Construction Projects Continue Throughout Emery School District

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By Julie Johansen

The Emery School Board met at Canyon View Middle School last week for its October meeting. During the work session, attorney Joel Wright explained the litigation against Phillip Morris concerning vaping in schools. He explained that 93% of the school districts in Utah have joined in the lawsuit and invited the Emery School District to join. No action was taken but consideration will be given at a later time.

Following the opening call to order and Pledge of Allegiance, contractors from the construction of district schools gave presentations outlining the status report for each site. Trent Huntsman from Westland was present at the meeting and gave each board member printed copies of his slideshow.

Emery High students were able to play on the new football field with lights for homecoming and other activities the previous week. The baseball and softball field have sod on them and the sprinklers are working with the hopes of the grass getting a head start before winter. The ceiling is on the field house and following insulation, the roof will be placed on the building. Other upcoming milestones include the retaining wall, custom logo on the dugout, flag poles and the roof on the field house.

Ferron Elementary is 22% complete in terms of the demolition, landscape and entire project. A milestone there would be that all concrete floors are poured by Oct. 31. When questioned by a board member, Huntsman replied that they are noticing that lumber prices are decreasing but glass and steel prices are still elevated.

Todd Barney gave a virtual update on the classroom additions in Green River at Book Cliff Elementary. Many of the projects are complete or nearing completion. As soon as the fire marshal does an inspection, occupancy can happen. However, there are still some outside matters to complete, such as the roof and lighting.

Next up, Doug Johnson, Emery School District IT Supervisor, presented a training on data privacy and security risk analysis. The emphasis was on protecting student information and data security for the entire district staff. He then gave a technology committee report that they had received a $405,000 grant that will enable them to place 1,100 Chromebooks in homes that need assistance for the students. These Chromebooks are for distance learning, economically disabled, medical reasons or hardships. They will not go back and forth from school to home, but rather stay in the homes as long as the students are registered in the district.

Superintendent Ryan Maughan then presented three names to the board for hiring approval. The names were Rebecca Higbee Feller, language arts teacher at Emery High; Connie Wilson, TSSA aide at Cleveland Elementary; and Cody Jensen, Emery High softball. The board approved all three names.

Resolutions were then adopted to approve Green River I, Green River II and Pivot 13 solar interlocal agreements. Jade Powell of the Southeast Utah Association of Local Governments then spoke to the board, telling them that he would take the resolutions to the Emery County Community Reinvestment Agency.

Principal Jenny Gagon next spoke to the board about the faculty and staff goals for Canyon View Middle School. She said that the teachers and staff are working together to meet the gaps in learning for literacy and math. They are also introducing new programs to instill in students a love for reading as well as improve attendance. Gagon further stated that the Cougar Pride program is expanding to give more students recognition for excellence.

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