Wednesday, May 28, 2014

School Board Planning Meeting

I attended part of the School Board Planning Meeting yesterday.  Because it started at 2:00, I missed discussion on the budget and the proposed South Jordan City district split.  I arrived shortly after the board started talking about the recommendations from the Building Utilization Committee.  My notes are below.


Discussing building utilization committee recommendations (missed the first 10)
  • air conditioning in buildings that don't have it with proceeds from future bond - board would like to do that before another bond - it is too late for a bond for 2014
  • STEM or IB magnet program at WJHS - suggestion for STEAM - academies are less expensive than a full on magnet program
  • HS boundary change with feeder system alignment - some conflicting recommendations about alignment - overall message of utilizing schools well
  • consider carefully before moving support classes
  • consider school closures - board needs to decide - would like to try building up the school population first - programs to give parents options - possibly use dual immersion to fill school, not giving preference to students in boundary - possibly use a lottery, like charters, to decide who gets into the program - would need to plan and budget for a program, so this would not be until fall 2015 at earliest - need to notify parents through PTA and SCC - board needs to commit funds, and this is less expensive than building a new school
  • shift boundaries between Falcon Ridge and Mountain Shadows - not necessary at this point --boundary changes prior to another bond
  • move area of West Hills boundary near Airport 2 to Joel P Jensen - not necessary to this time
  • do growth projections by area instead of relying on the 0.8 number from consulting firm CBRE for whole district - may not apply in various areas, some areas may be more than that while other areas may be less - 0.8 includes all residential units - criteria should be more focused
  • STEM in all levels in WJ feeder system
  • adjust all middle school boundaries - as needed
  • keep all walking students at West Hills - doesn't make sense to bus if they can walk
  • suspend feeder system alignment until all other changes have been made
  • use funds from sale of any property in WJ feeder system for upgrades to WJ schools - not considering sale of schools at this time
  • funds from bond for hard walls in WJHS, OHMS, and JPJMS - still have to meet fire code and ADA - could this be pay as you go - look at structure - possible major renovations would be better for a bond
  • buy land for future buildings in SJ - this was done last month
  • move North Shore students to ERMS - done as needed
  • sell WJ elementary - will do other programs to try to fill the seats
  • use bond to rebuild WJMS and add STEM program -
  • take advantage of SJ (Daybreak) RDA to use money as generated to build an elementary school - reserves builds a little bit every year - lose land when take the money - land would need to be used for administration building, because not large enough for a school - take out debt to build school then use the money from this RDA to make payments on the loan - this could impact a bond - can build using municipal building act, but the interest rate is about double that of a bond - use resources first before asking for a bond
  • sell property across from Sunset Ridge to benefit district - there is 50 acres purchased over 40 years ago - looking to trade property elsewhere in WJ - piece in Bluffdale is for sale
  • move Oakcrest to YR - parents are expecting this sooner rather than later - as needed
  • hire certified professional trained in forecasting - have someone trained to so this job rather than an educator-administrator - planning and projection is only part of what this position entails - also does education law working with the attorney - works with foreign exchange students - communicates with charters to know what students will be where for the benefit of students - credibility comes with certain types of licensure
  • hire certified construction manager to oversee buildings - same idea as one before  - would still have a learning curve on the education side of things - merged departments at the time of the split when the previous construction director retired - the construction department people have these types of certifications
  • use Mtn. View Corridor as boundary between Sunset Ridge and West Hills
  • use WJ city line as boundary for ERMS - no - board does not want this
  • implement ROTC at all high schools - have tried to implement in the past - there are scholarship opportunities - Must dedicate a classroom and ones faculty member - this could be a magnet program - charter board has approved a military academy within JSD to open in 2015
  • use bond for a new middle school in west WJ
  • renovate and add classrooms to existing buildings - semi permanent rather than portables - would they need to add restrooms and drinking fountains - relocatable with 3-4 classrooms in it connected to the building with a hallway
  • if close WJ elementary, allow students to chose which school they go to for one year, but after that, go to boundary school - moot point
  • maintain all current buildings
  • exhaust all resources before another bond - it takes a long time to build trust, which needs to be done before another bond
  • sell property to renovate other buildings - two properties in Bluffdale now - have 60 acres in Herriman that developers often call about - hang on to property for trade later
  • use mobile technology and computer labs to increase building capacity - until all schools are one-to-one devices we can't lose the computer labs in schools
  • all WJ elementary students to same school if it is closed - moot point
  • utilize pocket busing instead of portables - let developers of new areas know that all students in new neighborhood would be bused to a school farther away - when the school is good, patrons are better with it - possible future need
  • sell ASB and move shops to high schools and put auxiliary personnel in portables - there is discussion of selling ASB - not in favor of putting shops in high schools or other personnel in portables
  • consider school closures only when funds are available to build future schools - use seats have

 Plans for future growth

  • reviewing these options helped to focus plans for future growth
  • fill current seats with special programs
  • reallocate assets
  • build trust through those actions
  • go for bond at later time after all the previous have been met
  • put together a paper that states the steps the board will take for planning for growth
  • looking at maps and data of approved developments
  • charter school information - expect 2-4 new built every year - existing charters approved to increase their enrollment - not required to evaluate teachers or provide transportation but still have to do SAGE - not subject to federal oversight for school improvement - what do parents consider when choosing a school - meeting child's needs, customer service, teacher - schools have a feeling, which is caused by the people who work there
  • community involvement - paper newsletter sent out maybe quarterly - more k-12 online course available
  • put out 10 items the district is going to work on - don't put dates, just priorities that are reasonable and manageable
  • trust is an outcome of doing a good job - build community involvement
  • disseminate information about finances in different ways

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