Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for October 14, 2009
Kanab High School to be Community Emergency Center
The Kane County Board of Education, at its October 8, 2009 meeting, approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Kane School District and the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, establishing Kanab High School (KHS) as a Point of Distribution center. Kane County Emergency Director Alan Aldredge explained KHS will be the area center for operations in the event of an emergency, such as a terror attack or large disease outbreak requiring the mass distribution of medicine. The agreement covers the use of the building and parking facilities, notice and proof of insurance requirements.
Kane District Data Specialist Travis Terry made an informative PowerPoint presentation summarizing test data showing the percentage of students demonstrating proficiency in each of the areas of Language Arts, Math and Science for the last school year; and showing six year trends and comparisons with the state and other school districts. Terry noted the district proficiency percentages “far surpass” the state average proficiency percentages, as well as surpassing those of other similar sized, nearby school districts. He attributed this to the commitment of Kane District teachers to knowing and understanding the data, a focus begun by the district six years ago. It is important to note again, all of the schools in the Kane School District made adequate yearly progress under the federally mandated No Child Left Behind Act.
As to the data, the most significant change has been the sharp increase in the percentage of students demonstrating proficiency in the area of science since 2004. Science is an area where scores have always been 10-15% lower than those in language arts and math, Terry explained, in part because the scores are not counted for the No Child left Behind measures. The subject matter is not stressed as much and science test answers are more often based on inference, requiring a higher level of thinking than in language arts and math. In the area of language arts, the number of students demonstrating proficiency has trended steadily upward in the same time period. In the area of math, a four-year downward trend, which math teachers have been working hard to reverse, continued in part due to a new benchmark test instituted by the state. In fact, math scores throughout the state are down because of this test change.
Terry also presented the six-year data trends in all threesubject areas for each of the seven Kane District schools. Along with this, five Kane District principals were present to submit individual school improvement plans as they do each year, which include student proficiency achievement goals and the means by which the goals will be achieved, listing weak areas to be concentrated upon and detailing program activities. Principals Gordan Miller (Lake Powell School), Gerry Rankin (Big Water School), Jim Wood (Valley High School), Brent Blodgett (Valley Elementary School), and Pam Aziz (Kanab Elementary School) did an excellent job outlining his/her school’s goals and plans. While each school has somewhat different areas needing focus, it is interesting to note they all need work in the area of writing, making the district’s introduction of the MY Access! online writing program last year, particularly timely.
In other business, the school board approved five home school applications, one early graduation request, three school trips, appointments to the school advisory Human Sexuality committee, and the hiring of Greg DeLuca as the assistant Adult Education Director. The board also honored as Employee of the Month, Technology Director Jim Glover, a 43-year veteran with the district, the man “who can fix anything.” Congratulations, Mr. Glover!