Jan. 23, 2018 Board Meeting Summary

Mayors Meet with Jordan Board Members
Mayors from the five cities within Jordan School District, Bluffdale, Herriman, Riverton, South Jordan and West Jordan, met with Board members to discuss common goals and strategies for meeting the needs of the our communities.

Celebrating South Jordan Middle School
Lexi Smith, South Jordan Middle School Ambassador, celebrated her school by noting the success “SoJo” has had in science, robotics Chinese Immersion and technology. Over 200 students participate in leadership opportunities through the various student leadership programs that are offered. Students’ SAGE, state skills testing and other testing scores are consistently above District and state averages. Ambassador Smith emphasized that the dedicated teachers have been instrumental in promoting student success and achievement at South Jordan Middle School.

  • Board Comments and Recognitions
  • Darrell Robinson commented on enjoying a Herriman High wrestling meet. He also recognized Kathy Collins for successfully using blended learning in her second grade classroom at Bastian Elementary School.
  • Bryce Dunford praised Terra Linda Elementary for the PLC communities and professional development they are doing with their teachers. A nationally renowned educational researcher, John Hattie, contacted Terra Linda Principal Karen Gorringe for permission to share their exemplary work within his Visible Learning circles. He said that Terra Linda is viewed as a marvelous example of a professional learning community.
  • Tracy Miller attended and helped judge the Valley High School ‘Poetry Out Loud’ event. Through the nationally sponsored program, Valley students wrote and recited their own poems. Many of the students shared personal experiences, which Mrs. Miller said showcased their great talent and resiliency.
  • Marilyn Richards thanked the administration at West Jordan Middle School for their assistance in helping the Alumni Foundation record the history of West Jordan Middle School before it is torn down. She is happy with the progress in the construction of the new middle school behind the current school’s location.
  • Janice Voorhies made remarks about the monthly student body officer luncheon that several Board members had attended recently. She recognized the SBOs and their student bodies for the hundreds of hours they have spent in service to their fellowman. She said she was astounded to see what they have accomplished to ease the burdens of so many families at Christmastime.

Comments from Elected Officials

South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey echoed Mr. Robinson and also commended Kathy Collins at Bastian Elementary School. She further thanked the Board for their legislative efforts to make sure students are kept safe and provided a quality education despite the fact that there are never enough dollars.

  • Patron Comments
  • Lora McFarland, special education preschool teacher at Bastian Elementary School, spoke on behalf of a group of teachers and shared what they do for District students. Currently, the special education preschool program has a “high quality” rating from the State and has received grants due to that ranking. She said they are in danger of losing that funding due to the high class sizes. As the District continues to grow, she encouraged the Board to consider putting a preschool classroom in every elementary school.
  • Ashley Raines-Parshall, special education teacher at Bastian Elementary School, reviewed the duties of a school psychologist and said the District is losing counselors and psychologists due to the heavy caseload. She asked the Board to provide funding for more counselors and psychologists regardless of what the legislature allocates.

Expansion of Kauri Sue Hamilton School
The Board voted 6-1 to approve a new addition to the Kauri Sue Hamilton School which will increase its capacity to serve the community by approximately an additional 60 students. The expansion will include six classrooms, restrooms, teacher preparation rooms, equipment storage and a playground. In addition to District funding, private donations have been received to assist with costs for the storage and playground areas.

Study and Closed Sessions

In open session, the Board heard reports and held discussion on Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling, middle school course offerings, potential bills before the 2018 Legislature, ratios in Special Education programs, and clarification of how preliminary projections for student enrollment are to be presented at the next study session. They also discussed information regarding current practices, policy, code and assessment of rental fees for use of public school buildings and grounds. In closed session, Board members discussed personnel, property, potential litigation and safety.

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