Emery County School Board Considering Placement of Sixth and Ninth Grade Students

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By Julie Johansen

Emery County School District Superintendent Kirk Sitterud informed the board about a survey the district is compiling and planning to distribute to all concerned citizens regarding the placement of sixth and ninth grade students.

The intent of these surveys is to gather community input on advantages and disadvantages of sending the ninth grade to the high school and whether or not middle school should be sixth, seventh and eighth grades or just seventh and eighth, leaving sixth grade at the elementary level.

Sitterud stated that the district is going through declining enrollment so over-crowding is not an issue. Endorsements and certification of teachers is a concern of the administration. Also a concern is that some elementary schools’ enrollment would be very small. The board felt that additional information is needed and these surveys would give them that information.

Once the survey instrument is compiled it will be published in local newspapers but will need to be completed online. This can be done at home or at any school in the district. School board members hope to have this instrument completed soon so that the information can be complied by the first part of December.

Other district business was the hiring approval of two individuals: Donna Cramer, special education assistant at Castle Dale Elementary and Kacey Fluckey as principal and special education teacher at Green River High School.

Fluckey will be temporarily replacing Nolan Johnson at Green River, who has accepted employment with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in New Mexico. Johnson is retiring, but because of timing in the middle of the year he submitted his resignation, which was accepted.

Sitterud also called for approval of consolidated application. This requires approximately 200 hours of work to compile budgets and plans to present to the Utah State Office of Education. Individual school principals, counselors,and teachers supply the data. District personnel compile the reports. Upon completion of the reports and submission to the state office, $1.2 million of state and federal funds will become available to be used in the areas of greatest need in the district. This was approved.

Approval of the education evaluation program was also granted. This evaluation program is used to evaluate teachers with 1-3 years of teaching experience. Sitterud stated that there are still changes to be made to this program and has not yet been attached to teachers’ pay. The administration is trying to work with the teacher’s association to implement this program.

The next item of business was a raise in wages for substitute teachers by $10 per day. It would also decrease the number of consecutive days taught before pay increases. The discussion included questions as to whether it would be retroactive or begin immediately. The decision was to have the pay increase begin immediately.

Principal Melinda Durrant from Castle Dale Elementary then addressed the board. She expressed her appreciation of coming to a good school with a great staff. She also welcomed new staff members Kaylynn Fail and Donna Cramer.

She explained the positive office referrals program, which awards good behavior and achievement. These notes are also sent home with students. Castle Dale Elementary’s goals are for more technology instruction and equipment. She invited everyone to attend the veteran’s day program at the memorials in Castle Dale’s park on November 11 at 11 a.m. All students, except kindergarten, will be participating.

The auditor was unable to attend so the auditor’s report will be given at the next meeting in December.

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