The Emery County School Board held its April meeting at Cottonwood Elementary School in Orangeville. Linda Nelson, a teacher at the school, gave the school's report. "There have been many improvements at Cottonwood recently. We have had a lot of trainings for the staff. We are improving our testing of the students and the teachers are learning to diagnose and correct problems with the students.
"The book, Words Their Way, is a great book which the district required us to use this year. It is a wonderful tool for the teachers and has great information in it. Dennis Jones, the principal at Cottonwood, is working very hard to get us the supplies we need as teachers. He is doing a great job.
"The teachers here at Cottonwood are among the most experienced in the district. Our average teacher has 19 years experience in the teaching field. Being an experienced faculty does not stop us from learning. We are always looking for ways to improve and learn what is needed to help our students.
"Four of our classrooms received new projectors this year. Our goal is to get them for every classroom. We are also trying to acquire Smart Boards for every classroom," said Nelson.
Board president Laurel Johansen expressed the appreciation of the board to Nelson. "Pass onto the other faculty members that this school is so full of enthusiasm that one can feel it when they walk in the door," said Johansen.
Band teacher Ben Carroll told the board of his appreciation for the support of the board for all of the district's music programs. He stated that it is time again to begin thinking about a summer trip for the band. The band takes a trip every three years. During the summer of 2007, the band is requesting to again go to Disneyland to play and march on Disneyland's Main Street.
"We have fundraisers going on all of the time," said Carroll. "We are not asking for money, only permission to go. This is a great experience for the students to go out and play and perform for large crowds in a different venue. Another great thing about summer trips is the amount of practice the students receive over the summer. It really helps with summer retention.
"The trip will cost between $650-750 per student, and around 90 students and chaperones will be going. This is a nice experience for the band students. It is open to band students in grades nine through 12. We have done our research and have planned the trip so the students in the marching band will not miss any parades or events here in Emery County.
"Our band boosters are doing many things to help raise the funds for this trip. Some parents take the option to pay a monthly payment in advance so when the trip comes, that student has already been paid," concluded Carroll. The board discussed the proposal and approved the band trip for the summer of 2007.
Carroll went on to make another proposal. "Our large group did not qualify to go to the state competition this year. As a result, I am asking for your permission to take those students to a music festival which will be held at Lagoon. The funding for this trip has already been raised and the mileage funding is in my budget, and I am requesting to take the students to this festival," asked Carroll. The board approved. This festival will be held on May 20.
Another action item addressed by the board was to approve several early retirement requests. Pam Hansen, Jonnie Johansen and Ross Huntington have each requested early retirement. The board approved. Resignations were accepted from Shelley Anderson and Lonnie Zwahlen. Julie Housekeeper was approved to replace Zwahlen at San Rafael Junior High School. Amanda Frandsen was approved to be the new drill team advisor at Emery High School, and Laura Blackwell was approved to become the language development specialist at Huntington Elementary.
Superintendent Kirk Sitterud requested approval of the district's revised wellness policy. Following input from the PTA, health department and principals, the wellness policy was instituted for continuation of funding for child nutrition programs. This policy covers any food items served to students during the school day, including vending machines, concessions, and class party items. No food of minimal nutritional value may be served to students. This will eliminate many items, including soda pop. The beverage vending machines will offer water and juices.
"This is not a bad thing," said Supt. Sitterud. "Schools have been faced with childhood obesity problems and this will help the schools fight this problem. This will be implemented to begin the next school year."
The final action of the school board was to appoint negotiating teams for the upcoming contract period. JJ Grant, Sam Singleton and Royd Hatt will oversee the certified personnel, and Jed Jensen, Marie Johnson and Laurel Johansen will cover the classified personnel.
The next meeting of theboard will be May 3 at 7 p.m. at Huntington Elementary School.