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Front Page » May 14, 2002 » Local News » Board addresses school district matters
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Board addresses school district matters

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Jenna Jepson, Caroline Brooks, Kami Durrant and Brieannne Mantz present the group's history fair project during the Carbon County Board of Education regularly scheduled public meeting on May 8. The Westridge Middle School students recently competed at the state history fair event, conducted on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo. The Carbon County group participated in the performance category at the statewide competition, where the members explained a brief history of women's rights. The local middle school students finished in fourth place at the state history competition. The group then returned to Westridge to perform before fellow students in the journalism and Peak classes.

The Carbon School Board of Education conducted the district's monthly meeting May 8 before a large crowd including students, parents and school administration. The agenda was short, but awards presented during the meeting were numerous.

At the start of the meeting, a group of Westridge students presented the history fair project that received fourth place honors at the statewide competition conducted at Brigham Young University. Jenna Jepson, Caroline Brooks, Kami Durrant and Brieanna Mantz performed a presentation about women's rights.

The group's presentation explained how four individuals in the 1800s changed the rights of women throughout history.

The Westridge students' state history fair project was not only informative, but also filled with humor.

Following the presentation, several students from Carbon and Emery counties received certificates for work as volunteers in the community. The students were recognized with the silver bowl award.

The recipients were selected for the award by the governor. In the last year, the students served more than 13,000 volunteer hours. The students will be recognized at graduation and the silver bowl will be housed at the Carbon School District office.

Approaching the education board with an unrelated matter, Mallory Monfredi explained the sport of goalball.

Monfredi is one of five students from the Carbon district who competed in the state goalball championships. The squad captured the title and Monfredi was asked to compete in Florida with the national team in October.

Monfredi began her speech by handing out pictures illustrating the sport. She explained that goalball is designed for individuals who have a visual impairment.

The sport pits two teams against one another and the objective is to score a goal. Because the athletes are blindfolded, the difficulty of the game increases, making the sport not only challenging, but also competitive.

Goalball is an Olympic sport. Monfredi enjoys the sport and the national championship is one step forward in her dream to compete at the Olympics.

The board members understood Monfredi's enthusiasm for the sport and agreed to help fund the trip. Monfredi will contribute by conducting fundraisers such as bake sales to earn extra money for the trip.

Also present at the May 8 monthly school board meeting were members of the Pinnacle Canyon Academy charter school.

Amongst the attendees was Roberta Hardy, principal of the charter school.

The request was made to allow the chartered school to receive support from the Carbon school district in the form of a speech aid. The aid would work with a student at the charter school who is need of speech therapy.

The school district aid has been working with this student throughout this school year and the desire of the charter school was to continue using the aids assistance.

The school board agreed to allow the aid to travel to the charter school next year to assist the child.

But the board's approval specified that the academy will be responsible for the wages the aid earns during the time spent at the non-district school.

"We have paid the aid for the speech services and plan to continue to do so. We are not asking for a hand out, rather we are asking for assistance in teaching a child who will eventually be turned back to your system," explained Hardy.

The agreement also will be bound by a contract that ensures that the service of the speech aid will not be discontinued at any time during the course of next school year.

In addition, the charter school approached the school board with the option to support a new program called high-tech high. The idea is to form a high school that focuses on math, science and technology. This is the third year that the charter school has submitted an application to the state board of education.

For the past two years, the issue was tabled by the state panel. Supporters expect the request to be tabled again this year. Despite the expectation, the charter school approached the board to ask for district support for the new high school.

"We don't want to fight with the district. In fact, our desire is to work together in the matter," explained Hardy.

By supporting the program, the district would elect a representative to sit on the planning committee. Although a member will be present on the committee, the school district will have no authority to oversee the chartered high school.

"I find it difficult for the school district to serve on the committee if it is not a joined force between the district and the charter school," expressed education board member Sam Chiara.

The board decided to table the matter until next month's regularly scheduled public meeting.

The school board also addressed the following matters at last week's meeting:

•Members approved changes to the construction fund.

The change benefits the district by saving $293 which will not be needed in the repairs to East Carbon schools. The board approved the change which will put the money back into the construction fund.

•Officials announced that Newt Rockney III will be the Carbon High football coach next season. Rockney is from East Carbon and the board feels that he will lead the team to a successful season next year.

•Authorized Mont Harmon and Helper Junior High to raise school fees next year.

The fees will allow the schools to provide the best possible education to students for the least amount of price, according to the officials.

Although the fees have raised, the junior high schools will still allow waivers for students who qualify along with the free lunch program.

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