School district discusses event parking safety issues, looks at DIBEL tests


Lloyd Call

Associate publisher



MANTI—Manti residents adjacent to the Manti High School football field brought safety concerns to the attention of the South Sanpete School Board at the last meeting June 14.

“We are concerned that during events, such as football and soccer games, emergency vehicles would not be able to get through the roads that are double lined with cars,” said Linda Christiansen, one of the residents who spoke to the board.

Christiansen is one of a dozen homeowners who have seen the problem worsen over the years. The 800 North and 200 West streets are narrow, just 21 feet wide, and the tiny parking area to the north of the football field falls far short of meeting the demand for parking.

The board and residents decided there were three entities involved.

First, the street is the responsibility of Manti City. Christiansen planned to address the city council later that evening and get its input. Second, the district agreed to notify students and parents that it is illegal to park along the two roads. Finally, Christiansen had previously contacted the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office, and it had promised to enforce the parking restrictions if proper signage were posted.

School administrator Paul Gottfredson shared some history with the board and residents. “The high school is landlocked. We have attempted over the years to purchase adjacent property but haven’t been able to,” he said.

Christiansen is right, he said. Crowding along streets near the football stadium has gotten worse and the ability of moving vehicles to get down streets safely is a concern.

“For a few years, parking laws were enforced, but then everybody just got lax,” he said.

The board agreed to cooperate and find solutions before school started in the fall. One possibility is for patrons to park in the school parking lot, even if they have to walk a bit to get to the fields. Perhaps parking space in the adjacent county fairgrounds could be arranged, once current construction is finished. That possibility would probably be raised with Sanpete County and the fair board, school board members said.

In other discussion, Arlene Anderson, district program director, reported to the board on DIBELS results for the previous year. DIEBELS stands for “Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills.” The test is administered in primary grades and particularly measures reading ability.

“Remember that these results are essentially a ‘snapshot’ at a particular point in time,” she said. “Just like all data, it’s just data. The important thing is what we learn from that data, and how we use it to fix problems.”

The benchmarks goals defined by the test publisher represent minimum levels of performance for all students to reach in order to be considered on track for becoming a reader. Tests are given in kindergarten through Grade 3 at beginning, middle and end of year.

In summary, Anderson said, all three grades at all schools in the district showed progress through the past school year. First grade has traditionally shown less progress over the years, with the exception of Gunnison Valley Elementary, but the trend toward improvement continues.

Anderson said the test results did not represent how competent teachers were, but were useful for four reasons:

  • To identify students who may be at risk for reading difficulties (universal screening);
  • To help teachers identify areas where they should target instructional support;
  • To monitor at-risk students while they receive additional, targeted instruction; and
  • To examine the effectiveness of your school’s system of instructional supports.

(See attached chart.)

There will not be a board meeting in July; the next board meeting will be Aug. 10.