Emery School Board Desires to be Proactive in Planning for 2020-21 School Year

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By Julie Johansen

On Wednesday evening, the Emery School Board encouraged everyone who has a child of kindergarten age to register during the next few weeks. The only way to know how many kindergarten students there will be next year is by the results of kindergarten registration, which will take place in each respective school throughout February. The school board desires to be proactive in classroom size and teacher assignments rather than face conflicts at a later date.

Emery School District Elementary Supervisor JR Jones then gave current and prospective enrollment numbers to the board. It appears that elementary enrollment is down by about 76 students for the coming year. The only school staying above or even in student numbers is Cleveland Elementary. Part of the reason for this decline is the sixth grades moving to the middle schools. Board members are anxious to know these numbers so that teacher assignments and classroom size can be determined as soon as possible.

Next, Emery School District Secondary Supervisor Yvonne Jensen reported that while Emery High has been increasing in numbers for two years, Green River has seen a decline. San Rafael Middle School is growing while Canyon View is dropping in student numbers. The board again responded that this is very good information to have so that they can be proactive instead of reactive.

Jared Black then gave a report from the facilities committee. The board is trying to establish priorities in the development of district facilities, such as schools, maintenance, child nutrition and school departments. The committee has toured each school to familiarize the members. Most of the buildings in the district were built between 1960 and 1980 and have been cared for well but are aging. Committee members are also touring new schools outside the district for ideas and are looking at hiring a bond expert and an architect. Black stated that they are a great committee as everyone is engaged.

Gear Up representatives gave a presentation to the board about their program. They work with students in the seventh and eight grades to help with career and college awareness. In the upper grades, they focus on ACT preparation and tutoring. Emphasis in their program is also on college preparation.

Next, Cleveland Elementary Principal Jenny Gagon showed a slideshow presentation entitled “The State of the School.” The slides reported student scores and goals in literacy, math and science. In literacy, they have emphasized that each student needs to read on their level, so all of their selections for reading material have been labeled with levels from A to Z. She also expressed appreciation for Felicia Jeffs, the school’s social worker, and the assistance students are receiving from her.

To conclude, Emery Educators Association President Neal Peacock commented to the board that they would like to see a committee with teachers representatives to help in the selection of a new superintendent.

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