The Emery County School Board met in their regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 5 at the Canyon View Junior High in Huntington. Those present were president of the board, Laurel Johansen, board members Rue Ware, Sam Singleton, Marie Johnson and Royd Hatt. Superintendent Kirk Sitterud and Business Administrator Ross Huntington.
Larry Davis, principal of Canyon View gave the principal's report. He said, "We have 226 students at CVJH, we are down 23 students from last year. It is encouraging though because our smallest class is our ninth grade class. We have a total staff of 29, which includes classroom teachers, a half day counselor and a resource aide. We have two custodians and three in lunch service and an administrative assistant. Several teachers have been working on opportunity awards and grants in the departments of math, science and computers. These applications are due to the state on Dec. 10. Tiffany Sorensen is our new girls P.E. teacher.
"We have made a number of capital improvements which included removal of the lockers, installing tile, benches and a trophy and display case in the hall. Richard Rowley has done an excellent job on these display cases and takes great pride in his work. We have new computers for information technology and for TLC and also in the media center. Teachers have expressed appreciation that now they can bring an entire class into the media center and have enough computers for all of the students to have their own computer to work on. It has worked out well.
"We have expanded our resource room which works out well. We have closed the mobile units and cut the utilities to them. All of the rooms in the building are being utilized. We have purchased new text books so the students will have a copy to leave at school and one for home use. We have instituted UPASS, upgraded technology, implemented patriotic education and staff development. We purchased a smart board with our school trust lands money and the teachers have been trained in its use. We have implemented a substitute teacher survival guide dealing with discipline and letting them know who they can call on for help.
"The removal of the lockers has cut down on the number of tardies. We have instituted a harassment prevention program. The students all watched a video concerning harassment. It is a step by step procedure which works well, we have seen a difference and are proud of that. We offer remediation in core classes. For the SEOP we are trying different things which involve the teachers of 7th and 8th graders. We are upgrading our policy manual. We are getting ready for a site visit on accreditation. We have a community council which has been very helpful. School improvement teams have been very effective.
"We have put up new signs for bus zone safety. To discourage any cars from being in the bus loading and unloading zone before and after school. Three teachers are trained in first aid and we have updated our emergency manual. We have had fire drills and will have other drills as the year goes on. I am also on the district safety committee.
"The honor society has made and donated items to raise funds for Primary Childrens Medical Center. TSA is also involved in the Emery Claus program. Our volleyball team took first place in the tournament and in league play. The wrestling team is currently in first place. Our top cat achievers program is working well and we had an activity at the end of first term. We have used a grant from Emery Telcom for help with this program. The homework helpers program is functioning with kids helping kids with supervision from a teacher.
"We have received a grant from the federal government which will be used to improve the media center. We have been given 28 Olympic tickets.
"Some of our needs are computer upgrades for the teachers. They are currently using machines which programs have been added to but the computers have reached their capacity," said Davis.
Several CVJH teachers were on hand at the meeting and voiced their sentiments that the computers are slow and outdated. One teacher mentioned it takes forever for the grades for just one class to be entered into the computer.
Davis said, "Our gym is in need of a new floor and lights. We still need to work on bus and bell scheduling. We have students arriving too early and staying after school too long.
"We have a green house project currently underway where Lee Moss, the science teacher, is growing spruce trees from seedlings for placement in the forest.
"Our girls locker room has some critical needs. The showers do not work and there isn't any hot water. It needs to be remodeled and there isn't any ventilation, the lockers are in poor condition," said Davis.
Superintendent Sitterud recommended that since the facility has such a high usage they should move ahead with the project. Depending on the problems incurred with the plumbing the cost was estimated to be approximately $17,000.
CVJH is piloting the Student Information System program, which charts students attendance and academics.
Superintendent Sitterud said they are working on replacing computer labs. Huntington pointed out there are more than 900 computers in the district. The board made a decision to approve the concept of computer replacement.
Johansen said, "We appreciate your desire for excellence, it is very evident in the school.
Carol Ediger spoke next on behalf of the teachers thanking the board for instituting the half day-minimum day for the last day of each term. "The day has been well used. It has really helped out and there has been much positive feedback."
Johansen said that was good to hear as there had been some concerns.
Emery High student, Cierra Jones was next on the agenda. She thanked the board for letting them attend the FFA National Convention in Kentucky. She mentioned that they learned how to improve their local chapter and also attended a careers show where they learned of new careers in agriculture. Some points of interest they saw were the Louisville slugger bat factory, Churchill Downs race track and the Lexington horse park where horses go after they retire from racing. Jones said, "I learned a lot."
FFA teacher Corrine Dalton said it was interesting to see the current agriculture issues.
Adele Huntington of the Emery High School counselor's office was next on the agenda, discussing the comprehensive guidance program. Nancy Karpowitz presented the information on the smart board. The need for counselors at the elementary level was stressed so problems can be taken care of at that level before they get out of hand.
The breakdown of the family structure is one of the reasons students need comprehensive guidance. A recent survey of students discussed their top three concerns. One was finding a career that fits them, two planning for their future after high school and three staying away from harmful substances. The same survey given to parents lists their concerns as helping students with education planning, supporting their student in their plan and finding funding for their childs education.
One of the benefits to the comprehensive guidance program is that it serves all students and initiates parental involvement. Since the implementation of the CGP in 1998 students have scored higher on testing. Karpowitz pointed out that there is $7.4 million available for qualifying schools and the Emery district will receive $58,000 which is used for personnel and equipment. The ratio of counselor to student in the Emery District is 1 counselor to 426 students. There is one full time counselor at the high school and two half day counselors at the junior highs. This preventative program serves all students. This program helps bring quality counseling services to the students in the Emery District.
The board meeting schedule for the year 2002 was approved with the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. being the regular day with a few exceptions which will be posted. The next board meeting will be held Jan. 9.
Huntington mentioned that two new busses will be purchased for $69,992 which is in accordance with district policy on replacing two busses per year.
The superintendent's report was next on the agenda. The UEA convention has been moved to Oct. 14 and Oct. 15 in 2002 which is a Monday and Tuesday. After the legislation determines the number of UPASS days the Emery District will draft a new three year calender.
Sitterud said that each board of education is to draft a resolution in opposition to tuition tax credits which will be before the legislature in the 2002 session.
A three hour educational assistant position at Cleveland Elementary was approved.
Sitterud discussed the job enhancement program and opportunity awards. There are three parts to it, money to recruit math and science teachers at the secondary level, money for staying at a particular school at least four years and scholarships for any teacher who wants to pursue a masters and will stay in the state and teach. These decisions are made on a state level and it is anticipated that two of the Emery District teachers will be eligible. Ten applications are being sent from our district.
Huntington mentioned the surplus property sale on Nov. 16 and said it went very well. "People came and payed money and took our junk away. It was exciting. We had good support from the principals in converting this surplus to cash. We will be purchasing a couple more cars and a truck. We will be updating the Green River drivers education car. This is on our regular replacement schedule of replacing two cars and one maintenance vehicle each year. Our service department is wonderful. I had a meeting in Salt Lake one day and the car quit on me so I called Ralph and he said I could either take it to a garage there or he could load a car on the trailer and bring it to me and haul the broken down vehicle home at a great savings to the district. He said he would be there in three hours and he was, which saved the district hundreds in repair bills. We have great people working in this district," said Huntington.