Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary April 14, 2015

Note: Mp3s and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs and by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Student Achievement Growth Presented

Students, particularly in middle schools, showed gains in math performance districtwide between the 2009-2010 and the 2013-2014 school years. The academic achievement report was a continuation of an English Language Arts performance report delivered in March by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie and Directors of Evidence-Based Learning Amber Roderick-Landward and Dr. Hollie Pettersson.  

The rate of elementary math growth compared to state averages on state tests increased by 1 percentage point to 3 percent above state averages, while comparison districts’ growth remained stagnant or decreased. Middle school math inched up 2 percentage points to 6 percent above state averages, outpacing growth of all other comparison school districts. High school math also went from mirroring state averages to 2 percent above state averages, outpacing the growth rate of comparison school districts. During the same time period, the District implemented the new Utah Core, extensive professional development and coaching, and math endorsements offered to teachers in partnership with Southern Utah University.

In science, elementary scores grew by 1 percentage point to 5 percent above state averages, which is the same or greater growth patterns than those posted by comparison districts. Middle school science scores grew by 4 percentage points to 8 percent above state averages, outpacing comparison school districts. High school science growth dropped 9 percentage points. Dr. Pettersson noted that there has been a shift to rigor in CSD, with students now taking more rigorous lab sciences, including a 94 percent increase in the number of students taking physics. She noted additional supports and professional development is needed for high school science teachers.

Indeed, research shows that highly effective make a difference in a child’s academic success. Dr. McCarrie showed a distribution of student growth across CSD teachers, and demonstrated that while some students are achieving high scores, they are not necessarily showing additional growth year to year. She said the data illustrates work the District has to do to boost teachers and student achievement.

Board Vice President Steve Wrigley said he would like a presentation on how the data fits into the Districts’ academic framework and budget. Second Vice President Nancy Tingey said every child can achieve, and every teacher can be highly effective. She thanked the team for presenting the data.

New Leaders Introduced

Several CSD administrators promoted to leadership roles were introduced to the Board. They are:

·         Sandra Dahl-Houlihan, District Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership

·         Floyd Stensrud, CSD Director of Planning and Enrollment

·         Greg Leavitt, Hillcrest High Principal

·         Kelly Tauteoli, Union Middle School Principal

·         Wendy Dau, Midvale Middle Principal

·         Doug Graham, Indian Hills Middle School Principal

·         Halley Nelson, Indian Hills Assistant Principal

·         Kip Carlsen, Midvale Middle School Assistant Principal

·         Brandon Moore, Eastmont Middle School Assistant Principal

·         BJ Weller, Canyon View Elementary Principal

·         Mindy Robison, Crescent Elementary Principal

·         Julie Winfree, Ridgecrest Elementary Principal

·         Chip Watts, Midvale Elementary Principal

·         Jeri Rigby, Midvale Elementary Assistant Principal

·         Deidre Walbeck, Copperview Elementary Assistant Principal                      

·         Tracy Stacy, Lone Peak Elementary Principal

·         Justin Jeffery, Park Lane Elementary Principal

·         Laurie Steed, East Midvale Elementary Assistant Principal

AVID Coming to Eastmont Middle in 2015-2016

Next school year, Eastmont Middle School will become CSD’s third school – joining Jordan High and Mount Jordan Middle School – to implement Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) schoolwide.  AVID provides students with extensive support, and teaches them how to organize, study, collaborate, and become successful learners. The program also holds them accountable for achieving high standards, and in turn helps schools close achievement gaps by preparing all students for college and success in a global society. School Performance Director Mike Sirois said AVID prepares students for college and careers by teaching them to manage time, think critically, problem-solve — the soft skills that are in high demand by employers.  

AVID aims to turn around low expectations, and give all students, with a focus on underserved populations and first-generation college students, the skills, determination and access to higher education, Dr. Pettersson said. Mount Jordan Principal Dr. Molly Hart said AVID instructional strategies are infused in every class due to extensive teacher training and support, and that 150 students take the  AVID elective. She said it has revamped the school’s culture.

Jordan High Principal Tom Sherwood said AVID  gives students support and skills they need to be successful, then encourages them to take rigorous courses, helps them fill out college applications and access financial aid.  About 200 Jordan High students take the AVID elective, which also helps prevent students from dropping out. Jordan alumna Aidet Reyes Guiterrez testified that as a result of AVID, she is a first-generation college student at Salt Lake Community College.

Eastmont Principal Stacy Kurtzhals said teachers have been asking for a way to help students develop organization and study skills. She said that with AVID, teachers already are seeing results in student engagement, study skills and achievement.  Students also take field trips to college campuses.

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes Minutes from the March 10 Study Session and the March 17 and March 31 Board Meetings; Purchasing Bids; and LAND Trust Amendments. The Board also approved student overnight travel for CSD HOSA, FCCLA and FBLA; Alta, Jordan, and Hillcrest TSA; Brighton Boys Basketball and Drill Team; Corner Canyon Drill Team; and Hillcrest Cheer and Song Squad. 

The Board discussed next year’s meeting schedule, including a possible June 23 work session to meet and discuss vision, ideas and goals.

NSBA Convention Report

Board Members, General Counsel Dan Harper and CFO Leon Wilcox attended the National School Boards Association Convention. Harper attended workshops addressing legal issues including transgendered student issues and anti-discrimination laws. Robert Green attended sessions on emergency preparedness sessions and women in STEM classes. Amber Shill attended a new board member boot camp, which included basics of financial oversight, community leadership, social media and STEM opportunities for girls. Tingey enjoyed keynote speaker, TV anchor and journalist Jane Pauley, who said that we must teach the students we have, not those we used to have or wish we had. She noted equity is a main consideration in closing the achievement gap. She also attended a workshop about creativity and academics, student engagement, and new approaches to accountability for content not linked to standardized testing. Wrigley attended workshops regarding challenges in keeping pace with workforce trends, and the importance of a Board strategic plan. Leon enjoyed Pauley’s comments that attendees can find inspiration everywhere.

Comprehensive Guidance Review Results

All secondary schools passed their state comprehensive guidance reviews, reported Student Services Director Tamra Baker and Comprehensive Guidance Coordinator Tori Gillett. Gillett highlighted program initiatives, including Alta High’s work to encourage first-generation college students; Brighton High’s PAWS program supporting credit-deficient students toward graduation; Draper Park Middle’s Career Scavenger Hunt and College Night;  Midvale Middle’s work to take all eighth-graders to college campuses on field trips; and efforts at Jordan High to better engage, then reward, ninth-graders for their efforts. Baker invited the Board to the counselors’ data “Share Out” May 21 from 8-10:30 a.m. in the Board Room.

Fee Schedule Proposed

As part of an annual review of secondary student fees, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Dowdle proposed raising the high school activity fees by $5 and parking permit fees by $5, which is supported by the Student Advisory Council. He also suggested raising the maximum allowable fees for cheer and song leaders from $500 to $600. Board President Sherril Taylor expressed concern that students may be limited in their ability to participate with additional fees, particularly those whose income is just above fee waiver qualification levels. Dr. Dowdle said the concern is valid. He said student clubs and groups engage in fundraising to offset costs for students who need assistance and that parents can request to make payments. Wilcox said that student activity fees were last raised three years ago, from $35 to $45; cheer and parking fees have been the same since the District’s inception. Wilcox said the increase would help offset inflation. The Board will discuss the proposal in a future meeting.

Patron Comments

Rep. Bruce Cutler, R-Murray, reported to the Board about the legislative session. He noted that lawmakers funded education growth and a 4 percent increase in the weighted pupil unit (WPU), the state’s basic per-student funding formula; passed equalization, which he supported to help students elsewhere in Utah. He said he did not support increasing math requirements for students wanting to go to college because he prefers local control and doesn’t offering different diplomas. He also talked about the anti-discrimination bill, which he supported. He said he will be a member of the Education Interim Committee, and said he is here to serve the Board with its needs. He said he’s also interested in intergenerational poverty, most of which has to do with education.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe attended an education technology conference and noted two of the four major awards handed out there went to CSD employees. He gave a shout out to the education technology specialists in CSD. He and Tingey and Dr. McCarrie attended the Jordan Valley musical, and said he was inspired and proud of the students for their accomplishments.

CFO’s Report

The District issued final $42 million of the $250 million voter-approved bonds at a low interest rate. He also noted the groundbreaking and open house at Butler Elementary beginning at 5 p.m. April 22.

Board Reports

Shill announced the Butler Elementary groundbreaking  is April 22, starting with a 5 p.m. reception, a 5:30 p.m. ceremony, and Open House from 6-8 p.m., where the public can view drawings and share information about community access during construction, which begins May 1 and ends in fall 2016.

Tingey congratulated new school administrators introduced, and said they will have a profound influence on what happened in every classroom. She enjoyed Teacher of the Year announcements in several schools, including one that included a rendition of “Lean on Me.” She said she could tell how much the teacher was loved and the children enjoyed being in school. She said Jordan Valley’s “Mulan” was an amazing performance. She was touched by the lead musical number in which Mulan sings, “when will my reflection show who I am inside?” She felt that was a profound sentiment. She also recognized Betty Shaw, who earlier in the day was re-elected as Region 17 PTA Director, and said she’s been a great support to what we’re doing in CSD.

Wrigley had the opportunity to participate in three town hall meetings. He said a few people showed up and he enjoyed talking with them. He said he viewed the low attendance as a sign that people are satisfied with what the Board is doing.

Iverson said he attended the CSD Ski ‘n’ Shred event several weeks ago and said that given tonight’s storm, we may need to add another. He attended the regional spelling bee and the Facilities Committee meeting and wanted to talk about committee movement in an upcoming Board meeting. He said Wrigley made a good point earlier tonight that the jobs of the future haven’t been invented yet, and noted the importance of teaching kids how to learn.

Green and Board Member Clareen Arnold skipped comments due to a sudden power outage and the late hour.

Taylor thanked Leon for his work to save money on the bond. He said we do a lot of good with the voter-approved money. He thanked everyone for staying at the meeting during the snowstorm.

Closed Session

The Board met in closed session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining and the character, professional competence or physical or mental health of an individual.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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