Education News Roundup: Oct. 12 – 2016

 

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Today’s Top Picks:

 

Legislators Respond To Teacher Needs With Policy Proposals http://gousoe.uen.org/87r (UTPO)

 

Fuel Your School Event Brings STEM-Related Resources to the Classroom http://gousoe.uen.org/87C (ABC4UT)

 

Bike Utah Launches Free Bicycle Education Program for Schools Statewide http://gousoe.uen.org/87I (UTPO)

 

Education Department Releases Final Teacher Preparation Regulations http://gousoe.uen.org/87E (U.S.ED)

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Legislators Respond To Teacher Needs With Policy Proposals

 

Bonneville High’s Laker to Laker raising money for Weber County tornado victims

 

Provo teacher finds passion in dragonfly research

 

Provo City School District bans drones on campus, at events

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Jaycie Kelly

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Lindsay Rowland

 

Volunteering in Utah County helps with literacy initiative

 

Teens capture assault of Hyde Park boy at Sky View on video

 

Fuel Your School Event Brings STEM-Related Resources to the Classroom

 

Bike Utah Launches Free Bicycle Education Program for Schools Statewide

 


OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Jay Evensen: What do we tell children about clowns?

 

John Hoffmire: School spending per student: Can academic success be bought

 

When it comes to sex ed, some words make the Davis School Board uncomfortable

 


NATION

 

Education Department Releases Final Teacher Preparation Regulations

 

Proposition 58 Seeks to Restore Bilingual Education in California

 

What High School Education Looks Like for the Nation’s English-Learners

 

USDA Celebrates Progress during National School Lunch Week and Farm to School Month

 

How the Stress of Racism Affects Learning

 

Nasty Campaign Rhetoric Puts Parents and Teachers in a Tough Spot

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Legislators Respond To Teacher Needs With Policy Proposals

 

House Democrats are crafting new state laws that would assist in the attracting and retaining of educators within Utah as a direct response to a public survey of teachers across the state.

1400 educators weighed in online on issues that impact their profession and how the legislature can help, while an additional 60 attended a public hearing last month. The new legislation aims at protecting the teaching profession and give teachers the freedom to make decisions based on the needs of their students.

Representative Joel Briscoe

Teacher Compensation Funding

School District Tax Incentive Participation

Teacher Recruitment and Retention Program http://gousoe.uen.org/87r (UTPO)

 


Bonneville High’s Laker to Laker raising money for Weber County tornado victims

 

A Bonneville High School group is raising money for people affected by a tornado that destroyed many homes in the area last month.

Laker to Laker started seven years ago as a fundraiser for teacher Ralph Anderson’s son Rex, who suffered from cystic fibrosis.

While Rex died that same year at age 20, Laker to Laker continued raising money that would eventually go to help his brother James, who also had the disease.

Anderson, who is now one of six people on the Laker to Laker fundraising committee, said he still gets emotional when he thinks about how many people stepped up to help his sons and now, the group is going beyond Lakers just helping Lakers.

“It’s people helping people, and we need more of that,” he said.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87u (SE)

 


Provo teacher finds passion in dragonfly research

 

While most people may not give more than a fleeting glance to dragonflies, Alan Myrup has spent the past 11 years researching the insect.

Myrup, who teaches biology at Timpview High School in Provo, published “The Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata) of Utah” earlier this year. The monograph maps out the distribution of the insect and provides a much needed update on dragonflies in Utah.

“Doing this gathered a lot of information that was unknown,” he said. “We cannot preserve what we don’t know or understand.”

While Myrup has always been interested in butterflies, he said he decided to research dragonflies after several internships.

For one internship, Myrup spent a summer collecting insects for DNA testing and one researcher asked them to specifically collect dragonflies. That’s what he was doing when he saw the Mountain Emerald dragonfly and was surprised by its stunning green eyes.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87w (DH)

 


Provo City School District bans drones on campus, at events

 

Drones are no longer allowed on school grounds or at school events in Provo City School District.

The Provo City School District Board of Education voted to ban drones during its meeting Tuesday evening.

The policy is a revision of drone guidelines the board of education drafted less than a year ago. The changes come at the request of risk management.

“We are taking the guidance of how we protect our students, our staff, our grounds,” said Keith Rittel, the district’s superintendent.

Drones were previously banned at athletic events, but allowed under certain restrictions in classrooms.

Rittel said it’s possible for changes in the future to allow drones back on district property.

The board also voted to change the district’s travel policy to no longer allow international trips, also abiding by the guidance from risk management. Two groups in the district take out-of-country trips.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87x (DH)

 


Utah Valley Student of the Week: Jaycie Kelly

 

Jaycie Kelly, 11, attends Sage Hills Elementary in Saratoga Springs and is currently in the sixth grade. She was chosen to be the the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Student of the Week because she puts 100 percent into everything she does.

A former teacher commented, “Jaycie is fantastic! She was one of my best helpers, always willing to work with others whether it was explaining to another student how to complete their work, being a friend for someone in need of a friend or helping to organize the classroom. She was also a hard worker, she didn’t give up even when the task was challenging and there was a chance of failure. She always pushed through.”

Her classmates describe her as friendly, a hard worker and a great helper. Her current teacher agrees and says that Jaycie applies the same dedication to her extracurricular activities as she does with her classwork.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87y (DH)

 


Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Lindsay Rowland

 

Sage Hills Elementary, located in Saratoga Springs, is recognizing Lindsay Rowland as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.

Rowland graduated from Utah Valley State College and is in her 13th year of teaching in grades first through fourth. She is currently serving as the collaborative team leader for fourth grade.

A fellow co-worker commented, “She is an amazing team leader because she listens to everyone’s ideas and somehow makes them all come together so that we are all on common ground.”

She has a very positive attitude and is known for smiling even when things are not going as planned.

Rowland has served on the School Community Council for three years, during which time they have been able to acquire Chromebook Carts for each of the upper grades.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87z (DH)

 


Volunteering in Utah County helps with literacy initiative

 

I have many titles. But the one that makes me smile from ear to ear each month is the title of “the book lady.”

It is a title that has been given to me by the first and second graders at Spring Creek Elementary. Ten times in the last year, I have been the lucky person who has had the opportunity of delivering a free book to each of the kids in the first, second and third grades at Spring Creek.

I am one of 14 “book ladies.”  We are members of Women United, a group of volunteers for United Way of Utah County. In March of 2015, Women United took on the task of raising enough money to provide 2,400 first, second, and third graders in Utah County books to read and add to their personal library every month. The books aren’t expensive. They are age and reading-level appropriate books published by Scholastic Books. But the kids are grateful, excited to receive them and love to read them anyway!

http://gousoe.uen.org/87A (DH)

 


Teens capture assault of Hyde Park boy at Sky View on video

 

A disturbing video of the assault on a Hyde Park boy last Friday is making the rounds on social media but answers few questions about what took place at Sky View High School after school that day.

Late Monday afternoon, the Cache County Sheriff’s Office reported they had arrested one juvenile male who would be charged with aggravated assault.

In the video, this youth is seen engaging in a verbal confrontation in the front foyer of the school with another juvenile who is much smaller in size.

It is unclear what led up to the incident, but the larger boy is seen pressuring the younger to leave the hallway, and when he refused, it gets physical. The verbal exchange was short, just 13 seconds before the larger of the two strikes the other boy with his elbow.

The blow to the victim’s face was solid and sent him to the ground where his head audibly connects with the floor.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87B (HJ)

 


Fuel Your School Event Brings STEM-Related Resources to the Classroom

 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox made a special delivery to Lincoln Elementary Tuesday.

As part of Chevrons 2016 Fuel Your School initiative, Cox delivered STEM-related and other teaching materials and aids to the school.

The program, officially launched nationally on September 1st of this year and will provide up to $750,000 locally for classroom projects in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties.

The Lt. Governor worked on a science project with 41 students from 4th, 5th and 6th grades.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87C (ABC4UT)

 


9-year-old boy receives death threats, physical assault from school bully for months, mother claims

 

LEHI- On Monday, Sept. 26, Amy and Jacob Simpson’s 9-year-old son came home from school in tears. He told his parents that another student had been bullying him for weeks, and that on that particular day, the student threatened to kill him.

Amy and Jacob Simpson asked their son more about the bullying he had been experiencing. He told them that when he was playing at recess, another student approached him and told him he would be hung by his neck and killed if he didn’t stop playing with another student. The bully then loudly told the boy’s friend that they would murder the Simpson boy if he continued to play with him at recess.

The death threats were only the most recent offense that the 9-year-old experienced. Amy Simpson said that this bully has hit her son in the stomach at least 25 times this school year.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87D (KSL)

 


Bike Utah Launches Free Bicycle Education Program for Schools Statewide

 

Bike Utah has launched its Youth Bicycle Education and Safety Training program, a no-cost statewide effort to teach kids how to safely and confidently get around by bicycle.

The Youth BEST program officially started in September, and will be held at schools as a 5-hour, hands-on program for 5th through 7th graders.

During the course of the program, kids will learn the benefits of riding a bicycle, the rules of the road, how to adjust and wear a helmet, how to navigate intersections, how to avoid hazards, and how to make sure their bike is in safe working order.

Bike Utah secured several grants to fund the program, so it’s free to any school or student wanting to participate. Bike Utah provides a trained instructor, bicycles, helmets, and all other necessary equipment to be used during the session. The program is mobile and has the capacity to be implemented at schools in all corners of the state.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87I (UTPO)

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Jay Evensen: What do we tell children about clowns?

Deseret News column by Jay Evensen

 

It’s hard to write about the current clown scare without resorting to cheap jokes about presidential politics. Yes, the race might be a squeaker, with one or the other winning by a plastic red nose – but enough about that. It’s time to get serious for a moment about the bozos wandering the streets, scaring our children.

Bad clowns, often as illusive as Big Foot sightings, are out in force, apparently, and that includes in Utah.

Last week, both an elementary and a middle school in Ogden locked their doors for a while after someone with a clown face made threats on social media. Parents in Orem needed calming reassurance after something similar. Police there tweeted, “Let’s have a serious talk about clowns.”

Indeed, to a lot of people, that sentence wasn’t the least bit ironic. Clowns are no laughing matter. With seemingly billions of sightings served worldwide, McDonald’s even announced that Ronald won’t be so visible for a while.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87s

 


John Hoffmire: School spending per student: Can academic success be bought Deseret News column by John Hoffmire

 

According to Education Week, school districts on average spend $11,912 per student based on 2016 figures. While the average may seem high per student, spending on education varies widely among school districts within states, with many districts spending less than one-half the national average. The federal government provides only 10 percent of the funds used in school districts, with the remaining funds being provided by states and local jurisdictions. Property taxes play a vital role in education funding. Wealthy school districts, by definition, have an advantage over poorer districts.

The spending patterns of four randomly chosen school districts are examined below: North Rockland Central School District, New York; Temecula Valley Unified School District, California; Hinds School District in Raymond, Mississippi; and Davis County School District, Utah. Of particular interest will be whether an increase in per student funding correlates directly to academic performance.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87t

 


When it comes to sex ed, some words make the Davis School Board uncomfortable Standard Examiner editorial

 

Some words apparently bother Mona Andrus. Words like “boobs” and “wet dreams.”

She doesn’t think they belong in new sexual health videos for fifth-graders in the Davis School District. So she wants them removed, along with references to penis length, breast size and arousal – specifically, how “thinking about girls or sexual things leads to erections.”

Children need to learn about sex in terms they’ve heard, terms they understand and terms they’re comfortable using. The words need to stay, even if school board members like Andrus find them unsettling.

Utah law requires districts to solicit feedback on changes to sex education courses prior to school board approval. Jay Welk, healthy lifestyles and physical education secondary supervisor, said Davis emailed copies of the videos – one for boys, one for girls – to the parents of every fifth-grader in the district.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87v

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Education Department Releases Final Teacher Preparation Regulations

 

The U.S. Department of Education published regulations today to help ensure that new teachers are ready to succeed in the classroom and that every student is taught by a great educator. The regulations build on progress happening across the country and take into account the extensive and valuable feedback shared with the Department since draft rules were first released. The regulations aim to bring transparency to the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs, provide programs with ongoing feedback to help them improve continuously, and respond to educators across the country who do not feel ready to enter the classroom after graduation.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87E (U.S.ED)

 


Proposition 58 Seeks to Restore Bilingual Education in California

 

Ricardo Lara was in college when California voters approved a law that required public school students to speak and learn only in English. It was a debate, the now-state-senator remembers, that was tainted with racial undertones.

“There was a lot of shame cast on us,” said Lara (D-Bell Gardens). “There was a clear sentiment that we were somehow different and un-American because we were Spanish speakers.”

For the children of Mexican immigrants such as him, who had gone through bilingual education programs and valued their immersion in two languages and cultures, Lara said it was upsetting.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87F (KTLA5)

 


What High School Education Looks Like for the Nation’s English-Learners

 

A national survey of districts that serve high school-aged English-language learners found that roughly two-thirds of districts provide English-as-a- second-language instruction for students.

Conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the first-of-its-kind survey aimed to provide a national look at the programs and services available to English-learners enrolled in the nation’s public high schools.

Based on information collected in fall 2015, the survey findings are based on self-reported data from 1,700 public school districts that educate an estimated 774,500 English-learners.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87G (EDWeek)

 


USDA Celebrates Progress during National School Lunch Week and Farm to School Month

 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) joins youth, parents, schools, communities, and partners across the country in honoring National School Lunch Week 2016, as proclaimed by President Obama, a time to reflect on the positive steps our nation has taken to make nutrition a priority in every U.S. school. This also coincides with the month-long celebration of Farm to School Month, which recognizes efforts to bring local foods into schools and onto students’ trays.

“This is a time to reflect on the important role of the National School Lunch Program and Farm to School initiatives in improving the health of children across the country, as well as creating new opportunities for farmers and ranchers to provide schools with fresh, nutritious food,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87H (USDA)

 


How the Stress of Racism Affects Learning A new study shows that the pressures associated with discrimination contribute to the achievement gap.

 

For 15-year-old Zion Agostini, the start of each school day is a new occasion to navigate a minefield of racial profiling. From an early age, walking home from elementary school with his older brother, Agostini took note of the differential treatment police gave to black people in his community: “I [saw] people get stopped … get harassed … get arrested for minor offenses.” Almost a decade later, Agostini said he now faces the same treatment as a sophomore at Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. “Me being a black male, I’m more likely to be stopped and frisked by a cop. Then, [I’m] going to school with more cops … [messing] with me at 7 in the morning.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/87J )TA)

 


Nasty Campaign Rhetoric Puts Parents and Teachers in a Tough Spot

 

For Ron Nelsen, like many other parents this year, the presidential election has become a defensive sport.

“I literally cannot watch the news in front of my 10- and 12-year-olds without my finger on the button ready to mute, pause or change the channel at any second,” said Nelsen, who owns a small business that sells garage doors in Las Vegas.

Even a party for the priest of his Catholic Church Sunday night wasn’t safe.

“Someone turned on the debate and we said, oh, no, no, no, we can’t watch the debate. We can’t watch the debate in front of our priests and children,” he said.

Football – the New York Giants versus the Green Bay Packers – was put on instead.

It’s fair to say this election has taken an ugly, dark and virtually unprecedented turn, making the news a PG-13 minefield of lewdness that recalls the coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. That’s putting millions of parents and teachers in a tough situation – balancing just how much to let their children see and hear while also teaching them about civics and the world around them.

http://gousoe.uen.org/87L (NBCNews)

 

 

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CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

October 13:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://go.uen.org/62M

 

 

October 18:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2016&com=APPEXE

 

 

October 19:

Education Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2016&com=INTEDU

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