"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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Should ASD Focus on This Year?

Board Priorities
On Wednesday, January 30, our Board will have our semi-annual retreat (open to the public: see below for agenda more information*).  At the retreat we will discuss and prioritize the priorities for the year.  This is the main opportunity for the Board to give direction to the District Administration.  As your representative, please let me know what you would like to see as the priorities for your school district.

Space Center
We received an update on the Space Center.  On February 11, the Space Center will re-open for field trips within the district.  Not all of the simulators will be available, but some of them will.  The committee is still meeting and discussing long-term options.  Of these, three were mentioned.
1) Build the Space Center on property right next to Central Elementary that ASD already owns.
2) Build the Space Center on the "Scow Property" that is near the water tower in PG. (I think we already own this property as well.)
3) Establish the Space Center at Thanksgiving Point.  They are very interested in working some sort of deal with us.  They are opening a "Museum of Natural Curiosity" with a specific STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) focus, including ecosystems, ancient ruins, climatology, etc.  They currently have 4000 sq ft in the Dinosaur Museum that we could use right now.  Thanksgiving Point is incentivized to partner with us because it will allow them to qualify for additional grants.  Right now, the Space Center costs us about $4.50/student.  Thanksgiving Point currently charges $2.60/student and for every 10 students, one teacher gets in free.

Lehi High School
We reviewed plans for rebuilding Lehi High School on the current site (by the Roller Mills).  It is proposed that the Board budget $1.3 M from our budget this coming year to pay for an 18-classroom satellite, and $4.5 M for the construction of a 3-story classroom wing of 12 -18 rooms.  The permanent classroom wing would be completed by Fall of 2014.  After that, it would cost about $40M and roughly 3 years of construction to rebuild the "old" parts of the school in phases, so we can still use the existing facilities as we build new ones.  The $40M would require a bond to accomplish, we were advised.

*Board Retreat Information: Priorities for the District

Jan. 30, 2013
Mountainland Applied Technology College, Room 230-N
2301 W. Ashton Blvd.
Lehi, UT

PUBLIC MEETING, but no public comments

8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 9:30 Past Basket Items Report (Priorities)
9:30 - 10:30 Current Basket Items Conversation/Suggestions
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 12:00 Current Basket Items/Rating/Ranking to Prioritize
12:00 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 2:30 Question: "How do we unite and move forward as a Board to make sure these priorities are realized?"

We used to discuss the Code of Conduct.  It appears, we will address only the question listed at the end of the agenda.  However, that is the "stickiest" point for me in the Code of Conduct.

I welcome your input and your attendance.


  1. 1. Move the Space Center to Thanksgiving Point. It helps them and it is one less thing for ASD to maintain.
    2. Do the first two steps of the rebuild of Lehi HS immediately and start the new HS this year. Building is picking up again, up 20%+ in Highland for example. Get Board Member Scott Carlson's input. He is the closest to the situation. We may need to do more now.
    3. Find a way to reduce the damage being done by Common Core, be it supplemental material or sources parents can access to help their children.
    4. A bond specifically for the rebuild of Lehi HS is a good idea.

  2. It's a "No Brainer" on the Space Center. Take it to Thanksgiving Point! I could list all the reasons, but in short, it sounds like a perfect fit with minimal impact on ASD but with huge positive impact on the students.

  3. We need to have more specific discussion on CC standards and curriculum. A large school district such as Alpine can have a great influence in the state. If the district and the educators truly knew what CC was about they would chase it out of our state. We are more than capable of writing our own standards and controlling our own children's education from within the state and even district.

    What is the probability of splitting ASD perhaps east and west so it is closer to the people and more manageable?

    Class size is also a concern. I just discovered that Grovecrest has three 6th grade classes with about 35 students each.Why would it be so difficult to provide another teacher? Why not invest more of our monies in people (teachers and aides) rather than this craze about buying technology. Technology cannot replace the in class personal touch of teachers.

    One other comment, there is talk of extending K to full day. Kindergarteners and families would be better served with more efficient teaching. I happened to go to my son's K class one day and helped with centers. The teacher didn't know I would be there. For 30 minutes I helped students with some letters and writing. 3 of the 6 already knew what they were doing. The other 3 had no idea. This 30 minutes would have been wasted if I had not been there. First of all, I believe centers are a waste unless there is a teacher or parent at each. But foremost I believe there should be full-time teacher's aides in each K class. This year of K sets a foundation (strong or weak) for the rest of their elementary years. There is a call for first grade aides but with K aides there wouldn't be the need for 1st grade aides.

    Thank you, Wendy, for all you do.

    Karen Lee
    Pleasant Grove