Kane School District Superintendent Robert Johnson, at the November 7, 2013 meeting of the Kane County Board of Education, announced that for the third year in a row, Kanab Elementary School (KES) has been recognized by the State of Utah as a High Performing Title I School. In addition to the Utah High Performing Schools recognition, KES is eligible to be nominated for the National Title I Distinguished Award. The Utah State Office of Education (USOE) will select, from the nominated schools, two National Title I Distinguished award recipients. The USOE will then support the two schools receiving the award with a $10,000 grant to enable a team of teachers to attend the National Title I conference in San Diego, California, in February 2014.

Over 30 years ago, the U.S. Congress first recognized higher poverty schools face increased challenges in educating students. In response to this need, the federal government provides Title I grants to provide supplementary assistance to public schools that serve higher levels of low income families. Title I Schools that are able to achieve levels of performance above the state average are to be commended for their success.

We should all be proud of the accomplishments of Kanab Elementary School, whose teachers and administrators (past and present) have worked hard together to achieve student success over the last few years. Congratulations and best of luck in the upcoming nomination process.

The principals of all seven schools in the Kane District presented their school improvement plans to the school board for approval. School Improvement Plans are required by the Utah Strategic Planning Act for Educational Excellence. The plans are developed by school community councils (which include the school principal), using the schools prior year test results. The plans must identify the school’s most critical needs, recommend a course of action to meet those needs, list any programs, practices, materials, or equipment that the school will need to implement its action plan to result in measurable increased student performance and describe how the school intends to enhance or improve academic achievement, including how financial resources available to the school, such as School LAND Trust Program and state and federal grants, will be used to that end. After review of the plans, the board approved all seven plans.

Utah public Local Education Agencies (LEA’s, such as the Kane School District) are legally responsible for compliance with comprehensive reporting requirements on issues ranging from school emergency response plans and emergency drills; to federal education funding and collective bargaining; to child abuse and gang prevention. Each local school board is required to provide written assurance of the requirements through the Utah Consolidated Application (UCA) and the Year End Web Survey, as has been required since the No Child Left Behind law was passed. The board, after reviewing an outline and major changes to the document, voted to approve the UCA at this meeting.

In other business, the school board approved Southwest Applied Technology College Fee Schedule, an amendment to the Kanab Middle School Trust Land Plan, the Kanab High School Track Schedule, an early graduation request, and a home school request. The board also approved and accepted the findings of the 2013 Fiscal Year Audit conducted by Wiggins & Company. It also honored Employee of the Month from the District Office, Brent Judd, the Career and Technical Education Director. Congratulations, Brent!