the land he would be gaining has improvements which equalize the value of the overall trade. The exchange would increase the size of lots the school district already owns, consequently boosting the district's number of buildable lots by two.
Black mentioned that as a condition of the exchange, Peay is asking that the Emery High construction program build future houses according to the restrictive covenants he is developing for his subdivision. Black explained that he had spoken with construction teacher Jim Keele about these restrictive covenants. Keele feels comfortable with all of them except the requirement of a steeper roof pitch, which he feels may negatively impact student safety. Black recommended that the board approve the proposed land exchange, with the condition that further negotiations be held about the roof pitch requirement.
Superintendent Sitterud presented an updated No Child Left Behind Consolidated Plan for approval, explaining that the Plan has not changed from the past two years, with the exception of the target areas for instructional focus. These target areas were changed based on the results of spring testing.
Superintendent Sitterud next recommended that the following persons be approved for promotion or hire: Melanie Miera-head custodian (promotion from custodian), Cleveland Elementary; Suzanne Larsen-three hour educational assistant, special needs student Ferron Elementary.
Black presented a Memorandum of Understanding to the Board. He explained that the memorandum will allow the Utah School Boards Association to process Medicaid Services claims for the School District. There will be no cost to the district, but there will be additional documentation required by those who provide these services. The initial fee for service will be 10 percent of all generated revenues. Black also explained that the memorandum includes a clause that allows the district to get out of the program at any time with 30 days written notice. Because of this, it is a program that seems worthwhile to pursue.
Principal Gwen Callahan of Emery High School reported on Emery High School. Principal Callahan recognized new Assistant Principal Jim Jones and mentioned that she is proud that Emery High has very few discipline problems, has again attained Adequate Yearly Progress, has an excellent faculty that sincerely cares about students, and has students who, for the most part, mature while in school and are wonderful human beings when they leave.
Principal Callahan also mentioned areas of improvement for the school. She would like to see more individualized instruction, better identification of weak curriculum areas, improvement of student writing skills, and more awareness of students who are not performing, or who are struggling with personal issues that may be preventing their success. She thanked each member of the school board for their support.
Johansen thanked Principal Callahan and her faculty for their dedication and excellence, mentioning that Emery High School produces very good students who are prepared for the world. Ware asked Principal Callahan if she feels the school is prepared to deal with safety concerns. Principal Callahan responded that the school is being proactive about safety.