June 23, 2020 Board Meeting Summary

The Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools Award was presented to Heather Reich, Majestic Elementary School.

The Jordan Education Foundation recognized the 2020 Outstanding Education Support Professionals:

  • Randi Beagley, Registrar – JATC South
  • Shelia Draper, Administrative Assistant – Welby Elementary School
  • Elizabeth (Betsy) Goodwin, Administrative Assistant – Fox Hollow Elementary School
  • Shannon Johnson, Testing Assistant – Evaluation, Research & Accountability
  • Robyn Luke, Homeless Liaison – West Jordan High School
  • LeAnn Nelson, Attendance Secretary – Riverton High School

Budget Hearing for 2020-21 School Year
Business Administrator John Larsen presented the proposed 2020-21 budget of $665 million to the Board of Education during the District’s annual budget hearing. The Board adopted the 2019-20 final amended budget, the 2020-21 proposed budget and authorized any budget adjustments necessary to reflect funds received from the Certified Tax Rate.

Superintendent Godfrey said overseeing the budget is a great responsibility and he sees the weight of that responsibility in his role as budget officer. He explained the budget is a plan to spend money entrusted to Jordan School District by taxpayers and staying focused in the right direction. He said using resources in a meaningful way is a constant source of conversation. Superintendent Godfrey said we make decisions with ends set forth by the Board of Education and what board members would like us to accomplish.

Mr. Larsen summarized four main points of the 2020-21 budget, which were: 1) JSD has a balanced budget; 2) no certified tax increase; 3) budget reductions and 4) tax rate transfer.

Mr. Larsen then reviewed the following aspects of the 2019-20 proposed budget:

  • Enrollment: Student enrollment is projected at 58,353, an increase of 2,014 students.
  • Assessed Valuation: The District’s assessed valuation is projected at $27.5 billion up from $25.9 billion in 2019-20.
  • Employee Compensation: The District saw no increase in insurance premiums.
  • Bond School Construction: Work continues on one more bond-funded middle school opening in Bluffdale in the 2020-21 school year. Because of cost efficiencies, the District was able to build an additional school under the bond plan – an elementary school, which is located in west West Jordan and will also open in the 2020-21 school year.
  • Uncertainty due to COVID-19 can impact JSD funding operations.

Superintendent’s Report
Dr. Anthony Godfrey, Superintendent of Schools, thanked everyone who has participated in focus groups regarding re-opening of schools for the 2020-21 school year. He said being able to talk to employees and parents has been energizing.

The Superintendent recognized Matt Gardner and Jeramie Velarde for the great job they do interacting in a positive way with employees throughout the District. He thanked them for being guests on the Supercast.

  • Patron Comments
  • Kelly Giffen, JEA President, introduced herself to the Board as the new JEA president and an educator who has spent 23 years teaching in Jordan School District. She said good relationships help build great schools and Ms. Giffen said she has a shared goal with the Board of providing the very best education for all students. She said she looks forward to working with the Board in her new role as JEA president.
  • Heather Reich, teacher, thanked the Board for participating in the Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools award program. She expressed appreciation for the award and said many people have helped her along the way in a career that she loves.
  • Marsha Wilcox, teacher and parent, said she appreciates the hard work being put into opening schools for the 2020-21 school year. She asked the Board to give teachers and parents options and said she supports a normal school opening for those who choose.
  • Ibrahim Choudhary, asked the Board to be mindful of having a gender inclusion policy in place in Jordan School District.
  • Lucinda Webb, parent, shared some of her concerns regarding rumors being shared on social media about COVID-19 and how it may impact how schools are opened. She asked the Board to make reasonable decisions on the opening of schools based on information from experts like Dr. Angel Dunn.
  • Maggie Bowler asked the Board to have the District adopt a more diverse curriculum which reflects inclusivity for all students.
  • Christar Krans, teacher and parent, said the pandemic is not under control and he believes opening schools in the fall would be a mistake.
  • Blaine Johnson, parent, said many parents will not bring kids back to school until there is a vaccine for COVID-19. He said on-line learning has worked really well for his family.
  • Board Comments
  • Jen Atwood, thanked high school principals and administrators for working so hard to make graduation ceremonies and events so successful for the Class of 2020. She reported that the Community Outreach Committee is working on plans for fireworks shows to honor graduates and Valley High would be doing a barbecue when it is allowed. She said they are currently working on the Parent University schedule for the upcoming school year.
  • Marilyn Richards reported the Government Relations Committee is currently working on coming up with legislative priorities.

Closed, Study Session
In closed session, Board members discussed potential litigation, property and negotiations.

In open session, the Board received a school dismissal update and discussed a framework to better understand how JSD policies impact black students and employees. They also discussed plans for reopening school and summer projects.

– Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications

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