District News

District celebrates Best of State recognitions

Davis School District was recently honored with four Best of State awards. 

Tuesday, Best of State announced its 2021 honorees. Among them are Davis Connect K-12, the district’s online school; the district’s Head Start and Title I preschool; Sarah Frei, a senior cheerleader at Clearfield High School; and Christine Wolf, director of bands at Central Davis Junior High School.

District Superintendent Reid Newey was honored the state recognized the great things happening in Davis School District.

“In Davis School District we have exceptional people doing extraordinary things,” he said. “The Best of State designation further reinforces Davis District’s commitment to striving for excellence in all that we do.”

Here is a little more information about each:

• Davis Connect Online School was established by the Davis School District as a school/program in 2011.  Prior to the 2020-21 school year, K-8 enrollment in the Davis Connect Elementary and Middle School programs were capped at approximately 100 students.  

Because of the growing interest in online options and the proven success of Davis Connect’s instructional models and design, in the fall of 2019 (prior to COVID-19), it was determined that K-12 enrollment would be opened in the 2020-21 school year for all Utah students and families interested in a full or blended online school experience. 

A modest enrollment of between 200-400 students was anticipated, but when the 2020-21 school year began, over 5,000 full-time students had enrolled. Davis Connect is likely the largest K-12 school in Utah.

• Davis Early Childhood programs include Early Head Start, Head Start and Title I Preschools. The program is uniquely situated as the only Head Start program in the State of Utah whose grantee is a school district.

Davis Head Start provides high quality early learning and education in Davis County and has done so for over 30 years. The program has received national recognition twice by the National Head Start Association as a “Program of Excellence.” Additionally, the Head Start program received the “Carnegie Achievement Award” three times for program innovation. In 2020, Davis Head Start received the “Select Health Award” for the program’s partnerships with dental providers throughout the county to provide services at little or reduced cost for children and families. Finally, in 2021 Davis Head Start was selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in the UCLA Health Initiative focused on improving the mental health of Head Start staff.

As part of the school district, the program tracks students moving into kindergarten and compares them to students who did not have a need for Head Start.

• Sarah Frei, a senior cheerleader at Clearfield High School, had both legs amputated above the knee in July 2020 and is paralyzed from the waist down following an accident caused by a drunk driver. Despite that tragedy, she has remained positive and strong. Her story has been an inspiration to many throughout the world.

Sarah has maintained a 4.0 GPA from grades 9-12, and since her accident has been motivated to continue her high academic goals. After spending 2 1/2 months in the hospital, she was able to get caught up in all her classes, is currently taking a Concurrent Enrollment English class and is fulfilling all of her requirements to graduate in June 2021 with a 4.0 GPA.

• Christine Wolf, director of bands at Central Davis Junior High School, was also named the 2021 Junior High Music Educator of the Year by the Utah Music Education Association. She is the Utah Chapter President of the Women Band Directors International Organization. She was named one of School Band and Orchestra Magazine’s 50 Directors Who Make a Difference in 2017. 

Under her direction, the Central Davis Junior High Symphonic Band was invited to perform at the 2018 Utah Music Educator’s Conference in St. George. The Central Davis Junior High Band Program is a 2018 Division Finalist for the National Band Association’s Programs of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award.

Her unique approach to teaching band has allowed her to team up with national recognized authors and publishers on the creation of a new beginning band method, Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician by Scott Rush. She has an intense desire to improve the quality of life for students, other teachers and her community.