"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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feb. 8, 2011 Work Session and Board Meeting

A public meeting will be held March 23 at 7pm at the Vineyard City Offices (see notice here) on the URA.   I urge all who are interested to attend.  Also, if you haven't contacted the County Commissioners to express your opinion on revisiting the terms of the URA, please do so.  And, please thank the State School Board for their direction to reassess the terms of this URA.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program....

Work Session

Bond Survey
The bond survey questions were reviewed and tweaked.  The board decided to use the full population to determine the survey sample, as opposed to the number of kids in the schools in given areas.  There will be a 35 - 40 person test run, to make sure the questions make sense.  Here are some dates for the bond discussion.

April 6
12:00 pm Mayor's Lunch (all mayors from our area will be invited to meet and discuss the bond with the board)

PTA/SCC Cluster Meetings
All PTA and SCC (school community council) members from all the schools that feed into the high school listed.  I assume, since these are SCC meetings, they are open to the public.

American Fork: April 20 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Lehi: April 20 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Pleasant Grove: April 22 10:00 - 11:00 am
Orem: April 22 10:00 - 11:00 am
Lone Peak: April 26 10:00 - 11:00 am
Mountain View: April 26 10:00 - 11:00 am
Westlake: April 28 10:00 - 11:00 am
Timpanogos: April 28 10:00 - 11:00 am

Employee Input Meetings
Orem JH: April 20 3:00 and 4:00 pm
Vista Heights Middle: April 21 3:00 and 4:00 pm
Mountain Ridge JH: April 26 3:00 and 4:00 pm

Community Input Meetings
Mountain View HS: May 4 7:00 pm
Willowcreek: May 11 7:00 pm
American Fork JH: May 12 7:00 pm

BYU-PSP and UVU K-16 Alliance

UVU Alliance: This partnership has been in place for about 1.5 years.  It is made up of the UVU College of Ed and the Superintendents of the 7 local districts that make up the state's UVU region.  (The state is divided into Higher Ed regions, with those school districts that geographically match to a Higher Ed school.)  This relationship has been encouraged on a state level from the State Office of Ed, the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Higher Ed.  The challenge for the alliance is to create a smooth transition from high school to college.  A key component of this is to help counselors.  In order to do this, there has been a counselor conference.  They are also looking at math, transitioning high school to college math, and concurrent enrollment in math.

BYU-PSP: This has been going on for 26 years.  It comprises the Dean of the College of Ed and the superintendents of the 5 partners school districts (ASD, Nebo, Provo, Jordan, and Wasatch) as the governing board.  CITES (Center for Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling) is the operational arm of the partnership.  Steve Baugh is the director of CITES and the executive director of the partnership.  The concept is that to have good schools, you must have good teachers.  So, the people who are studying to be teachers (pre-service), as well as the district teachers (in-service) can benefit from training, research, and certification coordinated between the districts and BYU.  Also, things like Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are taught at BYU and UVU.  This allows new teachers (of which ASD has quite a few every year) to hit the ground running.

Funding: One of the school districts is the fiscal agent of the partnership.  That rotates around to different districts.  Currently, Jordan is the fiscal agent.  Many of the funds come from the districts paying, per participant, for certification courses.  Another source of funding comes from conferences.  For example, this year, March 9 - 11, there is a CITES conference in Salt Lake on 21st Century Schooling.  It has a national presence, and those who attend pay a fee.  The people they bring in for the conferences are cutting-edge, high-end, research-based experts.  Any profit from the conferences also goes to the partnership.

Finally, research is a huge challenge for teachers.  How do you know your methodology is working?  Teaming with BYU allows the school to research the methods being used in the schools.  Also, some teachers from the districts are able to take a 2-year sabbatical to teach and instruct at the College of Ed, so it's "real world" experience, not just theoretical.

In 2008, about 55% of ASD's teachers came from BYU or UVU (40% BYU, 15% UVU).  2009: 34% BYU, 16% UVU. 2010: 47% BYU, 23% UVU or 70% of ASD new hires come from one of the two partnership schools.  The partnerships are not something "extra" the district does.  It is part of the district culture and makes us a better district.  It continues on because it is viable.

My Take: Partnerships
Everyone is very enthusiastic about the partnerships.  I will be attending the CITES-sponsored conference in March to get a hands-on understanding of how the partnership works.  I will keep you updated.

Board Meeting

There were 2 recognitions.  Teacher, Kim Bahr, received the Karl Jones Award from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  Alpine Elementary received the James Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award, a national award.

Sam Jarman, supervisor over the high schools, presented the CRT (state standardized test) results.  There are 14 school districts in the Salt Lake and Utah Valley areas that are similar to ASD.  ASD ranks 3 of 14 on these tests.  Also, our AP class offerings have increased.  The use of interactive video has allowed some smaller schools to provide AP classes annually, whereas, they may have only been able to offer those classes every two years in the past.  This year, on March 1, all high school juniors (with one school opting out) will be able to take the ACT at no charge because of a state pilot program.  It is assumed that ASD's ACT scores may decrease because of the greater number of students taking the test.  However, giving more students that opportunity may open up greater avenues to them.  Currently, ASD outranks Utah (and Utah outranks the US) in both percentage of students taking the ACT, as well as ACT composite scores.

The board approved January's claims, and routine business items.  Only Board Member Fugal abstained on the claims.  I was able to receive input on some specific issues I raised on the claims.  I would still like to find a better way of handling those claims, but, as one wise person counseled, it isn't fair to prevent district business from taking place because I am not up to speed.  Touche.  I still appreciate hearing your comments on how best to represent you on this, and other issues.

Closed session was held to discuss personnel, litigation, and property matters.

No comments:

Post a Comment