Castle Dale Elementary Principal Melinda Durrant welcomed the Emery County School Board to her school for October’s board meeting. She told of the programs that the elementary is working on and the success they are having with them. Durrant said that they are “Bucket fillers,” watching for kindness, no bullying and other positive character traits to add students’ names to the buckets. This is an incentive program with periodic rewards.
Durrant reported that they are using technology components of Chrome and iPad labs to help with math and reading as well as instigating Google Classroom. This helps with paperless assignments and assessments. The Service Center is providing training in this field. Four teachers and Durrant herself received training in Mastery Connect, which helps to reach state core standards. They have decided that homework will no longer be part of the requirements for grades but rather a voluntary practice for students. Reading at home will be expected. Recent activities included a 4th, 5th and 6th grade trip to the Capitol Building in Salt Lake to participate in the Capitol Centennial Celebration, National Walk to School Day, and the Amazon Smiles Program.
Castle Dale Elementary will be hosting the district’s robotics instruction on the elementary level. Amanda Frandsen will be the instructor with two levels of instruction: k-3 grade, and 4-6 grades, respectively. They will be participating in various Red Ribbon Week activities and Castle Dale’s Veterans Day assembly.
Superintendent Larry Davis announced that, through considerable research and discussion, a district committee has determined that SAGE testing for 11th graders will be discontinued in the Emery District. Approval was granted for the Emery digital teaching and learning grant application. Several names for coaching staffs were approved, upon all coaches receiving background checks.
In the superintendent’s report, Davis reported that Emery District has several Alternate Pathway to Teaching teachers, and the district will be providing needed training for these teachers. This is a statewide practice and guidelines from the state office are pending. The law requires a youth protection seminar and Emery District will be conducting this with emphasis on mental health issues such as sexual abuse, bullying, hazing, Internet safety and drug issues including “pink.” This meeting will be on November 3 at 6 p.m. for parents and students.
Davis also presented tentative calendars for the coming year and next three years for the board’s consideration. Business Administrator Jared Black reported that the audit went well and they will be returning again.
In a work session held prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting, discussion of the Sage data reported that Book Cliff Elementary is a “Turnaround” school and will be receiving special help from the district and state to help improve its overall grade. They will participate in leadership inquiry for Turn Around Schools, of which there are 44 schools in Utah. This state-funded program will include vendors chosen by a committee of parents, teachers and administration to help with specialized instruction. It should be noted that Book Cliff Elementary received a failing grade but is not a failing school. Principal JR Jones stated that letters regarding this issue and a general meeting would take place to advise parents and concerned citizens of the action required to correct this grade.