Jan. 27, 2015 Board Meeting Summary

Administrative Appointment
The Board approved the appointment of John Larsen, currently Interim Business Administrator, as Business Administrator for Jordan School District.

Recommendations by the New Building Design Advisory Group
Mayor Bill Applegarth, Riverton City, presented a summary of recommendations by the New Building Design Advisory Group, which was organized in accordance with the Five-City/Jordan School Board Interlocal Agreement. The advisory group reviewed information from an audit conducted by Construction Control Corporation on the process and procedures of building and renovating schools in the District. Mayor Applegarth, chairman of the advisory group, reported that findings of the audit showed:

  • Jordan School District’s project managers and inspectors are “some of the most qualified in the State.”
  • The District is paying slightly more for buildings but the schools are housing more students at a lower cost per pupil than almost any other District in the State.
  • A reasonable goal for the Board is to reduce elementary and middle school construction costs 17% by cutting the square footage, materials quality or educational programs.

Transition from Year-Round to Traditional Calendar
The Board approved the transition from a year-round to traditional calendar for Herriman and Butterfield Canyon Elementary Schools for the 2015-16 school year.

  • Public Hearing
  • Darrell Robinson, parent, said in his experience the year-round schedule is difficult for families and it is probably one reason why the District is losing students. He applauded the Board for listening to parents in making a decision on transitioning schools from year-round to traditional.
  • Jennifer Boehme, JEA President, said teachers like the breaks a year-round calendar provides. She expressed concern over the possible impact transitioning year-round to traditional calendars will have on teachers and administrators who have to deal with potential staff changes at the schools.

Celebrating West Jordan High School
Jenna Scott, Senior Class President, said the theme at West Jordan High this year is “LIVE,” which encourages students to live to their fullest potential. She said school spirit is known as the best in the west and that diversity at West Jordan High teaches students to embrace one another. Miss Scott also applauded teachers involved in the school’s ‘Blue Crew,’ spending personal time to attend and support a variety of student activities and sporting events. Alex Bybee, Student Body Vice President, said West Jordan High is no longer the District’s best kept secret and he is proud of the strides made academically and with school pride in recent years.

Superintendent’s Report
Dr. Patrice A. Johnson, Superintendent of Schools, reported on the Ends policy regarding student achievement. She said student achievement is measured from multiple data points, which include:

  • Guided Reading Levels, which have increased 8% over the past year.
  • The K-3 Literacy Report at 80.6%, which exceeds the USBE goal of 79.5%.
  • Graduation rates have been steadily on the rise in the District and are now at 85.3%.
    Advanced Placement, (AP) tests are being taken by more students and 71.2% of AP students have at least one score of 3+, also a consistent increase from year to year.
  • Scholastic Reading Inventory Scores continue to rise and are at 67.3% at the high school level.
  • A baseline for SAGE Assessment results was set this year in language arts, math and science. District results align with State results.

Dr. Johnson said the key to improving student achievement is to follow a roadmap for rigor with a deep analysis on data and creating a culture of change. She said the District must focus on student learning and the concept that all students can learn at high levels. In order to do that additional resources will need to be devoted to time, training and monitoring. Scott Thomas, Administrator for Auxiliary Services, reported that 2,800 work orders were completed in the past month. He said four new portables were installed and are ready for use at Copper Hills High and that an aggressive safety and security initiative in the District is ahead of schedule and under budget.

Elected Official Comments
Representative Rich Cunningham said he appreciates all the time and dedication the Board put into working out an interlocal agreement with the cities.

  • Board Comments
  • Matthew Young expressed his appreciation to John Larsen for shouldering a great amount of responsibility in such a professional manner as the District’s Interim Business Administrator. He said the Board has formed a new Finance and Audit Committee and, in accordance with State law, is in the process of looking to fill an internal audit position which will be employed on an hourly rate ‘as needed.’ He also reported that the recently purchased Concordia property in Riverton will be immediately paid off to save the District in interest payments.
  • Jen Atwood said she is on the new District Community Council Advisory Committee and is in the process of visiting schools to help their Community Councils become more effective.
  • Janice Voorhies plans to attend the Legislative Committee meeting with Canyons School District officials.
  • Susan Pulsipher said the Board of Education received the Master Boards Award for 2015 at the USBA Conference, an award that recognizes the highest level of achievement for a School Board. Mrs. Pulsipher also said she is excited to be on the Board’s Legislative Committee and she had fun at the Jordan Ridge Elementary Literacy Night.
  • Kayleen Whitelock said she attended the Jordan Ridge Literacy Night and really enjoyed reading stories to the children. She also attended PTA Reflections where it was fun to see so much excitement and talent.

Closed, Study Session
In closed session, Board members discussed personnel. In open session, the Board reviewed Ends policies, student achievement and Policy Governance. They also heard recommendations by the New Building Design Advisory Group and discussed charter schools.

– Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications

Board of Education
Susan Pulsipher, President – Precinct 3
Janice L. Voorhies, Vice President – Precinct 6
Kayleen Whitelock, Secretary – Precinct 4
Jen Atwood, Member – Precinct 7
J. Lynn Crane, Member – Precinct 1
Richard S. Osborn, Member – Precinct 5
Matthew Young, Member – Precinct 2