The Kane School Board, at the February 6 meeting of the Kane County Board of Education, passed a resolution “Supporting the full and present implementation of the Transfer of Public Lands Act (Utah House Bill 148 -2012).”

The two page resolution lists reasons for the assertion that the federal government is legally obliged to return public lands to the state. House Bill 148, passed by the Utah Legislature in 2012, requires the federal government to transfer the titles of public lands in Utah to the State of Utah by December 31, 2014.

The board decided to adopt the resolution after viewing an American Lands Council PowerPoint presentation made by Kane County Commissioner Doug Heaton at the school board meeting in December 2013.

The bill excludes from its definition of public lands, in part, Native American lands, military lands, school lands, established wilderness areas, established national parks and established national monuments managed by the National Park Service. It therefore includes most of the BLM land in Utah, including the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument.

Superintendent Robert Johnson reported on UPSTART, a computer-based summer preschool program that four-year old children use for 15 minutes a day, five days a week. A pilot program, it is funded by the Utah State Legislature to better prepare children for kindergarten, as research demonstrates success in school depends largely on what happens before kindergarten. UPSTART gives Utah families an easy to use, digital format program with simple, but effective activities. The children’s performance and progress will be tracked and compared to the progress of children not in the program. Johnson asked for school board permission to proceed with this opportunity for the Kane District, which was granted.

The board passed a series of policies concerning transportation in Section C of the board’s policy manual. The passed policies are CH (Accessibility by Disabled Persons), CI (Risk Management), CJ (Transportation), CJAA-CJAB-CJAC -CJAD (Transportation -Planning and Funding), CJBE (Transportation -Personnel Director), CJBB (Transportation- Personnel Drivers & Maintenance), CJBC (Transportation -Personnel Training), CJCA (Transportation Equipment -Bus Standards), CJCB(Transportation Equipment -Inspection & Maintenance), CJDA (Transportation- Operations-Communications), CJDB (Transportation- Operation-Pupil Management), CJDBA (Transportation- Equipment- Unauthorized Persons on Buses), CJDBB (Transportation- Operations-Charter Schools-Students), CJDC (Transportation-Operations-Lights & Railroad Crossings), CJDD (Transportation- Operations-Emergencies), CJDE (Transportation-Operations-Bus Rentals), and CJDF (Transportation- Operations-District Vehicles).

Superintendent Johnson requested the board allow the district to opt out parent training as required by Utah House Bill 298, entitled Parent Seminar on Youth Protection. The bill requires districts to provide training to parents on the following areas: substance abuse, bullying, mental health, Internet safety, and suicide prevention. Johnson explained the district had indeed held the suicide prevention training this past fall, not knowing that all of the above training needed to be provided in the same format and way. Attendance at all of the suicide prevention training meetings was very poor. The district is in the process of coming up with possible ways to approach this next fall with training to cover all these areas with a different format that will hopefully attract more interest. The board agreed to allow the district to opt out of the requirement for this year, to prepare for next year.

The board discussed an anonymous letter from a parent, stating the admission prices for sports events at Kanab High are too high, making it prohibitive for a family to attend the games. The letter asks that the board consider lowering the admission prices, noting parents give much monetary support to the school in other ways, and would attend more events, resulting in more concessions sales, if it were more affordable. The board discussed the option of offering a family pass, which Valley High School has. It was noted the region sets the gate prices for such events. The district is unable to control the price without regional input. The discussion brought out the need to be able to raise money at the gate to pay the high cost of referees, and because gate money is distributed to all school activities. It was also noted that most school activities are free to attendees.

In other business, the school board approved amendments to Kanab High and Kanab Elementary Schools Trust Lands Plans, as submitted by the schools; two home school applications; the 2014-2015 Kane School District school calendar; and the hiring of Richard Esplin as a custodian at Valley Elementary School. The board also honored Employees of the Month from Valley Elementary School – teacher Kelsey Roundy and school secretary Kim Saul. Congratulations, ladies!