The Utah State Office of Education has acknowledged Kanab Elementary School (KES) as a recipient of the 2012 Utah High Performing Title I School Recognition. It was announced at the February 14 meeting of the Kane County Board of Education.

In the letter addressed to KES Principal Pam Aziz, it explains. “For over 30 years, the U.S. Congress has recognized that higher poverty schools face unique challenges in educating students. In response to this need, the federal government provides Title One grants to provide supplementary assistance to public schools that serve higher levels of low income families. Tile I Schools that are able to achieve levels of performance above the state average are to commended for their success.” Superintendent Robert Johnson praised Aziz and KES for achieving this status again this year.

Aziz gave a PowerPoint presentation for the board, showing mid-year academic progress at KES, with detailed information on student proficiency in each grade. The school made significant improvement in Language Arts. For instance, in first grade, the student proficiency percentage went from 37% at the beginning of the year, to 65% at the middle of the year. Improvement was also made in Math, with first grade proficiency improving from 62% to 80% at mid-year.

Aziz explained the students who continue to score lower are targeted to receive small group, one on one, or reading lab assistance. These students are continually progress monitored for improvement.

The board approved a motion to move to the five period block schedule, subject to the district being able to meet staffing needs. Superintendent Johnson reported three secondary school principals have indicated support for the schedule change, if sufficient staffing can be provided. The district and board will now carefully review the proposed schedules and analyze staffing needs. This proposed change was discussed in December after district personnel visited Enterprise High to learn more about its system and the dramatic student improvement it created.

In five block scheduling, the school day is divided into five, 70-minute blocks and a lunch period. Important core classes such as Math and Language Arts meet every day in seventh and eighth grades, while other classes may meet every other day – two or three times per week. This scheduling allows for many more electives to be offered, while increasing the amount of time spent on Math and Language Arts during middle school. The new system should be better for the students, allowing for much more time learning the basics and more choices in classes.

The board heard an update on Kanab resident Tyler Houston’s proposal to make improvements to the baseball and softball fields near Kanab Middle School and construct an additional field, in order to expand the area’s ability to hold tournaments and enable the school’s teams to play more games locally. He has been working on the basic plans for the complex and is estimating the total cost to be approximately $1.3 million.

The board also received information about a new educator evaluation and accountability program that individual school districts will be required to enter by the 2013-14 school year. The Utah State Office of Education is currently drafting a model that may be adopted by individual school districts.

The board approved an extension of the lease period for the Southwest Applied Technology College, with a new payment schedule, and an easement agreement granting Xpressweb Internet Services Company an easement on district property for installing fiber optic cable.

The following persons were approved to serve on the Human Sexuality Curriculum Committee for each school – Darrin Coleman, Kristine Barton and Trevor Stewart (for KES); Mason Fox and Tiffany Clarkson (Kanab Middle School); Kevin Maxwell, Joseph Sorensen and Jim Wood (Valley Elementary School) and Kris Pare (Lake Powell School.)

It was announced Valley High School’s Range Competition Team won first place in the Future Farmers of America Rangeland Competition and has been invited to attend the National Land & Range Judging Contest held in Oklahoma City from April 30-May 2, 2013. This accomplishment qualifies them to receive district support of $300 per student, to help with the cost of attending the competition. The board approved the trip and the monetary support.

The board denied a Valley Elementary School request for permission to take an activity trip to Brian Head to ski and go tubing, for safety and liability reasons.

The board approved an agreement between Intermountain Health Care (IHC) and Kane School District, which would allow any Kane District students who are taking courses towards a career in health care to practice or observe in IHC hospitals.

Also approved were the KHS baseball, softball and track schedules, one KHS early graduation request, two home school applications, the 2013-14-school calendar, Section G of the District Policy Manual and honored. Employees of the Month from VES, Caroleen Chamberlain and Mimi Nelson. Congratulations, ladies!