EVANSTON — It was a brief meeting and light agenda for the Uinta County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees when they held their regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6. With no presentations and few discussion items, the board made it through the agenda in about an hour.
Superintendent Ryan Thomas provided an update on the Evanston High School community fieldhouse bond campaign. Thomas said the campaign is going well and the committee has been very active, sending out flyers and launching a ribbon campaign at all four elementary schools to encourage future EHS students to tie green ribbons to trees showing their support for the project. The committee is also working on posting video testimonials to Facebook.
The next public hearing on the fieldhouse is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27. There will be an open house during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Educational Service Center (ESC) on 10th Street at noon on Thursday, Oct. 29.
Trustees also discussed hosting a candidate forum for those running for the four school board seats up for grabs on Nov. 3. The board opted to host a forum at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Thomas said the forum will be held either in the board room at the ESC or in one of the school auditoriums. Trustees Jami Brackin and David Peterson are running for re-election, while trustees Kay Fackrell and David Bennett will be retiring from the board.
The board approved a couple of purchases, the first of which was a new plasma cutter for the EHS welding department. Principal Merle Lester said the previous plasma cutter had finally reached the end of its life after approximately 20 years of use. The board approved the purchase of a new plasma cutter from Norco for a cost of $29,202.
The board also approved the purchase of a new snowplow by the maintenance department. The low bid for the truck came from Frontier Ford in Diamondville at a cost of $58,960.
The board discussed and approved on first reading revised policies regarding nondiscrimination and sexual harassment, as part of a routine update of those policies. The new policies will also include detailed procedures for handling complaints about possible violations of the nondiscrimination and harassment policies.
During school reports, Uinta Meadows Elementary Principal Jerrod Dastrup reported on a couple of items impacting that school. Dastrup said the school had recently held its annual Walk-A-Thon fundraiser, which — even in the midst of the COVID pandemic — shattered the school’s fundraising records by bringing in a whopping $18,000. Dastrup also spoke of the school’s recent standardized testing, stating that even though staff had braced themselves for scores to drop in light of the closures and adaptive learning that took place at the end of last school year, scores had actually gone up. Dastrup said that was a testament to the hard work put in by both teachers and students during a very difficult couple of months last spring.
Davis Middle School Principal Chris Brown also spoke of the hard work of teachers and students and reported the statewide results of the summer reading challenge had recently been released and DMS students read more minutes on average than any other middle school in the state. Brown also recognized what Dastrup had not mentioned — that Uinta Meadows students also read more minutes than any other elementary school in the state for a sixth straight year.
Finally, trustees themselves offered many comments on the start of the school year and recent events. Fackrell shared his appreciation and kudos for the Hall of Fame committee for pulling off a successful event and Brackin shared her appreciation for last month’s successful EHS Homecoming celebrations.
Degory Day, EHS student body president, was present at the meeting and said the student council had worked very hard to put together a week that allowed students to have fun and celebrate but also fell within acceptable guidelines due to the pandemic. While a dance wasn’t possible, students were able to attend a Nerf war, a color run and a movie night on the football field, all of which Day said were successful thanks to student efforts.
Trustee Cassie Torres expressed her thanks to the community at large and particularly parents and community members who have attended sporting events this year. Torres said she’s heard from many people that folks in Evanston are doing a better job adhering to mask requirements and pandemic precautions than schools elsewhere in the state, which she said is helping ensure students stay in school and are able to continue to participate in activities.
“I’m really proud of us,” said Torres. Brackin seconded those comments as she too thanked the community. “We’re showing that our commitment to keep kids in school is very, very high,” she said.