Board gathers public input in "What Counts" effort
Greek philosopher Epictetus is quoted as saying, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Such may be the end goal of the Board of Education as it continues to move forward with its “What Counts” effort.
Beginning April 27, 2017, board members hosted a community feedback event in which 75 invited guests – representing a variety of community members — convened in the district’s Kendell Building to answer two questions.
• What do you appreciate about your schools?
• What are the characteristics of quality schools?
The discussion, facilitated by past president of the Utah School Boards Association and National School Boards Association Mossi White, resulted in the following top priorities:
• Money to fund programs, teacher training, increased salaries, reduce class sizes.
• Freedom for teachers to be innovative and free from fear of having a failure.
• Address all abilities and skill levels to meet student’s needs including vocational, college prep, resource, and gifted.
• Innovative education practices (project based learning, hands on learning opportunities, real world problem solving).
• Adequate compensation for teachers.
• Program to develop well-roundedness art, sports, clubs, interest, and music.
• Teach them to think and question how not what. Engage them and make it fun. Teach them how to work.
Board member Julie Tanner explained, “The priorities will have a strong influence as the school board decides upon our vision and goals for the school district.”
Board members also met with more than 60 school-level employees on October 11, 2017, to also hear from them. Their priorities are:
• Positive passionate teachers support staff, administration, and environment.
• High student growth where failure is part of the learning process.
• Good principal administrative team who is supportive, visible, supportive, and involved with kids.
• Best teachers in the world!
• Put kids first. Remember why we do it.
• Focus on growth not grades.
• Small classes.
A discussion about What Counts also occurred Nov. 16, 2017, with members of the District's Parent Equity Committee. That group was also asked "What are the characteristics of a quality school?" The feedback included:
• Every student feels safe, valued, and recognized.
• Diverse staff.
• Value oriented philosophy.
• Free mental health support for our students.
• Social, emotional education.
– Life skills
• Smaller classes.
• Warm and welcoming.
Anyone who would like to give input about the “What Counts” effort and the two questions being asked by the board can simply contact individual board members via email. Those addresses are posted here.