MANTI—With school starting tomorrow, the South Sanpete School District is emphasizing finding and focusing on the good, said Superintendent Ralph Squire.
“We want students, parents and employees to ‘Find the Good’ and ‘Focus on the Good,’” he said. Squire said the schools have been through two tough years of COVID, and it’s easy to get caught up in the negative happening in the world today.
The South Sanpete administration wants to focus on the many good things that happen within the district and the opportunities students have at school.
“We truly are blessed and have many things to be happy about, and we should find the good and be grateful,” he said.
The South Sanpete school population is bigger than most people realize. More than 3,400 children will be walking, driving or riding buses to school tomorrow.
While other districts are finding it difficult to fill positions in their schools, Squire said that South Sanpete is doing okay and not as bad off as surrounding districts.
While the district use to get many more applications per job than it is getting now, it is still able to fill most positions. But it is becoming harder.
“One thing our district is in need of is bus drivers,” Squire said. “We can’t just hire a driver on Monday and put them safely to work on Tuesday. There is a lot of training that has to come first.”
While students have been off for the summer, employees have been working to prepare the schools and add new things.
At the end of last school year, work started on improvements to the main gyms at both Manti and Gunnison Valley high schools along with new asphalt in both school parking lots.
Squire said both gymnasium floors have been completed, sanded down and refinished, and have new scoreboards, shot clocks, floor designs and LED lighting.
While the parking lots still need finishing touches, “both parking lots will be completed enough for use for the start of school,” he said. Both high schools will be gaining 100 new parking stalls.
Workers will start working on the west parking lot of Manti High as soon as the front lot is completed. A new island in the front lot provides about 50 more parking stalls, and an additional 50 parking stalls will be added in back by the baseball field.
Other capital projects include a greenhouse at Manti High and replacement of 30 rooftop air conditioning units at Gunnison Valley Middle School.
Meanwhile, a lot of technology improvements have been made throughout the district, including 250 new security cameras district wide, and intercom bell systems in Manti Elementary, Gunnison Valley Middle School and Ephraim Middle School.
“Seventeen hundred iPads have been purchased,” Squire said. “Typically, we purchase 500 to 700 a year.” The district has also added 180 new computers and 30 new laptops, spread among various schools.
Squire encourages parents to help their students find a school activity to be involved in.
“They will have a better educational experience, be happier and have a great year,” he said. “Being involved and being posi- tive makes all the difference in the experience they have each year. Parents, support your students in a positive way to help build them and our school up.”