Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for December 31, 2015
Kane School District Literacy/Technology planning
The 2015 Kane District Literacy Plan prepared by District Reading Specialist Nancy Roundy was presented to the Kane Board of Education at its December 8, 2015, meeting. The plan is submitted to the state as part of the Kane District Consolidated Application.
In the area of Literacy, the Kane School District uses a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) to implement its multi-tiered system of instruction for all students.
It consists of the following components:
Tier One - All students participate in Core Classroom instruction using the research based and highly effective Spalding reading method. Skills are assessed on a regular basis.
Tier Two- Students needing additional support are also taught in small groups of five or six. Teachers and trained paraprofessionals work on deficit skills with those students.
Tier Three- One on one instruction is provided to those at risk students who require even more intensive instruction.
Other components include Professional Development provided by the district, and Implementation of research-based Literacy best practices component, which provides teachers with mentoring and training in Explicit Instruction.
The plan also includes parent participation approaches, including reading strategies training, literacy materials and an after school reading club. Parents are encouraged to be involved in all literacy activities.
Roundy has been the District Reading Specialist for 12 years. In that time, she has transformed the way reading is taught and data and research are used to improve teacher effectiveness, greatly advancing student progress in many areas. She has used extensive professional development to help teachers (though funding from the Utah Legislature for this has steadily been cut over the years), training them to use the various types of student progress data available to help students learn better. Roundy has implemented new and effective teaching programs such as Spalding and Explicit Instruction.
District Technology Director Travis Terry reported on the Kane School District technology planning process. The members of the technology committee are Travis Terry, Valley High Principal Jim Wood, Kane Board of Education Member Joe Houston, Kanab Elementary School Principal Braxton Bateman, Big Water School Principal Andrew Roundy, Kanab Middle School Science Teacher Brian Palmer, and Valley Elementary School Teacher Kelsey Roundy.
The committee sent out a Technology Needs Assessment survey to all district teachers. The survey results reflected teacher confidence in using technology, but also concerns about having adequate time to use all available technology. The most common request was for more devices in elementary school classrooms.
The technology committee, under a new state initiative, will develop a plan to make schools better prepared for a technology overhaul, covering everything from needed infrastructure to professional development for teachers to the management of such changes.
The school board voted to approve Kanab High School’s 2016 San Juan River Trip. Twenty students are committed to go. Two faculty advisors will also go. The total cost is $4200. It will be paid out of the school’s State and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) School Lands Trust Program funds.
Utah State University (USU) is considering offering certificates of completion in the following vocational areas: Construction Fundamentals, Web Business, Medical Assisting, and Professional Bookkeeping. Currently, the Southwest Applied Technology College (SWATC) courses Kane District students take do not lead to any kind of certification when they graduate from high school. USU would work with SWATC, with the goal of having all classes offered in areas available for certification.
In other business, the school board approved the November minutes and one home school application.