School board meeting targets district assessments

 The Uinta County School District No. 1 Board heard a presentation on school accountability during their Tuesday, Oct. 4, meeting. Assistant Superintendents Joseph Ingalls and Doug Rigby explained that the district had not had a state accountability assessment in two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 Ingalls showed trustees a chart of elementary and middle schools’ performance in the areas of achievement, growth, equity and English language proficiency (ELP). All schools listed, with the exception of Aspen and North Elementary schools, were meeting the accountability measure at the time of assessment. Aspen and North were partially meeting their goal.
 Rigby explained why there was a gap between the middle schools’ ELP scores. “It starts with the overall number of students…the overall number is different at the two schools.”  Both high schools were meeting expectations. The presentation noted that the assessment was slightly dated, focusing on a moment in time, and thus served as an imperfect measure of school performance.
 Clark Elementary Principal Kimber Fessler introduced her staff to present on professional learning communities (PLCs) at their school. Media Director Brian Richins said the PLC came together once staff realized what they share, that being students. “Then we looked at things we can do to support our school,” he said. The faculty found problem-solving strategies and teamwork strategies to fit  the requirement.
 Josh Cox, a science teacher, added that students are assessed in the aforementioned categories via group projects. The students attempt to reach a goal, and staff examine how participants communicate and handle any roadblocks.
 The board rescheduled their January meeting for the Jan. 10, rather than the Jan. 3. Superintendent Ryan Thomas brought forward some proposed changes to the fundraising policy. He suggested rewording some details, and asking fundraising groups to get approval from their school’s principal. Major fundraising events will be required to receive approval from the building principal, superintendent and potentially the board.
 Extracurricular fundraisers would require approval from the principal and activities director.
Additionally, approval criteria would include safety, percentage of funds benefiting students, volume of the events, services, products and customer complaints. Selling other companies’ products for a profit is discouraged, as is competing with local businesses. Raised funds would be used in the year they are earned. Fundraising for an event would divide its earnings equitably between participants. Other existing rules were rephrased.
Thomas also proposed a change to the interscholastic activity policy that would require planning muti-night events outside of a 350-mile radius outside of the school year with board approval.
 Thomas mentioned changes to the parent organization and booster club policies. These included the requirement of internal controls and necessary elements of a charter.
 The Evanston High School Classics requested approval for a trip to the national competition. Thomas then suggested a change to a state statute, which currently removes compulsory attendance for some first-grade students. His rewording would eliminate such an exemption.
 The board approved the Classics’ trip, as well as all other discussion items.

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