A decision was made by the Emery County School District Board of Education to approve the construction of a new warehouse. Kevin Madsen, the architect, gave a presentation to the board. The proposed warehouse will be built at the bus compound behind Emery High. The building is 80x120 with 9,600 square feet and the freezer and coolers will be large enough to drive into with a fork lift.
The site is ready to be built upon with power, water and sewer available. The building will be block with a metal roof and will match the color of other buildings on the compound as closely as possible. There will also be a fireproof vault in the northwest corner of the building to store school records which they are required to keep indefinitely.
There will be three delivery doors on the facility. The deliveries will arrive at the central warehouse and will then be distributed to the various schools as needed. Superintendent Sitterud pointed out that the district has had a hard time buying bulk items because of their limited storage capacities and now will be able to take advantage of sales on bulk and freezer items . The estimated cost of the new warehouse facility is between $675,000 and $700,000. Money for the project will come from the remainder of bonds which were used for heating projects around the district.
It was noted that since the heating project at Huntington Elementary was completed their monthly heating bill is down $1,000 per month. It was determined that the plans be finished and Madsen was to report back when the paperwork is completed and then the bidding process will begin.
The principal's report for Huntington Elementary was given by Tom Baltzer. "Welcome to our school and thank you for the support you give Huntington Elementary. As part of our character education program this year we held a Christmas tree walk where each of the trees were decorated with a different value of character education. We served more than 500 donuts that night. We have been working on the edu-test with the children on the computers for online testing. This is to prepare the students for online testing which will become part of core testing in the future. The students work on science and math testing on the computer.
"We have also introduced the Shurley program for English. We have four classes using it and plan to purchase the program for all the other classes with the school trust lands funds. The faculty really wants it and it is a tremendous program.
"We began the school year with 319 students and are up to 345. We appreciate the faculty we have here at the school. We had 50 children register for kindergarten next year, 13 of those speak limited English. We plan to have three sessions. We are thankful for the roof over the walkway which is going up on the north side of our school building. This will help with the drainage problems and increase safety in that area which is icy every winter. Thank you for all you do for us."
Laurel Johansen said the board is amazed with the test scores from Huntington Elementary and the diversity of students attending. "The school has good teachers with positive students wanting to learn."
Baltzer said the teachers are to be commended for their efforts in helping the students achieve higher test scores.
Discussion of the early retirement policies was held by the board and Huntington said he had tried to foresee problems and had come up with a draft that was workable and beneficial for all involved. The board approved the early retirement policies.
A lot owned by the school district in the Castle Heights subdivision near the high school was discussed. An owner of an adjacent lot approached the school district about purchasing the lot next to him in the subdivision. The construction class has built homes on lot 1,3,4, 6 and is now building on lot 8 with lot 10 being next on the building schedule. This leaves 11 lots available. Johnson said the sale of the lot might be shortsighted with its proximity to the high school for the construction class to use in the future and made a motion not to sell the lot. The motion was seconded by Hatt.
A field trip request by Jody Willson from San Rafael Junior High to attend a state FCCLA competition was approved.
Dennis Dooley expressed his concerns about early retirement deadlines and other districts deadlines as far as when they hire. He pointed out that the cutoff for early retirement is April and most districts do not hire until June. This could make things difficult if one took the early retirement in April and was not picked up by another district.
Superintendent Sitterud explained the problems they would have changing the cutoff to June or later. It would be harder to hire college graduates if the district didn't know soon enough which positions will be available.
The board assured Dooley they would take the matter into consideration.
Mark Hansen will be leaving the district to return to Idaho. He expressed regrets at leaving and said it was not by choice but necessity to help his mother out. Hansen has been teaching in the district since 1978. The board expressed their appreciation to Hansen for his diligence as a teacher in the district.
Singleton expressed satisfaction with the history fair and the solo and ensemble festival which had taken place. Emery County students did an excellent job. He also expressed that the program with Steve James was very successful and the children had done an excellent job.
Superintendent Sitterud presented a request by Book Cliff Elementary third graders for an out-of-state field trip to ride the train and visit a museum and historic farm in Colorado. The motion was approved. A bus will be provided to meet the students in Grand Junction for the ride home.
The superintendent presented letters for early retirement and resignation. Linda Fluckey from the Book Cliff Elementary lunch program, Gordan Card, technical teacher at Emery High, Grace Webber from Book Cliff Elementary, Beulah Oveson from the district office, superintendent's secretary, Mark Hansen from Emery High and Myrna Watterson from the speech and therapy department at Book Cliff Elementary.
The removal of the lifeskills class which is required by all 10th graders was made and the decision to add .5 credit to the applied technology requirement was approved.
The superintendent also asked for board approval concerning a policy which will allow for the rehiring of an employee who has retired. These would not be full-time positions until after six months. The employee would begin at beginning salary and would have provisional status for three years. The board voted to accept the policy.
The superintendent went over legislative action taken in the legislature. He said the weighted pupil unit had been raised from $2,131 to $2,150 for an additional $40,000 for the school district. The district anticipates a $140,000 increase in health care costs. The legislature decreased the quantity of the quality teaching grant by 10.5 percent and decreased adult education by 31 percent. They also capped the school trust lands distributions at $10 million. The tuition tax credit failed, but the omnibus bill passed. They removed the provision which required administrators to have a teaching certificate. It was generally felt that this would lead to schools operating more like businesses and administrators operating without any child development training and understanding of children.
Those present were board president, Laurel Johansen, vice president, Royd Hatt, board members, Marie Johnson, Rue Ware and Sam Singleton. Superintendent Kirk Sitterud and business administrator, Ross Huntington were also present. The next meeting will be held May 7 at Castle Dale.