The school board, at the April 16, 2009 meeting of the Kane County Board of Education, continued an ongoing discussion on ways to cut back on high school student activities.

This issue surfaced at the beginning of the school year, as concerns were raised about the numerous student activities and the resulting travel, routinely interfering with time in class, or “seat time.”

This concern for student learning has been the focus of the school board’s intention to reduce extracurricular activities. But it has now become a more compelling issue due to budget cuts.

The Kane School District will face a budget shortfall of $630,000 for the 2009-2010 school year. As program and transportation cuts have become necessary, Superintendent Robert Johnson and the school board have been seeking input from coaches, teachers, principals, district staff and the school community councils to trim extracurricular programs, which are costly in part because of the huge transportation costs associated with them. The district is also seeking ways to cut utility expenses, including the possibility of limiting evening sports practices that use very costly stadium lighting.

This important issue will be on the board’s consent agenda next month. They will make decisions on specific cuts in the number of sports events for each sport, consider fee increases, and may make adjustments to the school calendar. The district and the board are committed to making cuts that will not negatively affect academics.

For the sixth year in a row, the business department of the Kane County School District has received an Award of Excellence from the state of Utah for fulfilling its reporting requirements in an exemplary fashion.

It also received an Award of Excellence for statistical reporting. Superintendent Johnson and board members praised Business Manager Cary Reese and the district staff involved in the statistical reporting, Jim Glover and Betty Purvis.

Kanab Math teachers LaRae Moore, Lisa Johnson and Klint Glover reported on recent student achievements in Math.

Eighth grader Christian Reed and seventh grader Kasen Glover placed high in the recent state math competition, noted Mrs. Johnson. She added it is the students’ great experiences with Mrs. Moore in the Math Counts competition in sixth grade, which prepare them to do well in the state math competition in middle school.

Mr. Glover reported that his 11th grade team placed second in the state in the smaller school segment of the competition.

The school board honored the 2009 Kanab High School Sterling Scholars. They are: Glen Nelson (Business and Marketing), Kyle Archer (Computer Technology), Brittney Montgomery (Dance), Courtney Kirby (English), Cassidie Scott (Family and Consumer Science), Forrest Kolle (Math), Jake Clayson (Music), Dalton Barton (Science), Kihara McBride (Social Science), Mariah Rhinehart (Speech and Drama) and Carie Ann Williquette (Visual Arts). The board awarded $100 to each of these hard working students. Valley High School Sterling Scholars will be honored next month.

The board recognized Employees of the Month through a telecom system with Lake Powell School (LPS). LPS certified teacher Gaylan Hoyt and classified employee Chuck Kayner, were recognized for their fine service to the district.

The board approved the hiring of Kim Titus as a chemistry and science teacher at Kanab High School. At Kanab Elementary School, Leslie Glover was approved as a third grade teacher, Wendy Kabonic as a second grade teacher, Robyn McGowen as a kindergarten teacher, and Emily Strong as a special education teacher.