Education News Roundup: May 22, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

SITLA looks to increase fees for hunting.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2c (SLT)

Utah schools will have to create policies to end “lunch shaming.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2e (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/a2E (DN via KSL)

Trib looks at graduation Water Canyon School in Hildale.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a29 (SLT)

Ed Week tries to figure out what understaffing at ED portends for ESSA state plans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a27 (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah school-trust lands agency wants millions more for hunting access
Public lands » State balks as pact is set to expire and SITLA seeks millions.

Next task on Utah school districts’ plates: Passing policies to end ‘lunch shaming’

Graduation day is a milestone for the students and a polygamous town

More than 600 BYU educator preparation students serve in Utah schools during school year

New elementary schools a possibility with Ogden School District bond initiative

Ogden School Board approves resolution sought by immigrant advocates

Juvenile justice reforms stirring concerns among educators, law enforcement

Water Hole: No running water on Navajo Nation reservation

Equality Utah vows continued fight for LGBT causes

Lawmaker hosts lands transfer town hall

Students talk to space explorers in NASA downlink

High school students certify in aerospace manufacturing

South Utah County students learn about times of war from area veterans along Spanish Fork River Trail

Pleasant Grove school creates cafe to give students with autism workplace experience

Weber High senior says school’s unclear dance dress code was unfairly enforced

3 Davis School District teacher receive Utah Education Association awards

Logan Teacher Receives Award After Creating New Summer Program

Apple for the Teacher award goes to Roy High School’s Michele Kersey-Smith

Above and Beyond – Mapleton teacher Doreen Snyder works hard to reach students

UEN recognizes Abe Kimball for working with at-risk youth

Diana Windley: 30 Women to Watch

Vicky Thomas: 30 Women to Watch

Aubrey Robison: 30 Women to Watch

Graduate profile: Finding a good fit: South Campus helped student graduate

Woods Cross’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is top school musical
Stage » Annual awards program will send two student actors to compete in New York.

Ridgline student wins Best Actor at Utah Music Theatre Awards

Orem grade-schoolers’ study finds most drivers make illegal left-hand turns

Utah students become water conscience by raising trout

Beaver Dam HS celebrates choir’s return

Kearns students skip school for a good cause

Utah school website taken over by lingerie, hotel booking

Scared Safe at Spanish Fork High School

No Explanation For Cancelled Classes

Students raise funds for National Park Foundation by garage sale

Educational fundraiser set for May 27, 28 in Tooele

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Beyond pay, teachers need flexibility to succeed

With education, the Beehive State can learn from the Finnish model

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Do we really want to ask, ‘Who goes hungry?’

The truth behind state trust lands

Four Things To Watch in Trump’s Education Spending Plan

Can Trump Successfully Push Big Education Ideas Despite Political Turmoil?

What Parents Should Know About ‘Competency Based Education’

NATION

What Do Continued Education Dept. Vacancies Mean for ESSA?

Why It’s So Hard To Know Whether School Choice Is Working

Homeschooling Makes Learning Personal For Some Special Education Students

Research Differs on Whether Charters Welcome Special Ed Kids

Teaching climate change: Idaho educators take a second shot at state science standards

West Virginia schools rethink sex ed

This Startup Will Do the Grading for Teachers—for a Fee

Growing Grassroots Movements Confronting School Sexual Assault

It Was Hard This Year to Keep Politics Out of High School Yearbooks

How e-cigarette ads might sway teens to try tobacco products

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah school-trust lands agency wants millions more for hunting access
Public lands » State balks as pact is set to expire and SITLA seeks millions.

A long-standing agreement that has assured hunter access to Utah trust lands could be unraveling as state officials squabble behind closed doors over how much this access should cost taxpayers.
For the past two decades, hunters and anglers paid fees attached to their permits — now totaling $800,000 a year — for access to select lands owned by all Utahns, but managed for the benefit of schools.
But now the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) board wants to more than double that rent, upping it by $1 to $3 million per year. The agency argues it could make that kind of money by leasing its holdings that harbor big game herds — revered hunting grounds such as the Book Cliffs and Tabby Mountain — to private outfitters.
With the Division of Wildlife Resources strongly pushing back, tensions have escalated recently as a 10-year memorandum of understanding between the agencies approaches expiration.
Earlier this month, the SITLA board directed its staff to pursue more lucrative options for state lands used by hunters and to investigate forming what are called cooperative wildlife management units, which could lead to more exclusive land access in apparent violation of SITLA’s agreement with the state.
A SITLA spokesman said the move was simply a contingency in case negotiations with Gov. Gary Herbert’s office fail.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2c (SLT)

 

Next task on Utah school districts’ plates: Passing policies to end ‘lunch shaming’

SANDY — Nearly half of the nation’s school districts have resorted to some form of “lunch shaming” of students to compel their parents to pay overdue school lunch bills, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Some districts throw away students’ meals, provide less desirable options or stamp children’s hands to remind parents that their child’s account is in arrears.
Marti Woolford, nutrition initiatives director for the nonprofit advocacy organization Utahns Against Hunger, says all such approaches are wrongheaded.
“That’s not OK. It’s not the child’s responsibility. What we know about kids who live in poverty, they have really stressful lives. Add this stress to a child’s life and it’s going to interfere with their ability to learn,” she said.
Lunch shaming is not a new problem, but the USDA wants schools across the country, by July 1, to have policies in place that state how they will handle situations where students do not have money in their lunch accounts or cash on hand to pay for meals.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2e (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a2E (DN via KSL)

 

Graduation day is a milestone for the students and a polygamous town

Hildale • The public school here is expected to have about a 525 percent increase in graduates.
Water Canyon School will hold commencement today for about 25 graduates. The school, which ranges from kindergarten to 12th grade, had just four last year.
Hildale and adjoining Colorado City, Ariz. are the traditional home of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Its followers abandoned the public schools more than a decade ago. But as more and more members left the church, the Washington County School District decided to open a school in Hildale in 2014.
The number of graduates, while meager at most places, is considered a milestone in Hildale and evidence of how many more people who live in the town do not belong to the FLDS.
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox will give the commencement address.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a29 (SLT)

 

More than 600 BYU educator preparation students serve in Utah schools during school year

More than 600 students from BYU’s educator preparation programs worked in local schools this year, usually without pay. They served as student teachers, interns, administrators, speech-language pathologists and school psychologists. These students added supervision in classrooms and brought current skills and fresh ideas.
Schools find that the connection with college students is very valuable as personnel shortages continue. Many of the students are later hired as full-time employees after graduation.
“(The university students) bring enthusiasm and excitement about changing the lives of our students as they assist in our classes,” said Jason Cox, executive director of human resources in Provo City School District. “We value our partnership and appreciate the opportunity we have to hire the students who have prepared to be teachers in our classes.”
The David O. McKay School of Education at BYU prepares students in its various programs for such opportunities through the BYU–Public School Partnership, which includes five school districts in Utah: Alpine, Jordan, Provo City, Nebo and Wasatch County. Most students stay within these districts but some participate as interns or student teachers in other states or even as far away as China.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2p (PDH)

 

New elementary schools a possibility with Ogden School District bond initiative

OGDEN — The Ogden School District is going to focus on building new schools rather than renovating old ones should a bond initiative they’re pursuing pass this fall.
District spokesman Jer Bates said this consensus was reached by a capital planning committee and bond advisory committee.
District officials visited older elementary school facilities and the district’s newest, New Bridge Elementary School, which opened in 2016.
Bates said those visits made it clear the old buildings aren’t conducive to today’s teaching and learning styles.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2h (OSE)

 

Ogden School Board approves resolution sought by immigrant advocates

OGDEN — The Ogden School District approved a resolution in response to a request from Hispanic advocates to protect the students of undocumented immigrants.
The resolution is broad, stating the district supports all students, but singles out possible immigration law enforcement.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2i (OSE)

 

Juvenile justice reforms stirring concerns among educators, law enforcement

SALT LAKE CITY — With an Aug. 1 implementation looming, some Utah educators are concerned about the practical implications of a new initiative that substantially changes how youths are treated in the juvenile justice system.
One significant change is that schools will no longer be able to refer students to law enforcement or juvenile court for truancy or school-based status offenses, infractions or class C misdemeanors that occur on school grounds. Instead, the issues are to be handled by the schools themselves, peer courts or other diversion approaches.
Backers of sweeping reforms to the state’s juvenile justice system, which were adopted by Utah lawmakers with the passage of HB239 earlier this year, say the initiative will save money and result in better outcomes for youths.
The legislation includes recommendations of the Utah Juvenile Justice Working Group, which was made up of juvenile court judges, attorneys, legislators, state department heads and others appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2Y (DN via KSL)

 

Water Hole: No running water on Navajo Nation reservation

MONUMENT VALLEY – On the outskirts of Monument Valley, touching the Arizona-Utah border, a water well is encased in a brick building behind a barb-wired fence. A few cattle graze nearby, mooing to occasionally pierce the quiet.
Residents say the well is one of two in the area, a couple miles from a small town on the Navajo Reservation. One well is a direct line to hotels. This one, leading to a one-spigot watering hole a few miles away, is the main water supply for about 900 people living nearby.
The first residents of the day, with big plastic bottles and buckets lining truck beds and packed into car trunks as they drive along miles of rock-strewn, dirt roads, start to arrive.
Verna Yazzie, who runs an Airbnb in Monument Valley, takes an 18-mile round trip when she needs water. She goes to the watering hole a few times a week and said she has to go off-roading for six miles to get to the nearest water source.
“We’ve never had running water for as long as I remember,” Yazzie said. “I usually haul water about three times a week for ourselves, for our livestock and for our planting. The difficulties are mostly the rough roads that we have to drive. It’s about nine miles one way from my house to the nearest water hole.”
Leaders of the Navajo Water Project, a non-profit working to bring more running water to Navajo homes in New Mexico and clean water to an Arizona school for youths who are disabled, estimate about 40 percent of Navajo Nation members don’t have access to running water in their homes.
The Navajo Nation is sprawled across Arizona, Utah and New Mexico in one of the most scenic, untouched areas of the Southwest. Parts of the reservation, the largest in the nation, also are removed from what some would call the acceptable trappings of civilization, with electricity and running water scarce in mostly rural areas.
Jason John, principal hydrologist for Navajo Water Resources, said it could cost cost nearly $70,000 each to get running water into some Navajo homes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2d (Cronkite News)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a2A (AP)

 

Equality Utah vows continued fight for LGBT causes

IVINS — No one should be ashamed because of who they choose to love was the message proclaimed by organizers of a fundraiser promoting LGBT causes Saturday evening.
Equality Utah held its “Seventh Annual Equality Celebration” at Kayenta Art Village in Ivins. The event included an ’80s glam rock theme in which attendees dressed the part of their favorite rock stars of the era and rocked out to ’80s homage band Cleavage.
Equality Utah is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to secure equal rights and protections for LGBT people, such as hate crimes and nondiscrimination legislation.

Equality Utah’s lobbying efforts in the 2017 Utah Legislature proved successful with the repeal of so-called “no promo homo” laws that prohibited the discussion of homosexuality in public schools.
“The law really created this chilling culture. It sent a message to teachers and young LGBT students that their impulse to love was something that was so shameful that it dare not be spoken of in the classroom – it need to be censored, it needed to be erased,” Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams said.
A bill rescinding the law passed nearly unanimously in the state House and Senate and was signed by Governor Gary Herbert in March.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2Z (SGN)

 

Lawmaker hosts lands transfer town hall

With a nearly full auditorium, four economists discussed how they made their evaluations in an 18-month study on transferring public lands from federal control to the State of Utah.
Over the course of the nearly two-hour town hall hosted Thursday by Rep. Ed Redd, R-Logan, four of the six authors of “An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah” discussed components from the 784-page study published in 2014, which detailed the feasibility of transferring the 31.2 million acres of federal land to state control proposed in H.B. 148, passed in 2012.
During the presentations, Utah State University’s Paul Jakus, along with the University of Utah’s John Downen, Michael Hogue and Levi Pace fielded questions that oftentimes went more political rather than sticking with the informative intent of the town hall.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2w (LHJ)

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2x (USU)

 

Students talk to space explorers in NASA downlink

In a once-in-a-generation opportunity, students from Northern Utah used a video call to the International Space Station to ask questions to two astronauts orbiting Earth on Friday morning.
ISS Commander Peggy Whitson and NASA Astronaut Jack Fischer appeared in a live video downlink in front of 200 students at the Space Dynamics Laboratory in North Logan. In typical astronaut fashion, Fischer appeared upside down on the call, and both astronauts sported huge grins as they welcomed the students.
After the Johnson Space Center in Houston connected the ISS to the auditorium in North Logan, retired NASA Astronaut Charlie Precourt greeted his friends, making it clear that he prefers being on the extraterrestrial side of NASA downlinks.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2t (LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a2y (CVD)

 

High school students certify in aerospace manufacturing

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Teens from small towns are dreaming big thanks to the Aerospace Pathways Program.
Twelve high school students are now certified in aerospace manufacturing.
“I feel way lucky that It’s a great experience to be able to learn how to come and make airplanes,” said Roman Dotson, a Aerospace Pathways Program graduate.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2D (KTVX)

 

South Utah County students learn about times of war from area veterans along Spanish Fork River Trail

Flags lined sections of the Spanish Fork River Trail on Wednesday and Thursday as fifth-grade students from Nebo School District listened and learned from veterans.
The program was intended to introduce students to veterans in their own communities and help them learn more about why they fought to defend the United States in times of war, Richard Johnson, one of the event organizers said.
“We feel that young people need to get an idea of what the flag really stands for and the sacrifices that were given to preserve that freedom and the freedoms that it stands for,” Johnson said. “So whatever we can do to instill that in the next generation makes life better for all of us.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2o (PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a2q (Serve Daily)

 

Pleasant Grove school creates cafe to give students with autism workplace experience

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – A Pleasant Grove school is giving students with autism real life work experience with a brand new cafe.
The Pantera Café just opened, and the student-operated restaurant specializes in Italian food.
This week’s menu featured lasagna, garlic bread and a fresh garden salad.
Teachers at Spectrum Academy say students with autism don’t always get the training they need in order to get a job once they’re finished with school. That’s why they decided to open a café to expand the students’ real life work experience.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2H (KSTU)

 

Weber High senior says school’s unclear dance dress code was unfairly enforced

PLEASANT VIEW — Micaela Duran decided that even though she hadn’t gone to any other school dances her senior year at Weber High School, she would have one last hurrah.
She donned a peach, deep-cut, floor-length dress with a flower pattern. It was one she had worn to an honors ceremony at the school about two weeks earlier.
But when she got to the last dance of the year May 13, Principal Velden Wardle told her she couldn’t come in because her dress was inappropriate.
“Before it was just a dress, but now it kind of acts as a symbol of my expression,” Duran said. “So while others may find it immodest, which I’m sure plenty do, I still should have the ability to freely express myself and my femininity through whatever I wish.”
Duran, 18, was particularly upset because she had worn the dress to the honors ceremony and hadn’t been reprimanded then.
Weber School District spokesman Lane Findlay said the school’s principal did take note of the dress at the school event and asked advisers to tell Duran it violated the school’s dress code.
But that never happened, something Wardle didn’t know when Duran showed up at the senior dance wearing it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2l (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a2V (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a2G (KSTU)

 

3 Davis School District teacher receive Utah Education Association awards

Three Davis School District educators have received awards from the Utah Education Association.
Holt Elementary School kindergarten teacher Mui Tran, Legacy Junior High School English teacher Katie Frederiksen and Taylor Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Laura Eliason received 2017 Excellence in Teaching Awards, a news release from the association says.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2m (OSE)

 

Logan Teacher Receives Award After Creating New Summer Program

Kathy Sherman, a teacher of 26 years at Ellis Elementary School, will be accepting the Teachers in Excellence award on Friday after starting a summer school program for kids.
The award is given out once a year to educators by the Utah Education Association, a union for the Logan City School district.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2X (UPR)

 

Apple for the Teacher award goes to Roy High School’s Michele Kersey-Smith

ROY — When she was young, Michele Kersey-Smith would sometimes shadow her dad at work when he was an elementary school teacher in Huntsville.
“I remember mingling with the students and watched what he did and thought I could do that job some day,” she said.
And that’s exactly what she did.
Kersey-Smith is retiring after teaching in Northern Utah for more than 30 years. In her now-empty classroom at Roy High School Wednesday, May 17, “Miss K,” “Coach K” or “Ms. Kersey,” as students call her, wiped away tears.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2k (OSE)

 

Above and Beyond – Mapleton teacher Doreen Snyder works hard to reach students

There are some teachers that go above and beyond for their students and then there is Doreen Snyder, a special education teacher at Mapleton Elementary School.
For Snyder, it has always been about the “one child,” taking the extra time to stay late into the nights to help alter a program or find a new way to reach each of her students on an individual basis.
“Each kid is different, you have to treat them that way,” said Snyder. She states it so simply that it makes you feel like all her extra efforts are the norm for every teacher. Snyder, who has been teaching for 26 years, flutters around her classroom with the vigor of a person conducting a symphony, making sure each component is working and growing beautifully.
“One of the students started becoming blind over time,” explained Mapleton Principal Julie Peery, about student Samuel Chappell. “She took braille classes last summer at the U of U so she could help teach him.” It’s just the kind of person she is, Peery added.
Snyder has also added braille lessons to some of her teachings so the rest of her students can learn alongside Chappell, noting that it helps Chappell feel involved as well as teaches the other students a new way to communicate.
One of her largest accomplishments, however, is the implementation of the peer tutoring program at the five schools she has worked at in the previous years. The peer tutoring program brings fifth and sixth graders into Snyder’s classroom to help work with the special needs students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2n (PDH)

 

UEN recognizes Abe Kimball for working with at-risk youth

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Education Network (UEN) recently announced the recognition of Utah’s American Graduate Champions working with Youth in Care (YIC).
These educators have been nominated by their peers for their dedication to helping youth overcome challenging circumstances and reach academic milestones.
Abe Kimball, Youth in Care Art Teacher with North Sanpete School District is one of the educators. His students dive into challenging art projects, and find their powers of self-expression in the process.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a33 (PDH)

 

Diana Windley: 30 Women to Watch

Congratulations to Diana Windley, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Goldenwest Credit Union – she has been selected as one of the 2017 30 Women to Watch honorees!
Each year, Utah Business magazine selects 30 women who are at the top of their respective fields and honors them in both its May issue and at an awards luncheon held in their honor.

Community involvement: Windley recently completed a term as the chair of the Morgan Education Foundation, which raises funds for technology upgrades, classroom equipment, capital improvement projects and more. She currently serves on the Morgan Middle School Community Council and the Morgan High School Community Council.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a31 (Utah Business)

 

Vicky Thomas: 30 Women to Watch

Congratulations to Vicky Thomas, Senior Product Manager at Vivint Smart Home – she has been selected as one of the 2017 30 Women to Watch honorees!
Each year, Utah Business magazine selects 30 women who are at the top of their respective fields and honors them in both its May issue and at an awards luncheon held in their honor.

A passion for STEM: “I’m passionate about STEM education and inspiring kids to love science and math. FIRST Robotics is a particularly great organization that got me excited about STEM when I was in high school, and I’m thrilled to be able to support FIRST here in Utah with my time and money as an adult.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a34 (Utah Business)

 

Aubrey Robison: 30 Women to Watch

Congratulations to Aubrey Robison, Vice President at Spherion Staffing and Chief Operating Officer at GroECO – she has been selected as one of the 2017 30 Women to Watch honorees!
Each year, Utah Business magazine selects 30 women who are at the top of their respective fields and honors them in both its May issue and at an awards luncheon held in their honor.

Community involvement: Alongside her work at GroEco, Robison is involved in Roots Charter School, an agriculture-based charter school for at-risk students, and People Helping People, which focuses on providing education for mothers in order to break the chain of poverty.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a35 (Utah Business)

 

Graduate profile: Finding a good fit: South Campus helped student graduate

Daniel Mejia was struggling at Logan High, so he did something not many students would ever think of. He walked down to South Campus, the alternative high school, and sat in on a class that he wasn’t registered for.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2u (LHJ)

 

Woods Cross’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is top school musical
Stage » Annual awards program will send two student actors to compete in New York.

Perennial Utah high-school musical powerhouse Woods Cross High won the top trophy at the seventh annual Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards.
The Davis County school’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” was named Best Musical at the May 13 ceremony at downtown Salt Lake City’s Eccles Theater.
Actors Jessica Lewis of DaVinci Academy and Levi Hopkins of Ridgeline High School will represent the state in New York City next month as they participate in 10 days of private coaching, master classes and rehearsals with leading theater professionals, culminating in the Jimmy Awards program at the Minskoff Theatre. They were honored for their performances in “Fly by Night” and “The Addams Family,” respectively, at the award ceremony presented by Logan-based Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a36 (SLT)

 

Ridgline student wins Best Actor at Utah Music Theatre Awards

Two Utah high school performers are on their way to New York City after winning the Chevron Award for Best Actress and Best Actor in the seventh annual Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards presented at Salt Lake City’s Eccles Theatre on May 13.
Vanessa Ballam, Education Director for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre (which sponsors the program), says Jessica Lewis from DaVinci Academy in Ogden won for her role as Miriam in “Fly By Night”, and Levi Hopkins from Millville’s Ridgeline High School won for his portrayal of Gomez Addams in “The Addams Family.”
“We’re very excited to have a Cache Valley star,” Ballam says excitedly. “Levi Hopkins won the biggest award for Best Actor. That means he will be traveling to New York City in June.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a32 (CVD)

 

Orem grade-schoolers’ study finds most drivers make illegal left-hand turns

OREM — More than half of drivers make illegal left-hand turns, according to a new study cited by Orem police.
The study found 57 percent of 256 drivers observed at the intersection of 800 North and 800 West on Jan. 14 and Jan. 28 failed to stick to their designated lane, veering wide into lanes where they weren’t supposed to go under Utah law.
While Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez found the numbers to be revealing, the authors of the study proved to be even more surprising.
Madi Yablonovsky, 9, and Aubrey Yablonovsky, 11, are grade-schoolers who attend Bonneville Elementary School.
“Most people don’t know the law,” Madi Yablonovsky said.
“We found out that more cars turn into the wrong lane than the right lane,” Aubrey Yablonovsky added.
The study received 1st Place earlier in the year at the 6th Grade Science Fair at Bonneville Elementary.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2F (KSL)

 

Utah students become water conscience by raising trout

LAYTON — Garrett Palmer put on his best face of mourning and described how he’d miss “George,” the young trout he and his classmates had raised since it was an egg.
That started in January, and now, months later, it was time to bid adieu to George — a somewhat sad affair even though Garrett said his fish was “cannibalistic” and dined on other young trout.
“It was gross. But I hope he survives out there. He’s an amazing fish,” he said.
The fifth-grader couldn’t say what set George apart from the others — or how he could tell that fish from the 60 or 70 other young trout — but he was confident the fish had the survival skills to make a big splash at Andy Adams Reservoir in Layton upon his release mid-May.
Trout Unlimited and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have been placing young fish with young people in the state since 2013, hoping to teach children about the importance of water quality and aquatic ecosystems and to become stewards of the natural resources around them.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2U (AP via PDH)

 

Beaver Dam HS celebrates choir’s return

The revitalized choir at Beaver Dam High School pulled off a pair of concerts this academic year — including the May 10 spring show that featured four solo performances.
Choir returned to BDHS as a full-time elective for 2016-17 after being “hit and miss” since The Great Recession of the late 2000s, according to a school news release.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2z (SGS)

 

Kearns students skip school for a good cause

Kearns Junior High School students Brayden Lopez, second from left, and Joel Lino, center, play games with Lila Romero, Shirley Tripp and Bob Tripp while volunteering at the Harman Senior Center in West Valley City on Friday, May 19, 2017. Once every school year, the entire student body goes out to provide a community service.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2f (DN)

 

Utah school website taken over by lingerie, hotel booking

TOOELE, Utah— A Utah high school has a new website after its former site was held for ransom.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday that the new owners of Tooele High School’s website asked the district for $9,800 to buy back the domain.
The school’s former website began redirecting visitors to a photo gallery of women in lingerie and a hotel booking site after the web address expired. District spokeswoman Marie Denson says the domain was purchased legally.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2B (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/a2C (AP via KUTV)

 

Scared Safe at Spanish Fork High School

The reality and consequences of a fatal automobile accident were brought to the students of Spanish Fork High School on May 17. A very realistic mock accident scene was staged on the school grounds which simulated the death of two, critical injury to two others and the DUI arrest of one of the drivers. This accident scenario was witnessed by 800 somber faced students. The purpose was to scare the students with the reality that this can happen to you and your friends.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2r (Serve Daily)

 

No Explanation For Cancelled Classes

San Juan County, UT — Classes are cancelled today at two Montezuma Creek schools for no specific reason. The San Juan County School District says normal schedules will resume Monday. KUTV News says classes are canceled because of an ongoing hunt started last night for a shooting suspect in the area.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2K (MUR)

 

Students raise funds for National Park Foundation by garage sale

MILLCREEK, Utah — Third graders held a garage sale to raise funds for National Parks on Saturday.
Students from Canyon Rim Academy in East Millcreek had a project that would raise money for a specific organization. After a vote, the students chose to put their earnings to the National Park Foundation.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2I (KSTU)

 

Educational fundraiser set for May 27, 28 in Tooele

TOOELE — Raising Education through Arts, Characters and Heroes — a nonprofit educational support organization — will hold its annual fundraiser on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28.
The event, dubbed REACH Through Time, will take place at the Bit n’ Spur Arena, 240 W. 500 North, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2g (DN)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Beyond pay, teachers need flexibility to succeed
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

With several school districts pushing their starting pay to $40,000 and above, it is getting harder to argue that low wages are driving new Utah teachers out of the profession. But that’s not to say we’ve solved the teacher shortage.
In Salt Lake City School District, a starting teacher will make $44,000. In what has been described as an “arms race,” other districts have pushed their starting pay up to $40,000. That’s about what it costs for four years of tuition and books at the University of Utah. It’s not like those new teachers can pay off their student loans in one year, but it amortizes pretty well.
And let’s not forget that they work on 10-month contracts. Not many professionals get that.
Make no mistake. These raises were needed, particularly at the low end of the experience scale. That 42 percent exit rate of Utah teachers after five years is an undeniable market indicator. Still, being a teacher in Utah is not bottom feeding. They generally have good benefits and schedules that fit working parents, not to mention the rewards of lifting up the next generation. And, with the shortage, job security is solid.
So good for the school districts — and their taxpayers — for digging deep for their teachers.
Still, the new contracts differ from the past only in that compensation has gone up. What they don’t reflect is a millennial’s view of work, and virtually all of those new teachers are millennials.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a24

 

With education, the Beehive State can learn from the Finnish model
Deseret News editorial

Finland’s school system combines a confluence of classroom and system-wide practices that tailor instruction to individual students and has led to some stunning successes.
Utah should take note.
In the state with the highest proportion of its population under 18 years of age, it’s no wonder that education has been getting increased attention in the Beehive State. But rather than looking for marginal improvements around the edges of education policy, it’s time to take a deeper dive into what distinguishes excellence in public education from mediocrity.
While well-meaning academics debate the theoretical complexities of instructional excellence, a review of actual successes​ can be equally informative. Among the developed world, Finland stands out. Though once middling in terms of learning outcomes, for the past several decades Finland has emerged as the West’s top-performing country in terms of global testing outcomes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a25

 

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

The Standard-Examiner Editorial Board hashes out the positions we take on the Opinion page. Here’s what members recommended last week for praise and criticism:
THUMBS DOWN: To Weber High School principal Velden Wardle, for applying an unfair and unclear dress code at a recent school dance.
Micaela Duran provided the Standard-Examiner with a photo of her and a friend. Duran stood in a peach, floor-length dress with a deep neckline (the same one she wore to an honors ceremony at school two weeks prior). The friend wore a short-cut, form-fitting dress.
Duran’s friend got into the dance without issue. Duran was stopped at the door. After several adults scrutinized her gown, and then her friend’s — because Duran demanded an explanation — Wardle made the ultimate call: Duran would not be allowed in as she was dressed.
While dress codes for daily school attire are clearly defined, dance dress codes leave it to parents, the principal and event sponsors.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2j

 

Do we really want to ask, ‘Who goes hungry?’
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Gina Cornia, executive director of Utahns Against Hunger

As speculation mounts about the president’s budget, to be released May 23, concern grows about how it will impact low-income Americans and how it might leave the safety net in tatters. Utahns Against Hunger shares this concern.
Square in the sights of the White House are programs that serve low-income workers, seniors and disabled communities. Programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Nutrition Programs and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families not only provide a safety net for Utahns, but also provide support while many work low-wage jobs.
Arguments for drastically cutting or fundamentally changing these programs are puzzling. Not only will cuts to these program increase poverty and food insecurity, they will increase the demand for emergency food assistance and other services.
Too many people in Utah already experience food insecurity. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) reports that 11.9 percent of Utahns are food insecure: approximately 112,455 households, and 350,000 individuals. Many of these people turn to government and private programs to prevent hunger. Emergency food pantries help fill gaps, but many lack the capacity needed to respond adequately to the proposed federal cuts and the inevitable increased number of households in need.
Hunger in Utah would be far worse were it not for successful and cost-effective national anti-hunger programs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that between 2009 and 2012, SNAP kept 53,000 people out of poverty each year, 29,000 of which were children. The majority of those benefiting from these programs are children, seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income workers.
According to data from the Utah Department of Workforce Services: 53.45 percent of SNAP recipients are children 17 or younger, 11.77 percent are people with disabilities and 5.83 percent are over 60.
According to the Utah State Board of Education: More than one in three (35 percent) of Utah students qualify for school meals at a free or reduced price. Meals served through the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program meet federal nutrition standards, which require schools to serve more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2W

 

The truth behind state trust lands
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Luis Vidal

I attended Ed Redd’s organized town hall on the transfer of public lands to the state last Thursday. Researchers there presented their findings of a study of the economical consequences of a potential land transfer to the state. They concluded it would be a big risk for Utah to take the federal lands and make a revenue. They used mainly extraction projections (coal, oil and gas) and excluded the recreational consequences. Also present at the town hall was our own local senator, Lyle Hillyard, who voted for the transfer of public lands in 2012. While making his comments he deflected charges of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) bleeding money from our public lands by challenging the audience to “show SITLA’s damage.”
SITLA’s mission in reality more aligns with the “bleeding money out of our lands” comment. In 2013 SITLA board chairman Steven Ostler told the Salt Lake Tribune “Clearly the law states that when SITLA lands are involved, the board has no other job than to maximize the value of the trust.”(SITLA not budging on Book Cliffs deal, Maffly 2013). SITLA has just leased land in the Book Cliffs area to Anadarko, an oil drilling company. That move drew a swift negative reaction from local hunters and outdoors people who had no input. Even our governor and representative Gary Herbert and Rob Bishop were against SITLA’s move, which they claimed and was indeed made behind closed doors.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2v

 

Four Things To Watch in Trump’s Education Spending Plan
Education Week analysis by columnist Andrew Ujifusa

We found out the basic outlines of President Donald Trump’s blueprint for federal spending on schools last week. The administration’s budget proposal for fiscal 2018, slated to be officially released Tuesday, would make significant changes to the U.S. Deparment of Education’s priorities by prioritizing school choice and paring back Washington’s aid for teacher development and after-school programs.
But there are several key questions you should have in mind when the budget rolls out. Here are a few of them:
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2O

 

Can Trump Successfully Push Big Education Ideas Despite Political Turmoil?
Education Week analysis by columnists Alyson Klein and Andrew Ujifusa

President Donald Trump swept into office in January with grand visions of dramatically expanding school choice. And he picked an education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who wanted to help him make it a reality. It looked like the biggest opportunity for choice in years.
That was, of course, before a swarm of very negative headlines concerning Trump, Russia, and the FBI, and the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump and Trump associates’ ties to Russia. All of that controversy is cutting into Trump’s already sluggish popularity, and hurting his credibility on Capitol Hill.
We still don’t know what the political fallout will be for the Trump administration and the GOP-led Congress at this early stage. But what does it all mean for a big school choice push that he promised on the campaign trail and since taking office? It depends on who you ask.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2R

 

What Parents Should Know About ‘Competency Based Education’
Breitbart News commentary by columnist DR. SUSAN BERRY

Despite drawing the ire of parents, teachers, and taxpayers for several decades, U.S. students are still being educated for workforce development and training to meet the needs of Big Business and Industry, rather than to become well-rounded citizens of character and substance who can engage in critical thinking.
In an op-ed at the Hill, senior fellows Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins of the Washington, DC-based American Principles Project note U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s recent address to the Arizona State University + Global Silicon Valley (ASU GSV) Summit in Utah, where she used many of the buzzwords surrounding “competency based education” (CBE).
“Workforce development” and CBE are both concepts embraced by establishment Washington elites, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ASU GSV is funded by the Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation – both champions of the Common Core standards.
CBE, as Robbins notes at The Federalist, is described by Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) as “a system of instruction where students advance to higher levels of learning as soon as they demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills regardless of time, place or pace.”
The concept of CBE is couched in conservative and constitutional-sounding language, such as “personalized learning,” “individual needs of students,” and “students’ unique talents and abilities.” However, to achieve such “personalization” and “individualization,” much non-academic student data is collected, particularly regarding personality and psychological traits.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2S

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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What Do Continued Education Dept. Vacancies Mean for ESSA?
Education Week

The U.S. Department of Education is in the thick of reviewing the very first round of state plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act.
But the Trump White House has been slow to fill positions throughout federal agencies, including at the Education Department. For now, a number of important roles have been temporarily taken by deputy assistant secretaries who are acting as assistant secretaries.
And two other key roles—the deputy secretary (who typically oversees operations), and the assistant secretary of planning, evaluation and policy (typically the Chief Wonk) haven’t been filled by political appointees, even temporarily. (We wrote about the reasons that the department has been slow to hire and the implications for school districts back in February.)
So how much do the thin ranks matter when it comes to the mammoth task of examining and approving ESSA plans?
Experts admit that’s tough to gauge, since we don’t know what the outside peer reviewers (aka the folks examining the ESSA plans) are going to say about each state’s proposal.
But if the reviewers want to turn a state down, the lack of permanent political staffers could become an issue, some experts say, since the secretary has final say over state plans.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a27

 

Why It’s So Hard To Know Whether School Choice Is Working
NPR

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been a passionate proponent of expanding school choice, including private school vouchers and charter schools, and she has the clear backing of President Trump. But does the research justify her enthusiasm?
Experts say one single, overarching issue bedevils their efforts to study the impact of school choice programs. That is: It’s hard to disentangle the performance of a school from the selection of its students.
Students are never randomly assigned to a school. A school’s population is always affected by local demographics. With schools of choice, by definition, parents and students are making a decision to attend that school, so their enrollment is even less random.
Even when researchers carefully match students at different schools based on demographics, it’s possible that families that are more organized and more invested in education are also more likely to seek out charters and voucher programs. Or, selection bias can also work the other way: The students who struggle in traditional public schools may be more likely to seek alternatives.
Further complicating matters is this: By law, most charter schools must have open enrollment, using a lottery if they have more applicants than spots. However, charters, and private schools, have sometimes been accused of using strict discipline rules or other measures to filter out underperforming or otherwise undesirable students.
The admissions policies of voucher-accepting private schools can also vary widely, depending on school policy and state law. Some must have open enrollment. Others retain the right to select students based on religion, academic achievement, artistic talent, conduct, or other factors.
And, no matter where you look, both private schools and charters tend to enroll fewer students with disabilities compared with public schools, a practice known as “creaming.”
So, with the huge caveat that it’s difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison, where do researchers agree on the impact of choice?
http://gousoe.uen.org/a28

 

Homeschooling Makes Learning Personal For Some Special Education Students
NPR

Dorothy is a foster mother of three children in Spring Hill, Fla. Her 15-year-old son has spina bifida and developmental delays, and her 13-year-old daughter is, she says, “mildly autistic.” Neither was happy at public school.
“My son was in a lockdown classroom with gang members. It was a bad situation. I was afraid he was going to get hurt,” Dorothy says. “My daughter was getting bullied because she spoke out of turn or would get upset easily. Twenty kids in a classroom was a lot for her.”
Today, Dorothy is homeschooling her son and daughter with the help of a novel item on the school choice menu: the Gardiner Scholarship. This voucher program, created in 2014, can be used by students with specific disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. It has grown rapidly and is now used by 7,000 Florida students.
A controversial education bill now before Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, would add $30 million to the program’s budget, amid other expansions to school choice.
Using the Gardiner, which provides an average $10,000 for each child, Dorothy has been able to purchase tablet computers, a camera, a telescope, books, online courses and other supplies and equipment to customize a curriculum for both teenagers.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2J

 

Research Differs on Whether Charters Welcome Special Ed Kids
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Five-year-old Nico Rosenblatt cannot speak and struggles to learn because of a rare genetic condition, yet thrives when surrounded by other children in a regular classroom, according to his parents. However, they say neither the public school system nor a charter school in the nation’s capital could provide an inclusive environment for him.
“It’s a fundamental question of civil rights and access to education for us,” said Karen Hoerst, Nico’s 35-year-old mother. “It’s really about: Does our kid who happens to have a developmental disability deserve to be educated alongside his peers or not?”
The Trump administration has been promoting school choice, saying it can also benefit special needs students. But charter schools, funded with public money, often are criticized for keeping out students with disabilities because they may be more expensive to educate and because they tend to have lower academic results. A 2014 study by a special education advocacy and research group found that students with disabilities accounted for 12.5 percent of those in traditional public schools and 10.6 percent in charter schools.
Researchers disagree about the reasons for the divide. Some say it is a result of charters being less likely to classify students as having special needs and families of special needs kids being less likely to apply in the first place. Others say charter schools tend to prefer students who are more likely to succeed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2a

 

Teaching climate change: Idaho educators take a second shot at state science standards
(Boise) Idaho Statesman

A state education committee is proposing to reinsert climate change into science standards for public schools, but with one difference: more emphasis on students discovering issues causing climate change and less on teachers telling them how humans are causing it.
Lawmakers approved preliminary science standards this year, the first major update to the state’s science standards since 2001. But they removed five sections on climate change, complaining that the proposed standards did not give a balanced view on the human impact on changing climate.
But during hearings on the standards in the legislative session and hearings with the State Department of Education across the state this spring, Idahoans overwhelmingly said climate change must be a part of what students are expected to know.
The new proposed standards encourage “students to go and look at the evidence” and draw their conclusions, said Micah Lauer, a life science teacher at Heritage Middle School in West Ada School District who was a member of the committee writing the standards.
Proposed climate change science standards still have to go before the Idaho State Board of Education, likely in August. If the board OKs them, they’ll go out for more hearings, back to the State Board and then to the Legislature in January.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a26

 

West Virginia schools rethink sex ed
NewsHour

The U.S. has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among developed nations. In an attempt to reverse these trends, schools in West Virginia are having more candid conversations with students and introducing comprehensive sexual education curricula.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2T

 

This Startup Will Do the Grading for Teachers—for a Fee
Education Week

Teachers spend hours upon hours on nights and weekends grading papers. A new startup called the Graide Network aims to lighten the load. (The name comes from a combination of “grade” plus “aide.”)
The Graide connects teachers with trained assistants who evaluate student papers and return them to teachers in a matter of a few days. Getting feedback to students more quickly allows teachers to assign even more writing, so that students can better hone their craft. What’s more, the “graiders” say they can provide more in-depth feedback on student writing than time-pressed teachers.
The Graide Network’s founder, Blair Pircon, got the idea after talking to a burned-out teacher who ended up quitting his job. “He was working from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, and still felt there was a never-ending list of stuff to do,” Pircon told Education Week. “We know how important it is that kids get feedback on their work, yet that was the ball that kept dropping. Teachers are unfortunately responsible for doing a million different jobs in one.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2Q

 

Growing Grassroots Movements Confronting School Sexual Assault
Associated Press

FOREST GROVE, Ore. — A pair of Oregon school districts were intent on identifying warning signs that students might be contemplating a campus shooting when they stumbled on a threat far more pervasive yet much less discussed – sexual aggression among classmates.
Unsure at first what to do, the districts adapted the same early-intervention approach used to handle potential school shooters: Based on observations or tips, school staff now quietly keep an eye on kids they worry are sexually aggressive. Parents help the school try to understand why their child is acting out. And the school intervenes if behavior threatens to escalate, whether the student is a kindergartener or about to graduate.
This awakening puts the districts at the forefront of grassroots efforts to grapple with a sensitive and complex challenge that U.S. universities already have been forced to confront but elementary and secondary schools have mostly avoided.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2b

 

It Was Hard This Year to Keep Politics Out of High School Yearbooks
New York Times

A high school yearbook is a keepsake. Like an Instagram filter, it’s meant to bathe recent memories in the warm, soft­focus glow of nostalgia. As an object, it evokes affection and community; you hope to show it to your children and grandchildren someday. A yearbook isn’t supposed to be divisive.
So how to commemorate a school year that coincided with a meltdown in decorum in American politics?
That was the question high school yearbook editors and their advisers had to ask themselves while they were busy gathering up mug shots of the seniors, quotes, and group photographs of the football team, the cheerleading squad and the chess club.
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2L

 

How e-cigarette ads might sway teens to try tobacco products
Reuters

When non-smoking teens see ads for e-cigarettes, and are curious about the products advertised, perhaps even identifying with a favorite brand, they might also be more susceptible to taking up cigarettes, a new study finds.
For the study, researchers showed a nationally representative sample of 10,751 U.S. teens advertisements for a wide variety of tobacco products including traditional cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes. Overall, the teens were more receptive to ads for e-cigarettes than other products and television ads were most likely to prompt brand recall.
“The imagery used by tobacco companies focuses on the aspirations of young people including having fun, being independent, sophisticated, socially accepted, popular, etc.,” said lead study author John Pierce of the University of California, San Diego.
“Those who have an emotive response to these aspirational images are more likely to see use of the product as a way to achieve their aspirations,” Pierce said by email. “It is hypothesized that in adolescents who are committed never smokers, recall of tobacco product advertising will be associated with first movement toward product use within a one-year time frame.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2M

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/a2N (Pediatrics) $

 

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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

June 1:

Utah State Board of Education committee meetings
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

June 2:

Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

June 8:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

June 20:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPPED

June 21:

Education Interim Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=INTEDU

July 25:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPEXE

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