Sept. 26, 2023 Board Meeting Summary

Celebrating Bingham High School
Boston Richards, Student Body President, said Bingham High School students and staff are proudly celebrating 115 years of history at the school this year. Boston said he is personally grateful for the Governor’s proclamation announcing September as America Founders and Constitution month and is grateful for the education he has received regarding the Constitution. Boston shared with the Board the many activities happening at Bingham High School to celebrate Homecoming this week. He said graduation rates are on the rise at Bingham High from 92% to almost 96% and students are extremely proud of the work they do each year raising money for their holiday charity. Students have raised more than $150,000 over the past three years for various charities. Bingham High is also proud of the “Wellness Room” created as a safe place for students who need some time to reset. Boston said that “Miner Magic” is created on a daily basis at Bingham High.

Board First Vice President Niki George read a statement of support for Governor Spencer Cox and the legislature’s declaration of September as American Founders and Constitution Month in Utah. Superintendent Godfrey shared a summary of the many creative ways Jordan School District educators teach students about the Constitution and founding principles with things like a strong “We the People” competition program.

Superintendent’s Report
Dr. Anthony Godfrey, Superintendent of Schools, recognized the Jordan Education Foundation and Director Mike Haynes as being the best in the State of Utah. Thanked them for the top-notch work they do providing for students and teachers.

Mr. Haynes presented a Jordan Education Foundation (JEF) Impact report. He said in the 2022-23 school year the foundation collected a total of $3,771,063 in contributions and income, $97,663 was awarded to support teachers and students in classroom grants and he said the Unified Sports continues to grow in its third year in JSD. Clark Bell, JEF President, expressed gratitude for the Board’s support and said he is committed to continue doing amazing work impacting the lives of students. Mr. Bell said he looks forward to even greater achievements benefiting children saying there are always new mountains to climb.

Superintendent Godfrey thanked all K-12 teachers in Jordan School District for emphasizing citizenship, American history, the Constitution, and study of the founding fathers. He said he never stops being astounded by the great things happening in classrooms every single day.

Special Business Item
The Board approved new Administrative Policy AS99 Language Access Plan/Interpreting and Translation

  • Elected Official Comments
  • Natalie Cline, State Board of Education member, expressed concern over a biological boy using the girls’ restroom and what she called radical changes to Title IX which she said will no longer protect girls.
  • Christina Boggess, State Board of Education member, said she attended the Board meeting to learn more about transgender student bathroom use because some parents feel their concerns are not being heard. She asked for local action on the issue. 
  • Patron Comments
  • Jesse Sirivanchai, parent of a transgender student, said his daughter just wants to be accepted and she is not trying to circumvent privacy. He said she is a child like everyone else and said if people took the time to get to know her, they would see her humanity.
  • Alison Sirivanchai, a transgender student, said, “this is the person I am and I just want space and acceptance to be me.”
  • Rachel Van Orden, a teacher, expressed some concern over the new Wit and Wisdom language arts curriculum.
  • Randy Hoffman, a parent, expressed concern over transgender students using girls’ bathrooms.
  • Carli Lewis, a parent, said protections are needed for girls in our bathrooms.
  • Harrison Beckett, school librarian, said he was happy to report that 800 books were checked out of the Fort Herriman library since the start of the school year and he loves that students have a love for reading. Mr. Beckett also said there were 3100 lunch time visits to the library in the first few weeks of school. He thanked the Board for supporting school libraries.
  • Robert Silvulka, a parent, disputed the Title IX federal law allowing boys to use the girl’s bathroom saying it is completely unreasonable.
  • Shawn Mathis, a parent, expressed concern over what he called the Board’s direction regarding pornography and immorality.
  • Cindy Mitchell, a school librarian, said October 1 – 7 is “Freedom to Read Week” saying it is a time to celebrate the freedom to access books in public libraries.
  • Janae Frazer, a parent, expressed concerns over opening the girls’ bathrooms to all and said the safety of girls must be the top priority.
  • Adam Shiffett, a parent, expressed concern for his daughter who attends Fox Hollow Elementary School. He asked why a transgender student’s comfort is more important than his daughter feeling safe in the restroom.
  • Becky Nielson, parent of a transgender student, said she supports Alison Sirivachai. Ms. Nielson said her transgender daughter attended Fox Hollow Elementary School and she said it is an accepting, loving place. She said transgender students should be allowed to use the bathroom which aligns with their identity.
  • Nicole Christoffersen, a parent, said every student’s physical safety should be ensured in every school.
  • Mary Anderson, a parent, said girls’ safety should matter and not be put at risk by allowing boys to use the girls’ bathroom.
  • Jennifer Rollins, parent of a transgender son, said this is a complicated issue and while she understands the fear, Ms. Rollins said people can meet in the middle to help the marginalized transgender community. She said they are human and not pretending.
  • Board Comments
  • Tracy Miller thanked the school PTA’s for all the work they do, especially during this busy time of year with Fun Run fundraisers. Ms. Miller said the Jordan Education Foundation is holding the annual Economic Summit Thursday, Sept. 28 at JATC South.
  • Niki George said schools really hit the ground running this school year. She congratulated Copper Hills High for their winning season in soccer and for their record-breaking blood drive. Ms. George said Copper Hills was named as one of four Special Olympic Schools in Utah. She also praised Sunset Ridge Middle School for progress in their DLI program pass rate and said great things are happening throughout Jordan School District. Ms. George reported on the Finance Committee which is studying funding sources for new infrastructure in the Daybreak area where she said there is a pressing need for a new elementary school.
  • Darrell Robinson said his family has been blessed by the Student Exchange Program in Jordan School District. He said students in the program have become friends and they have the opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures. Mr. Robinson said hosting a student from Argentina in his home has been a wonderful experience. He reported on the Jordan Parent Advisory Committee which will meet on November 7 at 6:30 p.m. at JATC South.
  • Marilyn Richards thanked the staff at JATC South for being so accommodating and hosting her recent graduating class reunion.
  • Lisa Dean recognized Joel P. Jensen for the progress in WIDA English Language Proficiency testing and for receiving a sizeable grant from the Ron McBride Foundation for after school activities. Ms. Dean said she is happy to see former West Jordan Elementary students being welcomed into the other neighborhood elementary schools. Ms. Dean also said she is proud of the work being done at Majestic Elementary Arts Academy where 86% of students surveyed said they have a trusted adult to talk to and 98% said they have friends at school feeling a sense of belonging. Ms. Dean reported on the JEAC committee which is doing a book study of “Whistling Vivaldi” by Claude Steele and there will be JEAC open house for JSD employees on November 2 from 4 – 6 p.m. at JATC South.

Closed, Study Session
In closed session, Board members discussed personnel, property, potential litigation, and negotiations. In open session, the Board reviewed legislative priorities, the USBA Master Board Certification Program and discussed Board Policy GP108 Meeting Planning.

– Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications

  1. Study Session – 15:50
    1. Review of Legislative Priorities – 16:24
    2. USBA Master Board Certification – 50:49
    3. Board Policy GP108 Meeting Planning – 1:00:18
  2. General Session – 1:46:58
    1. Pledge of Allegiance – 1:48:42
    2. Reverence – 1:49:39
    3. Presentation – Celebrating Bingham High School – 1:50:27
    4. Resolution of Appreciation – 1:57:02
    5. Recognition – American Founders and Constitution Month – 1:57:58
    6. Board Member Recognitions – 2:07:02
    7. Superintendent’s Recognitions – Jordan Education Foundation – Mike Haynes, Foundation Director – 2:22:51
  3. Public Comments – 2:30:58
    1. Comments by Elected Officials
    2. Patron Comments
  4. General Business – Approve Consent Agenda – 3:29:16
    1. Board Minutes
    2. Proposed Revisions to Special Education Policies and Procedures Manual
    3. LEA-Specific Educator Licensing
  5. General Business – Accept Consent Agenda – 3:29:47
    1. Expenditures
    2. Financial Statements
    3. Personnel – Licensed and Education Support Professionals
    4. Certificates for Home Instruction
    5. Non-compliance Report
  6. Bids – 3:30:11
    1. Nutrition Services – Smallwares & Kitchen Supplies
    2. Facility Services – Gang Lawn Mower
  7. Special Business Items – 3:40:53
    1. Recommendation to Approve New Administrative Policy AS99 Language Access Plan/Interpreting and Translation
  8. Information Items – 3:44:29
    1. Superintendent’s Report
  9. Discussion Items – 3:45:14
    1. Committee Reports and Comments by Board Members
  10. Adjourn – 4:08:43
    1. Motion to Adjourn to Closed Session
  11. Potential Closed Session
    1. Character and Competence of Individuals (Personnel)
    2. Property
    3. Potential Litigation
    4. Negotiations
    5. Security
Board of Education
Tracy J. Miller, President – Precinct 3
Niki George, First Vice President – Precinct 6
Darrell Robinson, Second Vice President – Precinct 1
Brian W. Barnett, Member – Precinct 2
Lisa Dean, Member – Precinct 7
Bryce Dunford, Member – Precinct 5
Marilyn Richards, Member – Precinct 4