Utah State Board of Education Meeting Summary: March 2, 2012


In this meeting, the Utah State Board of Education:


Board Meeting Summary

March 2, 2012 Meeting

Board Appoints Group to Study RFP for Utah Assessments

The Utah State Board of Education appointed a work group to study issuing a request for proposal to assess Utah students on computer-adaptive testing. The group includes local school board representatives from the Canyon and Sevier school districts, district representatives from the Alpine, Juab, Davis, Duchesne, and Washington school districts as well as representatives from charter schools and the Utah State Office of Education.

For more information contact:

Judy Park, Associate Superintendent for Student Services and Federal Programs, 801-538-7550.


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Board Takes Positions on Two Bills before the Legislature

The Utah State Board of Education took the following positions on pending legislation:

You can track all of the Board’s positions on pending bills on the tracking sheet on the Legislative Page.


For more information contact:

Carol Lear, School Law & Legislation Director, 801-538-7835.

Martell Menlove, Deputy Superintendent, 801-538-7762.


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Board Preliminarily Approves Amendments to 10 Rules; Preliminarily Repeals Another

The Utah State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the following proposed amended rules. Final approval will likely come during the Board’s April 13 meeting.

For more information contact:

judy [dot] park[at]schools [dot] utah [dot] gov(Judy Park), Associate Superintendent for Student Services and Federal Programs, 801-538-7550.

todd [dot] hauber[at]schools [dot] utah [dot] gov(Todd Hauber), Associate Superintendent for Business and Operations, 801-538-7514.

brenda [dot] hales[at]schools [dot] utah [dot] gov(Brenda Hales), Associate Superintendent for Instructional Services, 801-538-7515.

martell [dot] menlove[at]schools [dot] utah [dot] gov(Martell Menlove), Deputy Superintendent, 801-538-7762.

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Board Honors Utah’s Title I National Distinguished Schools

The Utah State Office of Education honored Iron School District‘s Three Peaks Elementary and Logan School District‘s Bridger Elementary, both of which were recently named 2011 National Title I Distinguished Schools.


Three Peaks Elementary is located in Iron County just north of Cedar City. Principal Tim Taylor has led the school with a strong academic and high student academic performance focus. Three Peaks Elementary has been among the top performing Title I schools for more than five years. On the state core assessments for 2011-12, Three Peaks scored 94% proficient in math, which was top ten in the state for all schools, and 90% proficient in reading.

Three Peaks is considered a K-5 mature Response to Intervention (RTI) school. After four years of RTI, the schools is participating in a national RTI study with Stanford University, providing them with detailed student data, and teacher survey information. Three Peaks Elementary has also formed a partnership with the University of Utah Reading Clinic for Tier 2 interventions. (Early Steps, Next Steps, and Higher Steps) and are participating in a research study with the clinic to test the effectiveness of instructional delivery.

Parent involvement at Three Peaks is fantastic. The school has logged over 3,000 volunteer hours each year and the PTA funds a visual arts specialist for all grades. 100 % parent participation in all SEP conferences has been maintained for the past four years. This has become the expectation at the school.

In addition to the above mentioned visual arts program, the school also boasts of a school orchestra that has 70 strings students in grades 2 through 5 and a choir has over 100 students in grades 1 through 6.

Bridger Elementary School is one of six elementary schools in the Logan City School District, which surrounds the picturesque campus of Utah State University. Principal David Long has led the school in a focused effort to improve student achievement. For the past two years the school has been recognized for closing the achievement gap among its students. Eighty percent of the students live in apartments and condominiums and as a result, there has been a constant flow to the school population. Most years the school faces nearly a fifty percent turnover in the student population with two hundred and forty-nine students leaving or entering in 2011.

Students come from all walks of life. Some are refugees from Haiti, Somalia, Burma, and other places around the globe. Some are part of immigrant families from Mexico, all parts of Central and South America, Africa, the Marshal Islands, and Southeast Asia. Some students are the children of university students in both graduate and undergraduate programs. Some students are the children of migrant workers, factory workers, and other laborers. One fifth of the students in the school are English Language Learners. Families here struggle financially as well, which results in nearly eighty percent of the students receiving free and reduced lunch.

Professional development for the teachers has focused on professional learning communities, English language learner strategies, the district literacy model, responsive school teams, and writing strategies. Thinking Maps and piloting Math In Focus this year has brought added opportunity to explore Singapore math strategies.

Bridger Elementary consistently scores well above the state averages in reading and math generally, but the progress scores show the students gaining more than a year and a half in academic ability in each given school year. Beyond the recognitions, story after story exists of individual students who have changed their lives by making achievements many thought they would never be able to manage. The hope at Bridger Elementary is to make a difference in the lives of each student whether they are at the school for a few weeks or a few years.

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Board Approves Consent Calendar

The Board approved its consent calendar.

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