"But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by...any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward [district], it is a belief against all experience." --Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jan. 11, 2011 Board Meeting

Work Session:

The Vineyard URA was discussed. The board was opposed to the proposal, and instructed its representatives, Guy Fugal and Rob Smith, to vote against the URA at the Taxing Entity Committee meeting on 1/18/2011. They did as instructed, but the URA passed anyway. More on this in an upcoming post.

Board Meeting:

Community Comments:

Kids’ Cause, a non-profit, charitable organization, presented awards. Kids’ Cause receives voluntary payroll deductions from school employees and donations from private and corporate individuals to provide clothing and other items for needy school kids.

4 representatives from Cascade Elementary came to discuss the needs of the school. They realize there is a process for determining which schools and which needs will be addressed by the proposed bond, but they wanted to take the time and present the information in person.

2 additional patrons commented on the great work and atmosphere of the district. One, in particular, wanted to make sure that, even though we should hear the voices of those who think there are problems in the district, there are many who are pleased and happy and won’t be contacting us to say they are pleased and happy. She wanted to make sure that we listened to all the voices, but then stepped out in a united front to support our schools.

Claims: The claims are the expenditures for the past month that are approved by the board. The report was 373 pages, and I reviewed as much as I was able. The superintendent was willing to spend time going over and investigating some of the expenses for me. However, due to a lack of good understanding, both myself and fellow board member, Paula Hill, abstained from voting to approve the claims. I will be working to get a better understanding of how to manage these expenditures and would welcome your efforts, as they are posted on the district website several days prior to the board meeting. All expenses require approval of supervisors, and anything above $5000 requires cabinet (high-level district administration) approval. Anything above $10,000 requires board action to approve.

Routine Business was approved.

Discussion Items:

School Boundaries: There are 2 new elementary schools going in near Harvest and Saratoga Shores. The boundaries were displayed, and will be voted on by the board on Jan. 25, 2011. Please contact me with your feedback.

Membership Report: This report compares the Oct. 1 enrollment with Dec. 31 enrollment. ‘Membership’ is a term to describe kids who are enrolled. If you are only enrolled ½ time, then you count as ½ a person in terms of membership. If you move out of the area after ¾ year, then you are ¾ of a person for the yearly membership totals. Membership is used to determine funding from the state and project student population growth. There was a net increase of 81 students from Oct to Dec. There were 22 at Deerfield, which is out of the ordinary.

Board Member Reports: The board attended the Utah School Board Association (USBA) Convention (more on that in a subsequent blog post) Jan. 6 -8, 2011 in Salt Lake. This convention had a 98% attendance rate in Utah, which is unheard of nationally. Most board members attended the Open Meeting Law presentation as required by state law. Board President, Debbie Taylor, noted who had attended and who still needed to attend. She is responsible for declaring to the state that all board members have been properly trained on this topic every year. The meetings with legislators were very informative. Many attended the classes on Professional Learning Communities.

Adjourned for Closed Session

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