Education News Roundup: Nov. 21 – 2017

 

 

Artwork of sailboats by Canyon View Elementary students.

Artwork by Canyon View Elementary students.

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Two Corner Canyon High students killed in Draper rollover Teens remembered as kind, caring as hundreds attend vigil http://gousoe.uen.org/8mX (DNews) http://gousoe.uen.org/8nc (KSL) http://gousoe.uen.org/8nd (ABC4 Utah) http://gousoe.uen.org/8ne (ABC4 UT) http://gousoe.uen.org/8ni (Fox13)

 

Poll: A Third of Utahns Say They Should Pay More in Taxes to Fund Education http://gousoe.uen.org/8mT (UTPol)

 

In our opinion: School Bonds evidence Utah support for education

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n0 (DNews)

 

Secondary education homeless students have unique needs

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n8 (TS)

 

Agency tells schools they must serve kids with disabilities http://gousoe.uen.org/8np (EdWeek)

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Poll: A Third of Utahns Say They Should Pay More in Taxes to Fund Education

Event exposes young girls to engineering at Weber State University

Two Corner Canyon High students killed in Draper rollover Teens remembered as kind, caring as hundreds attend vigil

Utah association honors Jordan School District psychologist

Davis board seeks comment on school calendar proposal

Students of Thomas Edison North spend week in Hogwarts

‘Amazing masterpiece’: Heritage Elementary students create artwork for media center

How to help victims of the Mountain View High School stabbings

Voyage Academy students gather 1,300 cans for food drive, not stopping yet

Weber School District starts boundary study due to overcrowded schools

Davis School District children learn Navajo language in weekly classes

Secondary education homeless students have unique needs

Washington, Iron counties home to 1,295 homeless, at-risk students

Teachers Turn Post-Election Tensions Into Learning Opportunities

In Utah, Mountain Heights Top-Of-The-Line In Fully Online K-12

 


OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Genius Panelists: Use Mandate for Education, Health Care

Bagley Cartoon: The High Cost of Education

In our opinion: School Bonds evidence Utah support for education

Go to school

My view: A reflection of who we are

 


NATIONAL NEWS

 

U.S. education secretary urges focus on students amid Trump transition

Connecticut seeks public opinion about education priorities

Agency tells schools they must serve kids with disabilities

Education students become part of a school

How the GOP’s Sweep in the States Will Shape America’s Schools

Swastikas painted on elementary school; community responds with love

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Poll: A Third of Utahns Say They Should Pay More in Taxes to Fund Education

 

No doubt it is just the human condition, but while more than 80 percent of Utahns say it is important to move Utah out of last place nationally in per-student funding, and two-thirds say income taxes should be increased for public schools, about a third of Utahns say they personally should be paying more income taxes to educate our children, a new UtahPolicy poll finds.

In previously published surveys, pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds that Utahns are basically embarrassed that Utah ranks last in the nation in per-student funding.

And 66 percent said the personal and corporate income tax rates of 5 percent should be increased by 7/8th of 1 percent to provide more money for schools.

Yet, in a new poll 49 percent of Utahns say the amount they pay in state personal income tax is “about the right amount” to support public schools.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8mT (UTPol)

 


Event exposes young girls to engineering at Weber State University

 

Ogden • When Naomi Anson was a kid, she constantly was told girls weren’t good at math. The phrase was uttered so frequently, she said, that she started to believe it.

But she refuses to let that mantra govern the life of her daughter, Abigail.

“I want to make sure she can do everything she wants to do, including math and science,” Anson said Saturday at Weber State University.

Anson and Abigail, who is 11, attended Weber State’s sixth annual Parent-Daughter Engineering Day on Saturday, where a group of about 50 took part in activities meant to expose young girls to engineering. The school also hosted an event on Friday.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8mV (SLTrib)

 

 

Two Corner Canyon High students killed in Draper rollover Teens remembered as kind, caring as hundreds attend vigil

 

DRAPER — Hundreds of teenagers gathered to comfort one another at Draper Park Sunday the mourn the deaths of two Corner Canyon High School students.

The teens were killed in a one-car rollover late Saturday when they were thrown from the vehicle that was carrying five 16 year olds.

Ethan Fraga and Lexie Fenton were remembered as popular students known for their happy personalities and kind attitudes Sunday as their friends and classmates met. Despite the rainy weather, a steady stream of people flowed in and out of the park throughout the evening, their cars filling surrounding neighborhoods when lots overflowed.

Some teens carried flowers or small lights. Many wrote messages on balloons before releasing them into the night air.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8mX (DNews)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nc (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nd (ABC4 Utah)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ne (ABC4 UT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ni (Fox13)

 


Utah association honors Jordan School District psychologist

 

WEST JORDAN — Buddy Alger, a school psychologist assigned to the Alternative Language Services Department in the Jordan School District, has received the Barbara Bennett Excellence in Diversity Award from the Utah Association of School Psychologists. The award was presented during the association’s annual conference in November.

Alger received the award in recognition for his outstanding work with English learners, refugees and homeless students. He has also been instrumental with the implementation of the Diploma Now program at West Jordan High. Diploma Now is a program that aims to increase the number of diverse students graduating from high school.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8mY (DNews)

 


Davis board seeks comment on school calendar proposal

 

FARMINGTON — The Davis School District’s Board of Education is seeking comment on the proposed 2017-18 school year calendar.

The draft calendar is similar to the calendar adopted in the 2006-07 school year. Due to public input, this calendar starts a bit later and includes shorter breaks.

The traditional nine-month calendar begins Wednesday, Aug. 23, and ends Friday, June 1. It includes a two-day fall recess; a three-day Thanksgiving recess; a winter recess that runs from Dec. 21 through Jan. 2; and a spring break from April 2-6.

The year-round calendar begins Tuesday, July 25, and runs through Friday, June 29. The year-round calendar is only for the district’s one elementary school — Sand Springs — currently on a year-round schedule.

Comments, which will be taken until Monday, Dec. 5, can be made online at davis.k12.ut.us.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8mZ (DNews)

 


Students of Thomas Edison North spend week in Hogwarts

 

NORTH LOGAN – The library at Thomas Edison North Campus was transformed into the Great Hall of Hogwarts this week, floating candles and all.

Elementary and middle school students participated in reading quizzes and activities all week with a Harry Potter theme, while the movies played in the background.

The middle school students of the Library Teen Advisory Group plan a reading challenge for one week every month. Over the summer, the group decided November would be Harry Potter month to coincide with the release of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

“For some reason, Harry Potter is really hitting a note,” Noelle Harrild, the school librarian, said.

Elementary students have been completing challenges for a stamp in their passport. On Friday, students took a six question quiz with questions like, “What animal can Harry talk to?” and “What is the name of the game that wizards play on a broom?”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n1 (HJ)

 


‘Amazing masterpiece’: Heritage Elementary students create artwork for media center

 

IBLEY — Inside the Heritage Elementary School media center, framed hand-painted cloths with designs meant to resemble different landscapes in Utah hang from the ceiling.

On Friday, students and their teachers got a chance to walk through the media center to see the completed project for the first time — a project administrators and teachers are calling a unique opportunity for students with disabilities.

“This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Dyana Roberts, a Heritage Elementary School teacher whose students worked on the project with two guest artists under the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Access Program. “For our kids, things like this aren’t easy, but what they’ve done, what they’ve created is an amazing masterpiece. I want everyone to know how proud I am of them.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n2 (HJ)

 


How to help victims of the Mountain View High School stabbings

 

There are multiple ways the community can help Mountain View High School in the wake of Tuesday’s stabbings, according to information released by Alpine School District on Friday.

Two victims were treated and released by Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem on Tuesday. Three were sent to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo and have since been released.

People can donate to the victims’ families through the Alpine School District Foundation, at foundation.alpineschools.org/donate, and by indicating that the donation will be for the Bruin Strong Account. The entirety of the donated funds will be placed in the account.

Students and the community are invited to a day of caring at noon Saturday at the Orem Fitness Center. Volunteers should bring rakes, work gloves and dress warm.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n3 (DH)

 


Voyage Academy students gather 1,300 cans for food drive, not stopping yet

 

CLINTON — A group of fifth and sixth grade Voyage Academy students collected about 1,300 cans in a little under three weeks for a canned food drive.

Sixth grade teacher Jen Caldwell said the November canned food drive is one of many service learning projects the Service Crew does throughout the year at the charter school.

“We’re doing a competition between the grades, so the winning grade is earning extra recess and an ice cream treat,” she said.

The canned goods will be donated to the Family Connection Center in Layton on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Sixth grade student Ethan Ady has been on the Service Crew since last year and has expanded his volunteering to those in his neighborhood by mowing yards and picking up trash with his Boy Scout troop.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n4 (SE)

 


Weber School District starts boundary study due to overcrowded schools

 

The Weber School District is initiating a boundary study due to overcrowding at some schools.

The study will look at schools that feed into Weber and Roy high schools in an effort to decrease the number of students at Fremont High School and Kanesville Elementary School, which have exceeded capacity.

District spokesman Lane Findlay said any changes made won’t affect currently enrolled high school students, and the goal is for the board to approve new boundaries in March for implementation next fall.

“There are a lot of considerations,” he said. “It can be a very sensitive subject when you’re talking with parents, students, going to a different school. There are issues that come up, and it can be sometimes a little bit emotional.”

Built in 1994, Fremont High School has a permanent capacity of 1,750 students with 15 portable classrooms increasing capacity to 2,054.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n5 (SE)

 


Davis School District children learn Navajo language in weekly classes

 

CLEARFIELD — The language of the Navajo rose and fell as Patricia Benally spoke to her class Wednesday evening with guttural stops, prolonged vowels and soft consonants.

Benally recited the Pledge of Allegiance while her class of about 15 elementary school children repeated after her.

“Kéyah ‘ashdladiingo bit háhoodzooígíí,” she said. “Bidahnaat’a’í shit nilįįgo biniinaa bich’į’ádíshní.”

While some of them faltered, all of the young students in the class parroted it back proudly.

Benally teaches Navajo language classes for the Davis School District in the Davis Community Learning Center. She Grew up in Arizona, attending a school on the reservation that taught in both Navajo and English.

“I never really knew how significant and special that was,” she said.

Benally left the reservation, went to college and bounced around New Mexico for a time before finding her calling volunteering in a kindergarten classroom.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n7 (SE)

 


Secondary education homeless students have unique needs BETH, A 14-YEAR-OLD FRESHMAN LOOKING TO GET EMANCIPATED, DOESN’T ALWAYS KNOW WHERE SHE’LL SLEEP FOR THE NIGHT.

Editor’s note: To protect the identity of the 14-year-old Hurricane Middle School student mentioned in this article, The Spectrum & Daily News has opted to not print her real name, choosing instead to refer to her as “Beth” for the purpose of this report.

 

Children living in tents on BLM land, teens who have been kicked out of their homes by their own parents, and students who sometimes only ask for $1 to get home after school are just a few of the many situations Washington and Iron County School District’s secondary education counselors face with homeless teens.

And one of the biggest issues is the misconception behind these faces.

“I think there’s a big feeling out there that people who are poor or homeless are there because of their own problems,” said Brian Gunnell, Dixie Middle School counselor. “We do a big disservice to our society by labeling anybody who’s poor or on welfare as lazy or it’s because of their own problems. That’s true sometimes, even with some of our parents here, but most of these people are just trying really hard to make things work.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n8 (TS)

 


Washington, Iron counties home to 1,295 homeless, at-risk students WITH 939 HOMELESS STUDENTS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND 356 IN IRON COUNTY, SOUTHERN UTAH NEEDS TO STEP UP.

 

Lisa Wallace leaves work after a long night of waitressing and returns to her four daughters around 10 or 11 p.m. each night.

She picks her children — aged 6, 5, 2 and 1 — up from daycare, waking them up from a sound sleep. But they don’t go home. They don’t get tucked into their own beds. They return to the homeless shelter for the third month in a row.

“It’s hard to look at your kids and not know what to tell them,” Wallace said. “They know where we’re at. It’s a lot easier when it’s just you here in a homeless shelter. All you want is a home for them. It’s just difficult to look them in their faces everyday and know that I can’t give that to them right now, no matter how hard I work.”

Wallace is a Las Vegas transplant, and she came to St. George knowing that finding affordable housing would be difficult, but getting her daughters out of the city was more important. Finding a job was no problem for her, but housing is a different story.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8na (TS)

 


Teachers Turn Post-Election Tensions Into Learning Opportunities

Since last week’s election there have been reports of bullying and student anxiety at schools across the country. But some teachers are turning that tension into teaching opportunities.

Angela Solum teaches 4th grade at Mountain View Elementary in Salt Lake City. It’s a Title 1 school and 70% of the students are English language learners. She says last Wednesday was rough.   “It was pretty traumatic with a lot of kids,” says Solum. But she immediately saw a silver lining.   “The fact that they are feeling some emotion, that’s good because they have some investment in our country,” says Solum. “For how confusing it can be to teach government to 9 and 10 year olds, they’ve really taken a vested interest in learning more.   Heather Handy is used to talking about politics with her students. She teaches social studies to 7th and 8th graders at West Lake STEM, a Junior High in West Valley. But this election has made conversations in class extremely relevant.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nf (KUER)

 


In Utah, Mountain Heights Top-Of-The-Line In Fully Online K-12

 

Special challenges come at the time to offer a complete online experience for students going through grades 7th to 12th. It must provide the flexibility online learning is known for, while ensuring weekly oversight of their activities. It must provide content that allows them to be leaders in their local communities. And it cannot underestimate the importance of socialization in such critical stage of life.

The model Tonks devised for Mountain Heights Academy begins with top quality faculty. They have tools and flexibility to customize contents to meet each individual student’s needs. More than 500 students started school year with Mountain Heights, with over 200 more joined in part-time modality.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nl (MN)

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Genius Panelists: Use Mandate for Education, Health Care Utah Policy commentary by LaVarr Webb

This week’s question: Gov. Gary Herbert won a strong mandate for what is expected to be his final term in office. What should be a few of his top priorities that would make a big difference in Utah?

Ted Wilson, mountaineer, executive director of UCAIR, former Salt Lake City mayor and past Democratic candidate for governor and the U.S. Senate. The Governor proves he is Middle-Utah’s choice. His mandate on the state level is huge. It’s time for him to press the legislature for more inclusive health care, assuming Obamacare survives. If it is removed or changed, he can be the moderate voice coming from a majority of GOP governors around the country. One thing Herbert is, separate from political goals, is an outstanding person. He seeks conciliation and balance.               As such he can do much to heal the bitter wounds from Clinton-Trump, the worst campaign any of us can remember. Trump’s early hit will come on the economy. The economy hates big changes, so it’s inevitable. Herbert’s strong record on jobs can make Utah a successful outlier.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8mU

 


Bagley Cartoon: The High Cost of Education Salt Lake Tribune cartoon http://gousoe.uen.org/8mW

 


In our opinion: School Bonds evidence Utah support for education Deseret News editorial

 

The sincerity of the commitment among Utah citizens to support public education was evident in an emphatic way on Election Day when voters approved the issuance of more than a half billion dollars in bonds to finance school construction in two districts. Bonding proposals in the Jordan and Alpine districts were each approved by a significant majority of votes, demonstrating a growing agreement in some regions about investing in our education infrastructure.

The funding measures will raise money for 14 new schools in the two districts. In the Alpine District, a $386 million bond issue was supported by about 70 percent of voters. A $245 million bond issue in the Jordan District was supported by 60 percent of voters.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8n0

 


Go to school

The Spectrum letter by Ralph Griffin

Where is the accountability? What are the consequences? When irresponsible, immature children not old enough to vote stage protests and leave the classroom, what do the schools do? Mark them “absent.” Big deal!

Why don’t teachers give a “pop quiz” and give them a failing grade for the day? That would be a more suitable consequence. And why do school administrators tell taxpayers that they “would prefer” kids to voice their concerns at other than school hours? That really addresses the seriousness of their actions, doesn’t it? Where is the accountability of schools to taxpayers? How does their spineless response to this charade address their responsibility to assure our tax dollars are being spent wisely?

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nb

 


My view: A reflection of who we are

Deseret News commentary by Tess Davis, Voices for Utah Children’s Early Childhood Policy Analyst.

 

I am deeply troubled by much of the behavior being reported around the country in the wake of the presidential election, particularly within our schools. Here in Utah, there were reports that Granite School District had begun receiving “reports of students being bullied because of their race, gender or ethnicity on the heels of Donald Trump winning the election.” There is nothing anyone can change at this point about the outcome of the election, but what we can and must change is our behavior. This kind of harassment and bullying is doing harm to vulnerable children, and it diminishes who we are as Utahns and Americans. It has to stop.

At Voices for Utah Children, we believe in the right of each child to learn and grow in a nurturing environment free of harassment, intimidation or fear. Kids and families from all races, ethnic backgrounds, religions and walks of life help make Utah the vibrant and wonderful place it is. Like many of our districts, Granite School District is a microcosm for the growing diversity of our state. Granite’s schools are home to nearly 70,000 racially, culturally and linguistically diverse K-12 students, all of whom help to broaden one another’s social and cultural horizons through their similarities and their differences alike.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nk

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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U.S. education secretary urges focus on students amid Trump transition

 

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. urged education leaders from across the country in Baltimore on Saturday to remain focused on students amid the impending transition to a Donald J. Trump administration.

King called on teachers have to put an end to the bullying and harassment of students because of their ethnicity, race or sexual identification and protect their civil rights.

“We all must be vigilant on those issues” and see that schools are made “safe for every child,” he said to a crowd of educators attending the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Annual Policy Forum.

King, who became secretary earlier this year after Arne Duncan stepped aside, also reminded council members of the strides made in education during the last eight years.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nm (TBS)

 


Connecticut seeks public opinion about education priorities

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s Department of Education is seeking public opinion on the state’s educational priorities.

The agency has launched an online survey, available in both English and Spanish.

It asks participants about the most important factors in assuring student achievement, ways to keep at-risk students engaged in school, ideas to transform low-performing schools, strategies to help students who need to learn English as a second language and other issues.

Feedback from the survey will be used to help drive the state’s educational goals. The information will also be used in developing Connecticut’s plan to comply with a new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which attempts to ensure all students have equal access to high-quality education.

The survey can be found on the state Department of Education’s website.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nn (EdWeek)

 


Agency tells schools they must serve kids with disabilities

 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Education Agency has told schools they must provide services to all eligible students with disabilities and won’t be penalized for serving too many children.

The TEA’s announcement came after the U.S. Department of Education ordered the state agency to end an 8.5 percent benchmark on special education enrollment, the Houston Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/2eR1Ymz ).

The newspaper previously reported that schools began denying special education services after the state imposed the enrollment benchmark in 2004.

In a five-page letter, Penny Schwinn, the agency’s deputy commissioner of academics, told schools that the TEA eventually would end the benchmark. Schwinn also said that effective immediately, she wrote, exceeding the 8.5 percent target would not “adversely affect” district performance levels or determinations about whether districts are audited.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8np (EdWeek)

 


Education students become part of a school

 

The partnership between the Purdue University Northwest Early Childhood Education program and Edgewood Elementary School started off with what seemed like a small project — creating hallway decor — and blossomed from there, explained Debra Hollingsworth Pratt, PNW continuing lecturer of Early Childhood Education.

The school was preparing for a visit from state officials, and PNW students were asked to create some hallway décor that would welcome students to school each day and create a cheerful learning environment. The goal was to mesh PNW courses with Edgewood’s needs.

PNW student Kelly Salyer Ramer, of Westville, stepped up to take the lead and partnered with Erin Provenzano, of Valparaiso, to create an entryway.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nq (CT)

 


How the GOP’s Sweep in the States Will Shape America’s Schools Experts predict greater access to school vouchers, challenges to teacher-tenure laws, and continued fights over funding.

 

Many eyes have been on Trump Tower as the president-elect and his transition team have started to select key cabinet positions. Effectively shutting down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan during these deliberations, the team is making decisions that will shape wide-ranging policies, on everything from immigration to trade, in the coming years.

For people like myself who are closely monitoring what the future will look like schools, the locus of attention is not on Trump Tower, but on the state capitals, which have the greatest power over America’s classrooms. Like the upheaval that happened with the national election, the states had somewhat of their own shake up this November, with Republicans winning a record number of legislative spots—and a historic high for governorships—in what some have described as a “bloodbath.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nr (TA)

 


Swastikas painted on elementary school; community responds with love

 

DENVER — Vandals spray-painted swastikas on a Colorado elementary school over the weekend.

The vandalism at Isabella Bird Community School in Stapleton was quickly overpowered by acts of love and compassion on Sunday.

The Denver Police Department said vandals might have hit the school Friday. Spokeswoman Raquel Lopez told Fox 31 the case is being investigated by detectives.

“We condemn this deeply offensive act and stand together with our Stapleton neighbors in opposition to this and all forms of hatred and discrimination. This type of hateful expression has no place in our society, and is not in any way a reflection of our neighborhood or of the Stapleton community,” said Rabbi Mendel Popack with the Stapleton Jewish Life Center.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8nj (Fox13)

 

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CALENDAR

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USBE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

December 8:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting; Board Room

http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

 

December 8:

Utah State Board of Education Committee meetings; Board Room

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

 

December 9:

Utah State Board of Education meeting; Board Room

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

 

 

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