Highlights from the Board of Education Meeting
Kristina Kindl, Executive Director of Policy and Legal Services, gave the Board of Education details on new requirements for reporting students fees. The changes require more detail in how the fees will be spent. Ms. Kindl has been working with all SLCSD schools to develop a format for listing student fees that will be easier for parents and students to understand and will meet the requirements of the law.
Clayton Middle School
Clayton Middle School Principal Jared Wright and others from the school reported on a recent trip to Ghana, Africa. Several years ago, the school adopted a sister school in Ghana. Over the years, students at Clayton have collected supplies and money to help their fellow students at their sister school. Late last year, a delegation from Clayton was able to travel to Ghana where they helped set up and dedicated a new school library. Mr. Wright said it was a life changing experience.
School Leadership and Performance
Roberto Muñoz, Executive Director of School Leadership and Performance, reported on the work of his department. He emphasized how they are working to support our school principals in their current jobs and working to train new principals. The report also included information about district athletic programs and the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, which has seen tremendous growth in the number of students taking CTE classes.
Special Education Director Shelley Halverson reviewed the accomplishments she and her staff have made during the past year. She said her main focus has been to create a more inclusive setting for students with disabilities. She reported there has been great progress in that area and the number of students with disabilities who are now integrated in general ed classes for core instruction has increased tremendously.
Fine Arts Supervisor Adam Eskelson also reported on the work of his department. He emphasized the importance of fine arts instruction and said the availability of fine arts classes has increased and therefore the number of students enrolled in a fine arts class has increased as well. He highlighted the work of fine arts teachers in grades 4-6 but said there are some challenges for these teachers, such as finding appropriate classroom space. He then outlined his goals to improve fine arts education over the coming year.
The Board of Education took turns discussing what they had learned during their Late Start listening tour last week. The research about the benefits of starting high schools later is strong, but meeting with parents and the community helped them understand the complexity of changing school start times. Board members expressed a desire to get more feedback from teachers and students, and next month, they will discuss the creation of a task force to continue to explore how to best implement late start in our school district.
Board Meeting Schedule
Due to scheduling conflicts, Board members need to change the date of the first Board of Education meeting in February. They could possibly move the February 4 Board meeting to Monday, February 3, or to a day later in the month. Board members said they would review their schedules and then select a date.
Cap on Student Fees
Following their Study Session on school fees, the Board of Education approved setting a cap on student fees at $3,000. This means an individual student would not pay more than $3,000 in fees no matter how many activities in which they participate. A few Board members reported they have had students in multiple sports and activities during high school and this amount seems reasonable.