This is the budget presentation that was provided to the board on Tuesday, April 5. We encourage patrons and employees to review this presentation previous to providing input to your school community council or PTA. Feel free to post questions here regarding these projections.
Since I can’t respond to every question I receive via video. I am posting additional questions on the blog for everyone to see. Feel free to follow up with a comment if you have additional questions or you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and keep the questions coming!
Superintendent-I believe it was last year or the year before that an outside company conducted surveys/supervisor evaluations. What happened with that information? How did that benefit the District? How much did it cost the District?
Granite School District is required by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which is also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to spend 10% of the Title I-A allocation to help the district achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards. Granite School District has participated in two appraisals of the district by RMC Research of Denver, Colorado. The first appraisal occurred from 26-28 February 2008. Because Granite School District participated as a pilot district in this appraisal there was no cost to the district. The second appraisal was conducted from 24-25 March 2009. The results of both appraisals were reported to the Superintendent and to the Board of Education by RMC Research.
Granite School District has adopted a Local Education Agency (LEA) Improvement Plan to implement recommendations from the appraisals. The initiatives identified in this plan include:
a. Instructional audits of all Granite School District schools relying on rubrics developed in consultation with RMC Research.
b. Algebra/Pre-Algebra Institute training for all secondary mathematics teachers of these subjects.
c. Mobility analysis of students in the district.
d. Progress monitoring of school district improvement efforts.
Granite School District has benefited by improving support to students.
Welcome to the latest “Superintendent Snapshot”- Take 4. We are getting enough questions at this point that I won’t be able to answer them all with the snapshot, but I will post the questions here on my blog with the answer. If your question is site or school specific or dealing with a personnel matter, I will respond privately. I appreciate the questions from teachers, students and patrons so please keep them coming to SuperintendentsBlog@graniteschools.org.
Thanks and have a great weekend!
Hello friends, patrons, employees and students. I am relaunching the superintendent’s blog in coordination with my new weekly video series, the “Superintendents Snapshot.” Those videos will be posted here along with other questions and answers that have been asked. You can always send a questions to email@example.com.
I will also be posting regular updates on various topics that come to us at the district. Feel free to use this blog as a sounding board for your concerns and questions anytime. Don’t forget to also visit our district twitter account (feed is on the left) and our other social networking sites as you are able.
Thanks for all of your support of Granite Schools and the students we serve!
Superintendent Martin Bates
As many of you may already know, after 39 years in public education, I am announcing my retirement. I have especially enjoyed the opportunity to serve these past 14 years as Superintendent of Granite School District. Not only have I loved working with the wonderful students and parents of the district, but my work has placed me among some of the finest professionals I have known during my career.
Although we have experienced several challenging decisions over the years as a district, I believe that we have kept the children as our primary consideration. I appreciate the work all Granite District employees have accomplished on behalf of our students.
Read more about the Superintendent’s retirement in our district newletter, Connections.
Considering the difficult economic and financial circumstances in which we find our state, we are making an unprecedented effort to involve our community and employees in our budget process. Below is some information on Granite District’s budgets and specifically which areas could be impacted. The feedback you provide will help the administration and board make these difficult decisions for our next fiscal year. We hope that after viewing the budget information, you will be able to provide responses to the following four questions listed on the feedback form:
1. What district programs and services do you view as critical and oppose reducing if that reduction would change the quality and level of service?
2. What district programs and services do you view as important, but would support reducing in some manner given the fiscal environment?
3. What district programs and services do you view as non-essential and are willing to do without?
4. What specific suggestions do you have for developing the FY 2011 budget?
We have provided a comprehensive spreadsheet of information on programs and services that are funded with unrestricted revenues. Please review the video presentation and, utilizing the feedback form, provide your suggestions and input.
Employees will have an opportunity to provide feedback through their community council represenative or through their respective association. Patron feedback forms should be funneled through the PTA organization or your school’s community council or principal. All responses and suggestions should be sent with a signature of the community council chair and principal from each school. Principals should return the forms in person, via email or district mail to the Superintendent’s Office by Thursday, April 1. Feel free to make additional copies of the feedback form as necessary.
Thank you for your time and commitment to the students of Granite School District.
As we move into the start of the Legislative session, I want to make sure you are aware of the messages in play regarding budget impacts on public education. Late last week, a poll was released showing that 57% of Utahns don’t want public education cuts. <http://utahpolicy.com/featured_article/utahns-don%E2%80%99t-want-public-education-cuts>. Use of Rainy Day Funds has held public education harmless in the current budget year. The media has been touting that public education will be held harmless in this next budget cycle.
Let us clarify the latter. You have heard that the Governor’s budget will “hold public education harmless.” While it is true that the Governor’s recommendation to the legislature is to maintain current levels of education funding, there will be no increase to offset anticipated enrollment growth of up to 11,000 new students throughout the state. With the increase in student population, the overall WPU will be cut 2-3% which will be felt by all school districts throughout the state, including Granite School District. This means will receive 2-3% less in state funding next year than we did for our current budget year.
While we feel confident that the Governor and the Legislature are trying to minimize the impact of budget reductions on public education to the greatest extent possible, we want to clarify for our employees what the state’s budget discussions might mean to Granite District. We anticipate additional communications with our employees as the details of these budget recommendations become available through the legislative session. Feel free to send questions or concerns via email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or post those comments here on my blog.
As 2009 comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Granite School District, its teachers, staff and students have made a number of outstanding accomplishments this year and we look forward to even more good news in the year to come.
The annual state legislative session will commence in January and we will keep you apprised of any information concerning our district as we head into budget discussions.
Once again, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
A few weeks ago we sent a memo to our principals about sensitivity to their students and communities during the holiday season. The memo was similar to the message we have sent for many years. A copy of the letter is below.
It is well settled that schools are prohibited “from conveying or attempting to convey a message that religion or a particular religious belief is favored or preferred.” However, in the words of the United States Supreme Court, “Music without sacred music, architecture minus the cathedral, and painting without the scriptural theme would be eccentric and incomplete.”
So, when teaching about holidays, it is absolutely appropriate to include instruction about Christmas — sing the songs and display and explain the symbols — but not to preach Christmas. Teaching that Christians believe that the Savior of the world was born 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem may well fit into the curriculum. Teaching this, or the tenets of any other faith, as doctrine properly takes place in homes and churches. The people of our community are of many and varied beliefs. Schools must cultivate tolerance, appreciation and respect for one another.
Said otherwise, our public schools have the right, and perhaps even more, the responsibility, to teach about religion when meeting the objectives of their classes.
We expect that children will be singing Christmas music like “Silent Night,” Hanukkah music like the “Dreidel Song” and other religious and nonreligious music during this holiday season. We are confident that schools will make crafts and put up displays with various religious themes this month within the context of the curriculum.
We again encourage our employees to be sensitive to their communities and make instructional and activity decisions that will allow all of the public’s children to feel they have equal place within our public schools. This having been said, the word “Christmas” will be spoken, written, sung and otherwise used again, again and again in the Granite School District.
I’m excited to announce that we are making significant progress in organizing our projects as a result of our successful bond election. Projects include rebuilding Hartvigsen school for medically fragile students, air conditioning all district schools, rebuilding five current schools and constructing three new schools. Construction schedules to complete these projects are outlined below.
Next year, construction on Granger High School (set to open January 2013), a Magna area elementary (open 2011), and Oakwood and Woodstock Elementary Schools (open 2011) will begin. Air condition installation will begin during Summer 2010, as to minimize classroom disruption.
In 2011, construction will begin on Olympus High School (set to open in Fall 2013) and a West Valley area elementary school (set to open 2012). Additionally, air condition installation projects will also continue during the summer.
In 2012, any remaining air conditioning projects will be completed. Factors for deciding which schools receive air conditing first include schools with the highest temperatures, plumbing/HVAC, retrofitted schools and schools with similar architectural design.
We will continue to update our blog and other publications with construction information throughout the next few years. We thank our patrons and employees who helped to make this bond effort successful.