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Both school districts geared up for a new school year

 

By D. Yvonne Folkerson

Staff writer

8-16-2018

 

Teachers at the North and South Sanpete School Districts are planning to “lead by example” this year to create a positive culture for their students so they will become better readers, better learners and better all-around students.

With the 2018-2019 school year starting Tuesday, Aug. 21, district officials are optimistic and feel that they are off to a great start. Both North and South Sanpete School Districts hold a positive outlook for their students and faculty, with new plans for the upcoming year.

To increase the scholastic opportunities for their students,  South Sanpete School District (SSSD) has collaborated with administration, faculty, staff and members within the community to develop a four year educational vision. This visualization has two strategic long-range goals.

Predominantly they will develop highly functioning and focused Professional Learning Communities, otherwise known as PLC’s.

“We have an ongoing goal to use and develop PLC concepts,” said Kent Larsen SSSD superintendent.

The communities will be within each school and between the different schools in the district. With teacher training this will improve instruction and increase student achievement.

“All of our teachers are in training right now,” Larsen said.

“Kids work at their own pace and it broadens from there,” he added. “We simply measure where they’re at and help move them along.”

With the district striving to meet their reading goals they are also implementing a power hour set aside for reading and to catch up on other pressing instruction.

“We are striving to meet our reading goals and are currently at ninety percent grade level,” Larsen said.

“We divide and conquer on student’s ability to read then focus in areas they are having trouble with,” Larsen said.

With the vision statement, “preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges” the district is firm in creating an environment where the students feel safe and can experience success.

While the administration looks at personal learning concepts they are also attentive to create the right learning culture.

“Learning is increased by a good culture,” Larsen said. “Students need to feel safe in order to succeed.”

The culture in general is able to measure if every kid is learning and progressing.

“We have a good, safe, learning culture. We have that established but we need to maintain them,” Larsen said speaking of each individual school and learning community.

Having had met their goals for last year the district is very optimistic for the coming year.

“We have exceeded our goals for last year and are looking forward to the year,” Larsen said.

The hope is to project the goals over the next four years with the expectation of all district educators to fully support, participate and make substantial influences towards accomplishing these goals.

The district will host their annual Safety Goals Meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 9 a.m. During this meeting school and city officials will meet with law enforcement to go over safety issues and evacuation planning.

They will then continue to focus on relevant and rigorous curriculum to prepare the students of the SSSD to be college or career ready.

The North Sanpete School District (NSSD) is also gearing up for the school year and creating conditions for learning so all students can succeed. This will entail the cooperation of teachers, students, parents and district leaders and staff.

Their goals are to have both students and teachers meet or succeed last year’s testing levels.

Teachers are skilled to create a nurturing learning environment in their classrooms where learners are actively engaged. They are to be a constant good example for their students through professional and ethical behavior.

This “good” behavior will assure effective instruction using a variety of learning activities.

In this environment students are asked to be “good” students: to attend classes regularly, complete assignments and pay attention to their instructors. They are urged to ask clarifying questions.

Parents are encouraged to help students with their homework and be attentive. They are asked to read daily with their child, support teachers, coaches, directors and officials in conversations and at home.

School district and staff are competent that they are technically proficient, trustworthy and capable of being good examples for students.

“Our leaders create a shared vision, to understand student needs and to be helpful,” said Sam Ray NSSD Superintendent.

The district has an instructional goal of having 90 percent of teachers meet or exceed an effective rating on the Utah Teaching Standards as measured by the NSSD Teacher Evaluation Systems.

Student achievement goals are to have all students show improvement including a year of growth or reach their IEP Goals as measured by year end testing and graduation rates.

In other matters both districts are urging parents or guardians of students who qualify for free or reduced meal prices to complete a new application. A new application is needed each school year for each student.

Parents of guardians will be responsible to pay the full meal price until an application has been processed and approved. Applications are found online through the students PowerSchool parent sign in. For more information contact your local school or school district office.

Both districts are asking the community to be respectful of school busses, crosswalks and to slow down during school hours assuring the children’ssafety.

“Please slow down and follow all traffic and safety rules in school zones,” said Ralph Squire Transportation Director of the SSSD.

“When it comes to school buses please follow the rules, especially at bus stops,” Squire said.