May 23, 2017 Board Meeting Summary

Celebrating Valley High School
Students Jazmyn Meaux, Ireland Lowe, Aejia Keothammakhoun and Crane Rasmussen described some of their experiences at Valley High School and what makes it such a special place for so many young people. They said Valley teachers and staff work very hard to restore hope into the lives of everyone at the school and help students thrive personally and academically on the road to graduation. They described Valley as a family environment where teachers know you by name and everyone always gets a second chance. It is a school with a diverse population where students who consider themselves underdogs in society are given a fighting chance at success. The students said Valley is a place where no one gets left behind and graduation is in everyone’s future.

  • Recognitions
  • The following employees were recognized as Jordan Education Foundation Outstanding Classified Award winners:
  • Zach Anderson, Head Custodian, South Jordan Elementary School
  • Mike Cote, Head Custodian, Jordan Ridge Elementary School
  • Tommy Lawrence, Custodian, Blackridge Elementary School
  • Pat Leverich, Customer Support Analyst, Information Systems
  • Erin McCauley, Senior Executive Assistant, Herriman Elementary School
  • Lisa Pickering, Administrative Assistant, Copper Mountain Middle School
  • Jordan Ridge Elementary Principal, Catherine Anderson, was recognized for being the 2017 Utah PTA Outstanding Administrator.
  • Riverton High School’s Peanut Butter Octopus Band was recognized for winning the Utah PTA Battle of the Bands competition.
  • Riverton Elementary student, Lizzie Warren, was recognized as a National Reflections Award of Merit winner in literature.
  • Elected Official Comments
  • State Board of Education member, Kathleen Riebe, District 10, said she represents part of Jordan School District and is interested in working together to accomplish great things in public education. She welcomed input from Jordan School District Board members.

Classified Negotiations
The Board approved the 2017-18 negotiated contract for classified employees.

Special Business Items
The Board approved the transfer of the Bingham Cemetery title and escrow account to the Copperton Metro Township.

Superintendent’s Report
Dr. Patrice A. Johnson, Superintendent of Schools, said she attended the Jordan Education Foundation’s Challenge 5K Obstacle Race, which was a big success attracting about 500 runners. She also attended the final SBO luncheon for the year and is extremely impressed with our schools’ student leaders. The Superintendent told the Board that 35 graduates will receive Utah seals of bi-literacy this year. She also praised the collaborative efforts between the Board of Education and those representing classified and licensed employees, which she said has resulted in great things happening for employees.

Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications, gave an overview on the work done throughout the year in the Office of Communications. She said one of the most important jobs is to communicate the District story through development of strong relationships with schools and staff along with healthy working relationships with local media organizations. Ms. Riesgraf told the Board social media is another tool used on a daily basis to communicate the District’s story with the number of followers and subscribers on sites like Facebook up 35% since January, Twitter up by 16% and Instagram and YouTube up by almost 20% since the first of the year. She talked about the important job of crisis communication and collaborating with cities, police and fire on safety training and exercises. The Office of Communications also works with schools and departments throughout the District producing a variety of videos to be used as educational and marketing tools and to recognize teachers, students and staff.

  • Patron Comments
  • Lori and Paul Jencks, parents, said they have been doing research at the Bingham Cemetery for the last 14 years and that has resulted in connecting families from across the globe to loved ones buried in the cemetery. Lori Jencks said they are elated that Copperton Township will be responsible for the future upkeep, maintenance and operation of the cemetery. She said the District has done a wonderful job in maintaining the cemetery.
  • Board Comments
  • Janice Voorhies attended the Kauri Sue Hamilton School graduation exercise. She also attended musical programs at Hayden Peak Elementary, West Hills Middle, Falcon Ridge Elementary and Oakcrest Elementary. She appreciates schools that continue to teach patriotic music.
  • Matthew Young reported that the Innovations in Education Committee will meet in June to define their mission. He also said he attended an RSL Academy Board meeting where enrollment figures for the charter school were discussed and members feel confident the doors will open in the fall at capacity.
  • Jen Atwood thanked everyone who helped organize the groundbreaking ceremony at West Jordan Middle, which she described as a fantastic event. She attended a principal’s reception at West Jordan High and the graduation exercise at the Kauri Sue Hamilton School, which she said was an amazing experience. She called Kauri Sue an amazing school with wonderful administrators and reported that the Facilities Committee took a tour of the school to look at its future needs. The committee is also looking at project needs District wide.
  • Bryce Dunford praised the work of PTA members for showing their love for teachers in schools during Teacher Appreciation Week. He attended the production of Harry Potter at Terra Linda Elementary and congratulated Copper Hills High for having two students who finished in the top ten at the national DECA competition. He reported that the Finance Committee is in the process of looking at the budget and there will a budget hearing in June.
  • Marilyn Richards attended the graduation exercise at the Kauri Sue Hamilton School and was overwhelmed by all that teachers and staff do for special needs students at the school.
  • Darrell Robinson said he appreciates teachers and administrators for working so hard this year. He congratulated Herriman High for taking the State title in lacrosse, stating that club sports are doing really well in the District. He praised Fort Herriman Middle for being a leader in competency based education and said he is sad to see Herriman High’s choir director, Austin Thorpe, leave to pursue a Master’s degree out of state. He reported that the Safety First Committee will be meeting to discuss priorities that need to be addressed in schools like bullying and safe walking routes.
  • Tracy Miller attended the Kauri Sue Hamilton graduation exercise and appreciated getting to know the school better. She said the Valley High School Career Fair was a great event with amazing participation by students. She praised Jordan Ridge Elementary for accomplishing a successful reunification drill for the entire school, which she described as a monumental task. She also attended a 5th grade play at Rosamond Elementary and participated in a principal’s round- table discussion at Bingham High. She reported that the Legislative Committee met to discuss potential education legislation.

Closed, Study Session
In closed session, Board members discussed personnel, property, potential litigation, and negotiations. In open session, the Board discussed foundational information for a student achievement strategic plan and the process for administrative appointments. They also discussed Policies AA402 Advancement, Promotion and Graduation of Students and AS66 Non-Resident Enrollment. In addition, the Board met with South Jordan City Council members to discuss common issues.

– Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications

Board of Education
Janice L. Voorhies, President – Precinct 6
Matthew Young, Vice President – Precinct 2
Jen Atwood, Secretary – Precinct 7
Bryce Dunford, Member – Precinct 5
Tracy J. Miller, Member – Precinct 3
Marilyn Richards, Member – Precinct 4
Darrell Robinson, Member – Precinct 1