The December 2012 meeting of the Emery County School District Board of Education was held at Huntington Elementary School. Members of the Board reviewed the consent agenda, including the warrants, minutes for the November 2012 Board meeting and financial reports for November 2012. Katelyn Behling was approved as an Educational Assistant, 3 hour, Special Education for Ferron Elementary.
The monthly meeting calendar for School Board Meetings in 2013 was approved. They will be held the first Wednesday of each month during the school year except the summer meetings which are held at the district office on different days.
Principal Garth Johnson reported he is enjoying his transition to Huntington Elementary School. He thanked the Board for the opportunity and expressed that he feels rejuvenated in his current position. He commented on how impressed he is with the teaching at Huntington Elementary. He has been impressed with both the teachers and assistants and how hard they work. He acknowledged the struggles of many students, adding that he and the faculty are working hard to find ways to help each student, particularly with reading and math. Principal Johnson showed the Board the new iPad cart the school is using. The school has a committee looking for the best educational apps to use on the iPads. He thanked the Board for their support. President Johansen thanked Mr. Johnson for his report.
Superintendent Sitterud reviewed with the Board the status of the education evaluation program. He then discussed a recent rural schools study. The conclusions are that, for the most part, rural schools do better than their urban counterparts in the Core tested subjects and graduation rates, but not as well on college entrance tests such as the ACT. Rural students generally thrive in the basic curriculum and have low dropout rates, but aren't offered the breadth or depth of advanced courses offered to non-rural students. This may be suppressing college enrollment rates and keeping rural students from attaining higher levels of education. The study also showed that rural schools face significant challenges related to hiring teachers, particularly those in specialty subjects.
Superintendant Sitterud reviewed the final proposal for USHAA realignment for 2013-15. Green River will see no significant changes while Emery High will continue to compete in 2A, except for football, where they will compete in 3A. He then discussed a potential bill proposing to equalize commercial based property tax. This would result in a loss of capital outlay revenue to the District. The bill is being sponsored by Senator Aaron Osmond.