District hears principals’ reports on school ‘power hours’ and programs

District hears principals’ reports on school ‘power hours’ and programs


Lloyd Call

Staff writer




MANTI—The South Sanpete School Board heard reports on goals, successes and challenges from  four of its principals at the board meeting last Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Manti Elementary principal Karen Soper said the school was pursuing a $150,000 grant to install new sidewalks all around the school. Manti City will participate in the safety upgrade by doing curb and gutter.

The grant was submitted the end of September, and the school should know by January 2017. The project will probably completed in stages.

Soper also told the board a FranklinCovey-sponsored Leadermete was scheduled at the school on Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon, and students would be conducting the tour.

Manti Elementary, currently a Leader-in-Me school, is seeking so-called Lighthouse status for the school. FranklinCovey grants its coveted Lighthouse designation to schools that fully implement the FranklinCovey leadership model. If successful, Manti Elementary would be only the eighth school in Utah to qualify.

There are 2,275 The Leader-in-Me schools worldwide, including about 60 in Utah. Manti Elementary is the only Leader-in-Me School in Sanpete County. Among all schools worldwide participating in the program, only 242 have achieved Lighthouse status, Soper said.

Soper also discussed how the school uses “Power Hour” to work with individual students needing enrichment activities. In fact, all four of the principals referred to “Power Hour” as very useful. District superintendent Kent Larsen said “Power Hour” was designed to focus on individual needs of each student.

Ephraim Elementary Principal Gannon Jones said new bike racks and new fencing at the school, two capital investment projects from the summer, have improved the organization of the school grounds.

He also talked about his school’s “Second Step” program, which emphasizes learning skills, empathy, emotional management, and problem solving. The program includes an anti-bullying section.

Principal Tim Miller at the Ephraim Middle School told the board that SAGE scores were up, including huge growth in math and science scores.

He reviewed school improvement plans and goals with the school board and noted the school is using a new academic coaching program this year. It utilizes a reading center just off the library where students feel comfortable getting one-on-one help from faculty and even parents. Finally, he noted that students continue to improve in their use of iPads.

Principal George Henrie with Manti High School commented on how nice the new soccer fields are, both for safety and convenience.

He also discussed ACT and SAGE test results, and compared Manti to similar-sized schools in Utah.  “We actually did better this year, except in physics,” he said. And he said the school community council allocated $15,000 for more iPads.

The board also discussed efforts to decrease bullying district-wide and reviewed reports that shows that the Mountain West has the highest level of suicides in the nation.

“There continues to be lots of work we need to do to improve our interventions,” said Superintendent Larsen. A new app, called “Safe Utah” will be added to iPads for all teachers and students. If a student is in crisis, he or she can use the app to connect to a professional therapist immediately. The app also features a tip line enabling users to notify school administrators of any bullying problems.

The superintendent also reviewed the district’s progress on concurrent enrollment with Snow College and Utah State University.