School board gives recognition awards
Two employees were honored at the May school board meeting. Iva Wilske was named the teacher of the year and Roma Brotherson was named the support staff person of the year.
Dixie Fielder presented a report to the school board on the comprehensive guidance program at Emery High. She reported if the students pass all of their classes they will have earned 1,190 college credits this year.
Superintendent Kirk Sitterud said there is some concern about concurrent enrollment and the state office of education is redefining eligibility for concurrent enrollment classes which means some courses won't be offered for concurrent enrollment making it more difficult for students. These classes offer vocational career opportunities for students who sometimes don't do well in the traditional classroom setting.
The board was approached by the drill team advisor Kaylynn Cornett on a trip for the officers to Las Vegas from July 22-24. They will attend the Tremaine Dance camp to learn updated routines and techniques. The board approved the trip with the stipulation that the girls travel in a school district suburban. Any parents attending as chaperones will drive their own vehicles. They will learn ballet technique, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, progression and turns as well as choreography, strength and flexibility training and stage makeup.
There are a limited number of trainers in Utah and sometimes they teach the same routines to several different groups.
Sitterud recommended tight supervision of the girls attending and having them and their parents sign a contract that they will obey all the rules outlined by the advisor. If girls are unable to attend, then Sitterud wants to make sure the girl will suffer no negative consequences in regards to their participation on the drill team. Girls attending will include: Krystal Richardson-vice president; Leisha Magnuson-dance drill mistress; McCall Spears-military drill mistress; Kelcy Faimalo-kick drill mistress; Rackelle Larsen-Secretary; and Kara Stilson-president.
The school board approved all of the trustlands committee plans for the local schools. The schools can use the trustlands monies for a variety of supplies and other needed items. The trustlands committees meet and develop a plan for their school on where the money will be spent.
The following personnel hires were approved: Monica Wardle as Cheerleader Advisor at Emery High and Megan Gilbert as a half day English teacher at Emery High.
The school district accepted bids for flooring for Book Cliff, Ferron and Cottonwood elementaries. One bid was received from Affordable Flooring.
Asbestos abatement will also take place at Ferron and Cottonwood. Three bids were received for the asbestos abatement, the low bid was Eagle Environmental testing for $22,780. They have to test five samples for each zone. Each is tested twice at a cost of $100 for each test. So for each zone the total is $1,000. There will be a maximum of four zones tested. Five pre-work samples are taken and five clearance samples. Four zones within the contaminated areas are also tested.
The board approved a lease agreement for school district property in Elmo. One bid was received from Colby Jensen. He will put up fencing. He is going to attempt to grow alfalfa on the property.
Ralph Worthen gave the principal's report for Castle Dale Elementary. "We have a great faculty. They work well together. Great education takes place at Castle Dale Elementary as well as good learning activities." Worthen pointed out a project students recently completed where they drew their bodies to scale and compared them to a baby picture of themselves to see how much they had grown. The students have also been studying maps of the world and learning about different countries. They have sent for travel brochures to learn more.
"Mrs. Jeffs will be retiring and we shall miss her. The district has been involved in a math endorsement class and 23 teachers have been taking the class," said Worthen.
Worthen is a math specialist and the principal from Cottonwood, Dennis Jones is a reading specialist.
"All of our teachers are continuing to learn. The core academy will be held in our district again this summer. We always have the highest percentage of teachers that attend the academy. One year we had over 100 percent attendance. On Aug. 4, 5, 6, there will be 250 people coming here.
"We are still doing buddy reading with Wendy Whittle's class from the high school. These high school students try to be good examples to the young students. We are combining with Cottonwood Elementary on May 19 for a track meet. We recently completed our dance program and Ferron, Huntington, Castle Dale and Cottonwood elementaries all participated in the final program which was held at Cottonwood Elementary. This dance program has been very successful. In a school back east the students were surveyed and they said the dancing was their favorite PE activity," said Worthen.
The superintendent gave his report. He said the Emery district hasn't recommended any school closures due to the flu. The only reason they would consider that would be if absenteeism was high and teachers were out. Schools up north are open again. Anyone with the flu is advised to stay home until symptoms subside. It was noted that some students in the district were afraid to attend school because they didn't want to become sick.
Sitterud recognized the Arch Coal teacher of the year awards. Teri McElprang was a top winner and three other teachers in the district received golden apple recognitions including: Layne Hales, Lori Labrum and Vicki Rasmussen.
The school district received a recognition for excellence in financial reporting and excellence in statistical reporting.
With the budget reductions, Sitterud said he is working with Principal Larry Davis and Athletic Director Todd Jeffs to see where reductions can be made. They will look at reducing travel mileage, because that's where the costs are. Sitterud said they would like a 5-10 percent reduction. But, there has already been a 12 percent reduction in travel over the last four years. This reduction will save EHS $12-$15,000. In some cases they will look at having the boys and girls teams travel together to reduce costs. But, this may increase time out of class. "Emery High will be in a new region next year and there will be some mileage increases with this change in region. We are also adding a swim team and their swim meets will add to the costs," said Sitterud.
Sitterud explained that a state law passed regarding background checks will require that all fingerprints be kept on file. A law passed in 1999 required this take place, but for some reason the fingerprints were not kept. The law reads that all criminals and teachers will have their fingerprints on file. The original cards were apparently not kept because the agency doing the fingerprinting felt it was inappropriate or unethical to keep the cards on file if there was not criminal history shown. That was the reason the original cards are not still available.
Beginning on June 1 of this year any background check for license renewal will include keeping fingerprints on file. By, July 1, 2010, all teachers will be required to have their fingerprints on file and must be refingerprinted before that time. There is a $10 charge for fingerprinting. Also included in the law is that when any licensed educator is arrested for a criminal act the state office of education along with the school district must be notified. The school district will then take the proper steps of putting the educator on a leave of absence and other measures.
The district will begin addressing their mission statement and goal document. This hasn't been done for 15 years and that will be open for input. The goals and direction document needs to be updated.
The school board assigned personnel to attend the graduation ceremonies which will be on May 21. Royd Hatt, Superintendent Sitterud and Sam Singleton will go to Green River. Nanette Tanner, Laurel Johansen, Gwen Callahan and Jed Jensen will attend Emery High graduation.
On May 28 will be a closing social to honor 10 retirees from the Emery district. Funds for this social come from a private fund which district office employees contribute to for special events at no expense to tax payers.
The next school board meeting will be on June 16 at 1 p.m. at the district office in Huntington.