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Front Page » January 22, 2013 » Emery County News » School board hears Castle Dale Elem. report
Published 638 days ago

School board hears Castle Dale Elem. report


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

The Emery County School Board met in their January meeting at the Castle Dale Elementary. The first item of business was to swear in the re-elected members of the board, Sam Singleton, Laurel Johansen and Nanette Tanner.

Johansen was elected as chairman and Royd Hatt as vice-chairman of the board. Jared Black was appointed as the business administrator for the district.

In personnel matters, Superintendent Kirk Sitterud recommended Vicky Martineau as a new third grade teacher at Castle Dale Elementary. The board approved a choir trip to Cottonwood High. The board approved the lease of their water shares to Huntington and Cleveland. The rate will increase a little this year.

The board discussed the cold weather and at what temperature the students should be kept inside for recess. Superintendent Sitterud has done some research and the temperatures vary across the country. Emery County doesn't have a set policy on the temperature. Most areas he surveyed if the temperature was about 20 degrees the students would go out and below 20 degrees they would be kept inside. In Minnesota the students would be kept in if the temperature dipped below -15 degrees.

Most experts agreed if the students are properly dressed they should be sent outside to play. For now it is up to each individual school to determine if it's too cold for students outside.

The district has been studying bus routes and patterns to try to find solutions for students who arrive at school 40 minutes before school starts. This is due to the buses dropping off students and then continuing onto the high school. The district will keep looking for solutions, but unless more buses are purchased and more drivers, which isn't economically feasible, the bus schedules will remain the same. District policy states teachers must be on duty when the first buses arrive.

Principal Ralph Worthen gave his report to the school board. He said most students want to go out and play no matter what the temperature. "I appreciate the help given to Castle Dale Elementary by the school board and the district office. Our enrollment is gradually growing and we've heard more kids are coming. We appreciate having a new teacher. When I first started here we had 165 enrolled and now we are up to 222. We have a great faculty and the new teacher is fitting in well. Everyone at this school is anxious to help out. The teachers like to share what works and help each other out. They love their smart boards. It's fun all of the interactive things the students can do with the smart boards. We just finished with Wendy Whittle's class coming down to read with the younger students. We have a lot of positive success stories with this program.

"We have fantastic lunch ladies that are always doing something to make lunch fun. We had an Under the Sea day recently and they are planning a snow sculpture contest. They are always doing fun things to make it better and we appreciate them. The Dibels testing looks good the teachers wanted to finish it up so they could get it on the report cards. The students are progressing. The Sheriff's Office was here to speak to the students concerning a lockdown activity we are going to have. They showed the students how the officers would dress for the activity. They told the students what to expect and they told the students to remain as quiet as possible during the drill. The Sheriff's Emergency Response Team will conduct the drill. We have sent notes home to the parents so they will know what is going on. This is good training for the Sheriff's Office as well as our teachers," said Principal Worthen.

Superintendent Sitterud said lockdown exercises are held at the elementary schools every two-three years and more often at the junior highs and high schools.

Pres. Johansen said it is comforting to know preparation is taking place in the schools. She also thanked Principal Worthen for the great work going on at Castle Dale Elementary and for the Veteran's program that was very nice.

Black told of the capital equalization bill being introduced at the legislature this year that could hurt the school district. It would take a portion of the capital levy and redistribute it. The amount returned to the district by the state would not equal what the Emery district would be sending the state. With the enrollment numbers in the Emery district being low. The bill could take one-third of the capital outlay. This could be a very serious issue for the district should the bill pass.

Black reported to the board that the school district is responsible for refunding to PacifiCorp taxes for 2006-07 in the amount of $400,000. PacifiCorp won a tax appeal. The school district might impose a judgment levy which would help recoup some of the tax money by raising taxes enough to collect the money needed to pay PacifiCorp.

Superintendent Sitterud addressed an issue that a perception in the communities is that the school district isn't doing a lot as far as school safety. Superintendent said this is a misconception and maybe a lot of what they do isn't widely known. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing as all codes for the schools is confidential information they don't want known. "We don't want armed guards at our schools, we don't want to turn our schools into prisons," said Superintendent Sitterud. He explained he has written a statement outlining what the schools do for school safety, it is being published in the Emery County Progress. The statement will be an overview of the schools emergency plans. Outside doors are kept locked at the elementary schools. Surveillance cameras are in use at the secondary schools. One project the school district may undertake is having all doors open into the classrooms so doors can be closed more quickly should the need arise. Superintendent Sitterud said the district is doing everything it can to keep students safe. But there are no guarantees, you can plan and practice and pray. "We recognize and mourn with those victims of Sandy Hook Elementary. But, statistics show that schools are still a safe place to be. School violence has declined over the last 10 years," said Superintendent Sitterud.

In the governor's budget he is only recommending a 1 percent hike in the WPU. It takes 2 percent just to cover increased costs for insurance and other expenses. The governor is being asked to raise the WPU at least 2 percent.

Superintendent Sitterud reported that business people are very supportive of education and are encouraging the governor to support increases for education.

On Jan. 31 there will be a school board day at the Utah Legislature for school board members from across the state.

Pres. Johansen thanked Superintendent for the article on school safety that it is very timely and well written. In speaking of school safety there are still traffic concerns surrounding each of the schools for parents dropping off and picking up students. The parents are not using the designated areas for loading and unloading students.

The Emery County School Board met in their January meeting at the Castle Dale Elementary. The first item of business was to swear in the re-elected members of the board, Sam Singleton, Laurel Johansen and Nanette Tanner.

Johansen was elected as chairman and Royd Hatt as vice-chairman of the board. Jared Black was appointed as the business administrator for the district.

In personnel matters, Superintendent Kirk Sitterud recommended Vicky Martineau as a new third grade teacher at Castle Dale Elementary. The board approved a choir trip to Cottonwood High. The board approved the lease of their water shares to Huntington and Cleveland. The rate will increase a little this year.

The board discussed the cold weather and at what temperature the students should be kept inside for recess. Superintendent Sitterud has done some research and the temperatures vary across the country. Emery County doesn't have a set policy on the temperature. Most areas he surveyed if the temperature was about 20 degrees the students would go out and below 20 degrees they would be kept inside. In Minnesota the students would be kept in if the temperature dipped below -15 degrees.

Most experts agreed if the students are properly dressed they should be sent outside to play. For now it is up to each individual school to determine if it's too cold for students outside.

The district has been studying bus routes and patterns to try to find solutions for students who arrive at school 40 minutes before school starts. This is due to the buses dropping off students and then continuing onto the high school. The district will keep looking for solutions, but unless more buses are purchased and more drivers, which isn't economically feasible, the bus schedules will remain the same. District policy states teachers must be on duty when the first buses arrive.

Principal Ralph Worthen gave his report to the school board. He said most students want to go out and play no matter what the temperature. "I appreciate the help given to Castle Dale Elementary by the school board and the district office. Our enrollment is gradually growing and we've heard more kids are coming. We appreciate having a new teacher. When I first started here we had 165 enrolled and now we are up to 222. We have a great faculty and the new teacher is fitting in well. Everyone at this school is anxious to help out. The teachers like to share what works and help each other out. They love their smart boards. It's fun all of the interactive things the students can do with the smart boards. We just finished with Wendy Whittle's class coming down to read with the younger students. We have a lot of positive success stories with this program.

"We have fantastic lunch ladies that are always doing something to make lunch fun. We had an Under the Sea day recently and they are planning a snow sculpture contest. They are always doing fun things to make it better and we appreciate them. The Dibels testing looks good the teachers wanted to finish it up so they could get it on the report cards. The students are progressing. The Sheriff's Office was here to speak to the students concerning a lockdown activity we are going to have. They showed the students how the officers would dress for the activity. They told the students what to expect and they told the students to remain as quiet as possible during the drill. The Sheriff's Emergency Response Team will conduct the drill. We have sent notes home to the parents so they will know what is going on. This is good training for the Sheriff's Office as well as our teachers," said Principal Worthen.

Superintendent Sitterud said lockdown exercises are held at the elementary schools every two-three years and more often at the junior highs and high schools.

Pres. Johansen said it is comforting to know preparation is taking place in the schools. She also thanked Principal Worthen for the great work going on at Castle Dale Elementary and for the Veteran's program that was very nice.

Black told of the capital equalization bill being introduced at the legislature this year that could hurt the school district. It would take a portion of the capital levy and redistribute it. The amount returned to the district by the state would not equal what the Emery district would be sending the state. With the enrollment numbers in the Emery district being low. The bill could take one-third of the capital outlay. This could be a very serious issue for the district should the bill pass.

Black reported to the board that the school district is responsible for refunding to PacifiCorp taxes for 2006-07 in the amount of $400,000. PacifiCorp won a tax appeal. The school district might impose a judgment levy which would help recoup some of the tax money by raising taxes enough to collect the money needed to pay PacifiCorp.

Superintendent Sitterud addressed an issue that a perception in the communities is that the school district isn't doing a lot as far as school safety. Superintendent said this is a misconception and maybe a lot of what they do isn't widely known. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing as all codes for the schools is confidential information they don't want known. "We don't want armed guards at our schools, we don't want to turn our schools into prisons," said Superintendent Sitterud. He explained he has written a statement outlining what the schools do for school safety, it is being published in the Emery County Progress. The statement will be an overview of the schools emergency plans. Outside doors are kept locked at the elementary schools. Surveillance cameras are in use at the secondary schools. One project the school district may undertake is having all doors open into the classrooms so doors can be closed more quickly should the need arise. Superintendent Sitterud said the district is doing everything it can to keep students safe. But there are no guarantees, you can plan and practice and pray. "We recognize and mourn with those victims of Sandy Hook Elementary. But, statistics show that schools are still a safe place to be. School violence has declined over the last 10 years," said Superintendent Sitterud.

In the governor's budget he is only recommending a 1 percent hike in the WPU. It takes 2 percent just to cover increased costs for insurance and other expenses. The governor is being asked to raise the WPU at least 2 percent.

Superintendent Sitterud reported that business people are very supportive of education and are encouraging the governor to support increases for education.

On Jan. 31 there will be a school board day at the Utah Legislature for school board members from across the state.

Pres. Johansen thanked Superintendent for the article on school safety that it is very timely and well written. In speaking of school safety there are still traffic concerns surrounding each of the schools for parents dropping off and picking up students. The parents are not using the designated areas for loading and unloading students.

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