IT’S THURSDAY- THANK A TEACHER: Mallory Poole EDITION

I had the amazing opportunity to connect with a talented teacher I hadn’t spoken with in 10 years. We met in college while attending Brigham Young University, but went our separate ways after we were hired on as teachers in different schools. I was so excited when I crossed paths with Ms. Mallory Poole this week. She is doing incredible things for the students in Utah, and it is my honor to thank her this week!

IMG_8690

 Where did you do your teacher prep? I studied Special Education with an emphasis in mild/moderate disabilities at Brigham Young University.  I chose to student teach in Nebo district at Riverview Elementary with the experienced, Julie Beckham.  I received my bachelors in Special Education and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language. 

Where have you taught in your teaching career?  I have taught in Alpine School District, and Spectrum Academy (charter school).

What is the funniest thing a student has ever said?  Too many to write down!  A student singing, “Shake it Off” as he walked down the hall with is canes (crutches and Dlyphos specialized shoes and ankle braces).  He would sing the entire song from bus to classroom dancing all the way. So cute.   

What one piece of advice would you give to new teachers? Care and advocate for your students. Students have a sixth sense I say; they know if you care.

What is your favorite teacher resource? Collaborating with other teachers.  I like taking general education activities and adapting them for our special needs students so they can feel part of the group.  I also like the internet sites like teachers pay teachers or super teachers worksheets for worksheet that do not have too many problems on a page to overwhelm students.

Describe any experience you have had in education policy. I have served on the Utah Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities advocating for special education. I am the chair of the Utah Special Education Advisory Panel, a group that advises the SPED State Director and the State School Board.  As a part of this, I helped revise the state special education laws that were approved in September 2016.  The panel also helped the school board understand the importance of making the LRBI manual a school wide manual not just SPED.   I attend SPED law conferences to be aware of current litigation. I educate parents about procedural safeguards and rights of they have of their child.  My motto is #careandadvocate 

What’s the biggest change you would like to see in education? #careandadvocate I would like school administration to be more knowledgeable in special education.  I know of a principal who called the special needs students in his school retards. It would be great for IDEA to be fully funded.  ALL STUDENTS CAN LEARN when provided the appropriate opportunity and access to materials.

Mallory, thank you for being an advocate for students in Utah and for being a wonderful teacher and person.

 

Cheers!

Tabitha

Blogs for Teachers

There are many sources teachers can turn to for information or inspiration, and in the day and age of the internet it seems the online options are limitless. I am firm believer that the best resource for teachers is other teachers. However, that doesn’t always mean face to face conversations or structured PLCs. Many talented teachers have their own blogs or have created websites, and even more teachers serve as guest contributors. My friend (and a Utah teacher! Don’t be fooled by the Alabama in her bio, she recently relocated to Sugar House and is a Math Coach in Salt Lake City), Meghan Everette writes a successful blog series  for Scholastic. The teacher page on Scholastic  is a great place to find lessons, resources, and read about useful classroom tips from talented teachers (like Meg).  Her most current post is on “The What, How, and Why of Fidgets” This is a topic I can relate to as a parent and a teacher. Lately I noticed all the kids on my street playing with these spinner toys. My son of course “had to have one.” A few days letter my son’s principal sent home a letter to all families emphasizing that fidget spinners are not allowed in class. What is it with these things?

ME-Fidget-3-Spinner

Meghan has written a whole post about spinners and other fidgets, and I contributed an awesome low cost classroom fidget solution, but you’ll have to read her article to find out what it is.

So, what do you think about teachers writing blogs or contributing to websites? Have you ever thought of sharing your expertise with a larger audience? Any thoughts on fidgets? Leave a comment below so I can visits your posts!

Cheers!

Tabitha

What it Takes to Move from Good to Great

I am honored to have participated in the study series for this powerful report that was released by the Center for Great Teachers and Leaders. The report digs into the answer to this key question “How have great teachers become the excellent educators they are today?” What is the secret sauce that moves a good teacher to a great teacher? Read the whole series of  the recently released “Investing in What it Takes to Move from Good to Great” report. The report includes comments and recommendations from teachers like me!

Great2I_teacherLeadersRoles

Logo

Thanks AIR for including me in this study.

 

Cheers!

Tabitha

Utah Teacher License Requirements

IMG_9883

There has been a lot of changes and discussion around the teacher licensing requirements in Utah. It has been a hot topic with many opinions coming from teachers, administrators, and policy makers. The state is opening up this highly debated issue for public feedback. If you have ideas about the teaching licensing requirements in Utah, now is your chance to have your voice heard. Please read the below letter from the USBE Educator Licensing Coordinator:

Utah Educators,

The Utah State Board of Education Licensing Task Force is currently working on redesigning the educator licensing structure in Utah.  The task force would like to thank all of the individuals that have previously provided feedback at stakeholder meetings.  In order to gather feedback from as many individuals as possible a survey has been created regarding the currently proposed revisions.

We would like to invite you to participate in this survey by going to this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JQYNJ8M .  A description of the current proposal is provided and there are 14 questions.  The survey will close at 10:00 am on Monday, May 15.  Please be aware that this survey focuses on general license structure.  Feedback regarding license areas and endorsements will be collected at a later date.

Thank you for your help in this matter.  Please feel free to share this link with others.  The Board would like to collect as much public feedback as possible.

This is a great opportunity to have teacher voice included in the requirements for our profession. Lets own it, and make an impact.

Cheers!

Tabitha

It’s Thursday- Thank a Teacher: Heather Raithel Edition

It is my honor to thank Mrs. Heather Raithel for her service as a Utah teacher.  Today is especially meaningful because Heather is being recognized at the National CEC Conference as the 2017 Graduate Student of the Year. Heather is a veteran teacher, but has also spent the last two years attending Utah State University to earn her Masters in Special Education. Well done friend!

heather-raithel

Here is a little more about the talented Mrs. Raithel:

Where did you do your teacher prep? Sam Houston State University BS in Elementary Education, Utah State University MEd in Special Education Transition

Where have you taught in your teaching career?

  • Sunset School in Blackfoot Valley of Montana: K-8, one room schoolhouse
  • Corpus Christi, TX: 5th grade Math/Science and 6th grade Writing, ESL
  • Thailand: taught conservation in local communities, English to adults, Reef Check volunteers
  • Maui, Hawaii: K-8 SpEd Inclusion and 6-8 ELA
  • Kerrville, TX: 6th grade SpEd Inclusion
  • Utah Virtual Academy:  Transition Coordinator, 4th and 5th math resource

What is the funniest thing a student has ever said? “You kind of look like a whale” – student that rarely spoke told me when I was pregnant with my first child.

What one piece of advice would you give to new teachers? Keep learning and honing your craft, get involved in your district and state.

What is your favorite teacher resource? http://ncset.org/

Describe any experience you have had in education policy- I have met with legislators on disability at Utah State Capitol, read policy, follow on twitter

What’s the biggest change you would like to see in education? I would like to see more inclusive post-secondary programs for students with more significant disabilities.

Heather is an incredible teacher, colleague, and friend. She has done so much for students in Utah. Thank you!

 

Cheers!

Tabitha Pacheco 

Is SAGE Testing Leaving Utah?

SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) is Utah’s computer adaptive assessment system aligned to the state’s core standard. The results of these tests have been used to evaluate teacher effectiveness and school letter grades. However, a new state testing plan has been released. This year, 11th grade students were not required to take SAGE and instead took the ACT. Soon, 9th and 10th grade students will be taking the ACT Aspire in place of SAGE to help prepare them to take the ACT in 11th grade. Several other changes are being implemented in state end of year testing over the next few year. Below is an image outlining the plan:

3YearTestingPlan-USBE

What are you thoughts? As a teacher do you like SAGE? What do you think about using the ACT Aspire? I look forward to reading your comments!

 

Cheers!

Tabitha

Utah Teacher Fellowship with Hope Street Group and NNSTOY

Learn about Hope Street Group Teacher Fellowship – app opens 4/1!

UT Meme 1

In April, Hope Street Group (HSG) and NNSTOY are recruiting the first cohort of Utah State Teacher Fellows, who will collaborate with their peers and Utah decision makers to develop policy solutions to critical education challenges. Teacher Fellows remain in their classrooms and work with the program ~10 hours a month throughout the 12-month Fellowship. The application is open April 1 – April 30 at apply.hopestreetgroup.org/res/p/utah. You can learn more here and prepare to apply by attending a short informational webinar on 3/28 at 7:30pm MT. Register here!

UT Meme 2

Cheers!

Tabitha

It’s Thursday- Thank a Teacher: Blair Porter Edition

It is my pleasure to feature a talented teacher from East High, in Salt Lake City, on the blog today. Blair Porter is the department chair of the Visual Arts program and teaches ceramics.

Where did you do your teacher prep? I studied at the University of Utah , where I received  my BFA in Fine Arts, with an emphasis in ceramics and art education.  I was then granted a scholarship later in my career from Utah’s, Teacher of the Year, Leigh Vandenakker to the University of Phoenix to earn my Masters degree in Teacher Leadership.

Where have you taught in your teaching career? I am into my 9th year as an art teacher at East High School in the salt lake city school district.  I have also taught in urban Chicago for a summer, working with south side Chicago students in a program called “summer advantage”  It was a paid school program for high school students to earn money while attending academic classes.

What is the funniest thing a student has ever said? As a ceramics teacher, I think it is pretty funny when students ask me if I have seen the movie “Ghost”

What one piece of advice would you give to new teachers? Relax, be flexible and have a sense of humor.  Also, be involved in the school you teach at and get to know the students.

What is your favorite teacher resource? Clay and the pottery wheel are my resource.  It is amazing to see how creative students are when you put this incredible medium in front of them.  I provide the direction and skill and they are naturals, they just blossom with creativity!

What’s the biggest change you would like to see in education? I would like to see less teachers leaving the career within their first few years.

blair-porter

Thank you Mrs.Porter for hard work and dedication to students in Utah!

Cheers!

Tabitha Pacheco

USBE: Education-Related Bills

We have a very supportive state at the Utah State Board of Education, who are interested in teacher feedback on education issues. As a Special Educator in this state, I have had the privilege of working  with Glenna Gallo, the State Director of Special Education. She is so great at making sure special education teachers are kept current on Utah education issues. She recently sent out a document outlining the Utah State Board of Education Education-Related Bills. I will forewarn you that this is a long post–but that just goes to show just how many changes are made in the education world often without teacher knowledge or input. While many of these bills may not directly affect a classroom teachers’ duties, I do feel it is important for educators to be current on the changes in their profession. Here is a run down of the number, name, sponsor, and summary of the  educationally relevant bills (Thank you Glenna for sharing this with me) I bolded the bill being proposed to raise teacher salaries–as I am sure more teachers would be in support of that.

HB 5
Retirement and Independent Entities Base Budget    L. Christensen

Provides appropriations for the use and support of certain state agencies; provides appropriations for other purposes described; approves employment levels for internal service funds; and approves capital acquisition amounts for internal service funds.

HB 5 S1
Retirement and Independent Entities Base Budget    L. Christensen

Supplements or reduces appropriations previously provided for the use and operation of state government for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017; and appropriates funds for the support and operation of state government for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018.

HB 43
American Indian and Alaskan Native Education Amendments    M. Noel

Creates a pilot program related to teachers at American Indian and Alaskan Native concentrated schools located in certain areas; makes technical corrections; appropriates for fiscal year 2018 to the State Board of Education as an ongoing appropriation from the Education Fund, $500,000; and provides a special effective date.

HB 60
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Amendments    N. Thurston

Changes “hearing impairment” to “deaf or hard of hearing” throughout the Utah Code; and makes “deaf or hard of hearing” and “hearing loss” consistent throughout the Utah Code.

HB 62
Educator Rights Amendments    K. Stratton

Defines “abusive conduct”; requires a local school board or charter school governing board to update a policy related to bullying; and implement a grievance process for a school employee who experiences abusive conduct; provides for training related to abusive conduct; and makes technical and conforming changes.

HB 81 S1
Post-employment Restrictive Covenant Amendments    B. Greene

Outlines the scope of the chapter; addresses consideration and termination of employment as they relate to post-employment restrictive covenants; restricts the time for bringing an action to enforce post-employment restrictive covenants; and makes technical changes.

HB 87
Student Access to Online Courses    K. Coleman

Amends provisions authorizing an eligible student to enroll in an online course; removes a limitation on the number of online credits an eligible student may enroll in; requires a primary LEA of enrollment to provide physical space and technology for an eligible student to access an online course under certain conditions; and makes technical and conforming amendments.

HB 92
Physical Restraint in Schools    C. Moss

Defines terms; amends provisions related to the infliction of corporal punishment on a student; amends provisions related to the use of physical restraint in schools; amends provisions related to a student who willfully defaces or otherwise injures school property; and makes technical and conforming changes.
HB 125
Student Residency Amendments    D. Owens    Defines terms; enacts provisions governing the school district of residency for a child who is receiving services from a health care facility or human services program; and makes technical and conforming corrections.

HB 126
Student Plan for College and Career Readiness Revisions    M. Winder    Replaces references to “student education/occupation plan” or “SEOP” to “plan for college and career readiness”; and “student education plan” or “SEP” with “individual learning plan.”

HB 147
Living Wage Amendments    L. Hemingway

Modifies the minimum wage for a private or public employee within the state; modifies the cash wage obligation for a tipped employee within the state; and provides for future increases of the minimum wage and cash wage obligation.
HB 168 S1
Kindergarten Supplemental Enrichment Program    V. Snow

Defines terms; establishes the kindergarten supplemental enrichment program; requires the State Board of Education to: develop kindergarten entry and exist assessments for use in a kindergarten supplemental enrichment program; and administer a grant program to support certain kindergarten supplemental enrichment programs; and gives rule-making authority.
HB 212 S2
Incentive for Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools    M. Winder

Creates the Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools Incentive Program (program); defines terms; authorizes the State Board of Education to award a salary bonus to an eligible teacher; excludes a teacher salary bonus from compensation for purposes of a state retirement program; requires the State Board of Education to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and submit a report to the Education Interim Committee; and makes technical corrections.
HB 223 S1
Elementary School Counselor Program    S. Eliason

Defines terms; creates the Elementary School Counselor Program; authorizes the State Board of Education to award grants to qualified local education agencies to employ licensed school counselors; and requires a local education agency that receives a grant to make an annual report to the State Board of Education.
HB 231
Educator Evaluation Amendments    J. Moss

Defines terms; amends provisions related to components of an educator evaluation program; amends provisions related to a mentor for a provisional educator; amends duties of the State Board of Education related to educator evaluations; amends provisions related to reporting regarding educator evaluations; repeals provisions related to educator and administrator evaluations; and makes technical and conforming changes.
HB 239 S1
Juvenile Justice Amendments

Addresses duties of prosecutors; modifies adjudications of minors under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act; amends provisions related to sanctions and driver licenses; addresses education of certain persons under 21 years of age; amends provisions related to powers and duties of local school boards, charter school governing boards, school districts, or public school administrators; addresses reporting of certain conduct; addresses public school discipline policies; modifies provisions related to rules addressing prohibited conduct; enacts a tiered approach to disciplinary actions related to students; amends provisions related to disruptive student behavior; addresses contracts between LEAs and law enforcement for school resource officer services; . . .
HB 241
School Accountability Amendments    M. Poulson

Defines terms; requires the State Board of Education to establish a school accountability system; enacts provisions related to the school accountability system, including provisions related to: the indicators used to determine a school’s rating under the school accountability system; board duties and rulemaking under the school accountability system; and required reports; modifies provisions in the School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act; and makes technical and conforming changes; provides a special effective date.
HB 264 S2    Utah Public Education Review and Strategic Planning    L. Christensen

Requires the legislative auditor to review the effectiveness of education policies and programs by November 30, 2018; requires the State Board of Education to prepare and submit a complete and updated 10-year plan to the Education Interim Committee by November 30, 2019; and requires the Education Interim Committee to review the updated and revised 10-year plan, recommend changes, and consider legislation that would implement the updated 10-year plan.
HB 292
Charter School Admission Amendments    J. Fawson

Allows a charter school to give an enrollment preference to the sibling of an individual who was previously enrolled in the charter school.
HB 294
Utah Intergenerational Poverty Work and Self-sufficiency Tax Credit    J. Westwood

Enacts a refundable state earned income tax credit for an individual who is experiencing inter-generational poverty or moving out of inter-generational poverty; requires the Department of Workforce Services to notify individuals who are eligible for the state earned income tax credit and to provide certain information about those individuals to the State Tax Commission; provides for apportionment of the tax credit; addresses the time period for the State Tax Commission to issue a refund of the state earned income tax credit; and requires transfers from the General Fund to reimburse the Education Fund for the amount of the tax credit claimed.
HB 294 S2
Utah Intergenerational Poverty Work and Self-sufficiency Tax Credit    J. Westwood

Defines terms; enacts a refundable state earned income tax credit for certain individuals who are experiencing inter-generational poverty; requires the Department of Workforce Services to notify individuals who are experiencing inter-generational poverty of the state earned income tax credit and to provide certain information about those individuals to the State Tax Commission; provides for apportionment of the tax credit; addresses the time period for the State Tax Commission to issue a refund of the state earned income tax credit; and requires transfers from the General Fund to reimburse the Education Fund for the amount of the tax credit claimed; provides a special effective date.
HB 305
Utah Youth Sports Safety Policy    P. Ray

Requires a local school board or charter school governing board to employ a licensed athletic trainer at each public high school that has an athletic team; and enacts provisions related to the employment of a licensed athletic trainer at a public high school.
HB 346 S1
Suicide Prevention Programs    S. Eliason

Establishes reporting requirements; creates a position in the Department of Health; and provides for grant awards for suicide prevention programs.
HB 363
Federal Funds Amendments    K. Ivory

Provides that each agency that receives federal revenues greater than the amount appropriated to them by the Legislature in the annual appropriations act may expend a certain amount that exceeds the appropriated amount if the expenditure is authorized by an approved amended work program; amends the definition of new federal funds for determining approval requirements for federal funds; and makes technical changes.
HB 401
Electronic High School Amendments    R. Ward

Enacts provisions placing the Electronic High School under the management and administration of the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN); provides UETN with rulemaking authority for the management and administration of the Electronic High School; and makes technical and conforming changes.
HB 404
Early Warning Pilot Program    V. Peterson

Directs the State Board of Education to contract with a provider for a one-year pilot software program; requires that the program be designed for use by teachers, school administrators, and parents; requires that the software program: collect and report on certain assessment and other data; and provide certain information and communications to users on student progress; requires a local school board or charter school governing board to pay one-third of the cost of a license to use the software program; and provides a repeal date.
HB 414
Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Referral Amendments    D. Owens

Requires reporting results of a test for hearing loss to the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind under certain circumstances; requires the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind to provide educational services to certain individuals; and makes technical and conforming changes.
HB 418
Assistive Teaching Technology Amendments    B. Last

Defines terms; directs the State Board of Education to enter into a contract with a technology provider for the sales and service maintenance of a humanoid robot program for a one-year pilot program; requires that  the program include mechanisms to teach social and behavioral  skill development in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder; directs the State Board of Education to award grants to local education agencies for cost of the program; gives the State Board of Education rulemaking authority; and provides a repeal date.
HJR 4 S1
Joint Resolution on Maintenance-of- effort Requirements    E. Redd

Recognizes that federal maintenance-of-effort requirements can severely limit state budget flexibility; and requests that Utah’s congressional delegation submit federal legislation adding the following language to each maintenance-of-effort statutory requirement: “In nowise shall the state amount obligated as a maintenance-of-effort calculation exceed the amount of federal funding provided through the grant.”
HJR 8
Joint Resolution Supporting the Retention of Public Educators    R. Edwards    

Recognizes the shortage of credentialed public educators in the state of Utah; acknowledges that public education is a critical component of Utah’s prosperity; and directs that net revenue generated from the management of public lands that have been transferred to the state of Utah be deposited into a new fund for the purpose of increasing public educator salaries.
HR 1
House Resolution Urging Restorative Justice in Utah’s Education System    S. Hollins

Encourages the Utah State Board of Education and Utah’s school districts to implement restorative justice programs in Utah’s public primary and secondary schools as a way to help Utah’s students stay in school and deal with their challenges in a healthier and more constructive way; and encourages the Utah State Board of Education and Utah’s school districts to implement restorative justice programs in Utah’s public primary and secondary schools as a means to help school districts better manage their student disciplinary issues
SB 1 S1
Public Education Base Budget Amendments    L. Hillyard

Provides appropriations for the use and support of state education agencies; provides appropriations for the use and support of school districts and charter schools; sets the value of the weighted pupil unit (WPU) initially at $3,184 for fiscal year 2018; sets the estimated minimum basic tax rate at .001596 for fiscal year 2018; provides appropriations for other purposes as described; and provides intent language.
SB 21 S1
Retirement System Amendments    D. Hemmert

Modifies the responsibility for certain functions within the Utah Retirement Systems; modifies an exception to the post-retirement reemployment restrictions; modifies certain retiree notification and benefit conversion provisions relating to retirement options affected by death or divorce; specifies additional names for the Public Employees’ Benefit and Insurance Program; and makes technical changes.
SB 34
Competency-based Education Funding    A. Millner

Establishes the Reimbursement Program for Early Graduation From Competency-Based Education; and authorizes the State Board of Education to reimburse a local education agency that offers a competency-based education for a student who graduates early from the local education agency.
SB 37
Statewide Crisis Line    D. Thatcher

Defines terms; creates the Mental Health Crisis Line Commission; addresses the membership and duties of the Mental Health Crisis Line Commission; requires the Mental Health Crisis Line Commission to report to the Political Subdivisions Interim Committee; and provides a repeal date.
SB 59
Students with Disabilities Evaluation Amendments    G. Davis

Requires the State Board of Education to: make rules regarding communication, within a specified time, with the parent or legal guardian of a student who may have a disability; make rules to create a process to review certain violations; and annually report certain violations to the Education Interim Committee; and makes technical changes.
SB 60 S1
School District Amendments    G. Davis

Defines terms; and requires a private school to: provide local education agencies with personally identifiable information of students with disabilities; and provide parents of students with disabilities information regarding individual rights and school resources.
SB 61
Students with Disabilities Accommodations Funding    G. Davis

Defines terms; requires the State Board of Education to make rules regarding the disposition of any money appropriated to the Board to reimburse local education agencies for certain services rendered to a student with an autism spectrum disorder; and requires the Board to present draft rules to the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee or Education Interim Committee for review and recommendation.
SB 78 S1
Teacher Pedagogical Assessment    A. Millner

Defines terms; requires the State Board of Education to: establish a teacher pedagogical assessment that is performance based and assesses an individual’s pedagogical skills; require an individual to pass a teacher pedagogical assessment to receive or retain a certain license to teach; administer a baseline-year program to implement the use of a teacher pedagogical assessment; and make rules related to a teacher pedagogical assessment; and makes technical and conforming changes; provides a special effective date.
SB 80
School Funding Amendments    L. Fillmore

Defines terms; directs the Legislature to annually appropriate an amount equal to one-third of the funds allocated for an increase in the weighted pupil unit value  to increase the number of guaranteed local levy increments; directs the State Board of Education to use the appropriation to increase: the number of guaranteed local levy increments, giving first priority to guarantee board local levy increments and second priority to guarantee voted local levy increments; and the guaranteed amount for each local levy increment per weighted pupil unit after increasing the number of guaranteed local levy increments; directs a local school board to use funds received from the state local levy guarantee for a public education purpose; recodifies and enacts language governing: a voted local levy; the use of guaranteed local levy increments; and a board local levy; makes technical and conforming amendments; and provides a special effective date.
SB 86
Education – Accreditation Amendments    L. Fillmore

Repeals the requirement that the State Board of Education set accreditation guidelines; amends provisions related to State Board of Education accreditation; and makes technical changes.

SB 102
Utah Student Privacy Act    Karen Mayne

Provides that a local school board or charter school governing board require a public school to make a list of individuals  who are  authorized to access  education  records; requires  a local school governing board or charter school governing board to: provide training on student privacy laws; and require individuals who are authorized to access education records to complete training on student privacy laws and certify to the local school board or the charter school governing board that they have completed the required training and understand student privacy requirements; and prohibits a local school board, charter school governing board, public school, or school employee from sharing an education record with a school employee who is not authorized.
SB 115 S1
Compulsory Education Revisions    J. Anderegg

Eliminates criminal penalties for a parent of a truant school-age child; and makes technical changes.
SB 125
Authorization to Modify Charter School Charter Agreements    H. Stephenson

Amends provisions related to charter school enrollment preferences and amends provisions related to the modification of a charter agreement to ensure that: 1) changes to enrollment preferences under this bill will not require schools to seek SCSB approval; and 2) to narrow and redefine existing enrollment preferences from districts and municipal boundaries to offer preference to students of a district school at capacity, within a two-mile radius of the charter school.
SB 127
State Board of Education Amendments    A. Millner

Modifies a provision relating to the supervision of the director of the Division of Facilities Construction and Management over projects of the State Board of Education; includes the State Board of Education as an educational procurement unit that is a procurement unit with independent procurement authority; removes State Board of Education employees from certain overtime provisions; expands the category of State Board of Education employees who are exempt from certain classification provisions; and exempts certain State Board of Education employees from career service provisions.
SB 144
Carson Smith Scholarship Amendments    L. Fillmore

Permits  a  child  with  a  disability  or  impairment  that  qualifies  the  student  for  a  Section  504 accommodation plan under federal law to qualify for a scholarship.
SB 149 S1
Financial Education and Savings Plan to Benefit At-risk Children    R. Edwards

Defines terms; creates the Parental Coaching to Encourage Student Savings Program within the Department of Workforce Services; describes the program, which provides: financial training to parents of economically disadvantaged children attending kindergarten to encourage the parents to start saving money for their child’s eventual higher education expenses; and a financial contribution to the 529 savings accounts of economically disadvantaged children attending kindergarten, if their parents successfully meet the requirements of the program; and describes the reporting and other requirements of the Department of Workforce Services related to the program.
SB 161
Bullying and Hazing Amendments    L. Escamilla

Amends definitions related to bullying and hazing; requires a school board to update the school board’s policy regarding bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, and retaliation by September 1, 2018; requires employees, students, and parents to sign a statement annually acknowledging understanding of the school board’s policy; requires the State Board of Education to require a school board to report on compliance with a requirement for employees, students, and parents to sign a statement acknowledging understanding of a school board’s policy; requires the State Board of Education to make rules describing standards for training regarding bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, and retaliation; requires that the training of school employees related to bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, and retaliation meets standards described in State Board of Education rule; and makes technical and conforming changes.
SB 163 S1
Student Data Protection Amendments    J. Anderegg

Amends definitions; repeals an incorrect cross reference; permits a third-party contractor to identify for a student institutions of higher education or scholarship providers that are seeking students who meet specific criteria; and makes technical corrections.
SB 168 S1
Career and College Readiness Mathematics Competency Revision    H. Stephenson

Requires the State Board of Regents to select at least one test as an alternative to the ACCUPLACER College-Level Math test.
SB 173 S1
English Language Arts Amendments    H. Stephenson

Defines terms; requires the State Board of Education to select one or more technology providers, through a request for proposals process, to provide software licenses for an English language arts instructional tool that meets certain criteria; provides for the distribution of the English language arts instructional tool licenses to school districts and charter schools; requires the State Board of Education to annually report testing data regarding the English language arts instructional tool to the Education Interim Committee; and provides a repeal date; appropriates: to the State Board of Education – Initiative Programs, as an ongoing appropriation: from the Education Fund, $200,000; provides a special effective date.
SB 216
Reading Intervention Software Program Accountability Amendments    H. Stephenson

Provides that a school district, the State Board of Education, and a technology provider work with a public school if the usage rate of reading intervention software falls below the recommended rate within the first month of a public school implementing the software; provides that a public school shall be placed on probation by the school district and the State Board of Education if the public school fails to meet the minimum usage rate for reading intervention software within the first half of the school year; provides that a public school that fails to meet the minimum usage rate for reading intervention software after being placed on probation may not continue to use the licensed software; and provides that the State Board of Education may hire one staff person to administer the reading intervention software implementation.
SB 220
Student Assessment and School Accountability Amendments    A. Millner

Defines terms; repeals outdated references to the Utah Performance Assessment System for Students or “U-PASS”; amends provisions related to the administration of statewide assessments; enacts provisions related to a high school assessment; repeals and reenacts provisions related to: State Board of Education duties related to assessments; and standards assessments; amends other provisions related to assessments; establishes a school accountability system; enacts provisions related to the school accountability system, including provisions related to: the indicators and calculation of points used to determine a school’s rating under the school accountability system; required rulemaking by  the board;  and required reports;  repeals and reenacts, for  technical purposes, provisions related to youth suicide prevention training; and makes technical and conforming changes; provides a special effective date; provides revisor instructions.
SB 223 S1
Modifications to Charter School Governance    D. Henderson

Requires the  State  Board of Education  to adopt principles  and standards for quality charter authorizing; requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules for the oversight of a charter school authorizer; amends provisions related to appointment of the staff director for the State Charter School Board; modifies the State Board of Education’s authority to review an application for a charter school to the State Charter School Board; requires certain persons to be absent from portions of a meeting where a conflict of interest may arise; and makes technical corrections.

SB 234
School Turnaround Amendments    A. Millner

Defines terms; amends provisions related to the designation of a low performing school; requires a local school board of a low performing school, or a charter school authorizer of a low performing charter school, to partner with the school turnaround committee to select a facilitator and develop a school turnaround plan; directs the State Board of Education to identify and contract with a facilitator to partner with a low performing school; repeals and enacts certain provisions related to funding; directs the State Board of Education to identify specialists for a local education board to contract with to provide interventions; directs the State Board of Education to adopt rules establishing implications for a low performing school that fails to improve; amends provisions related to an extension granted to a low performing school; amends and provides a repeal date for the School Recognition and Reward Program; enacts the Turnaround School Teacher Recruitment and Retention Program; and makes technical corrections.
SJR 15
Joint Rules Resolution – Federal Revenue Consideration    L. Fillmore

Requires the Executive Appropriations Committee to consider treating above-trend federal revenue in the same way as one-time revenue.

Whew!

Tabitha

Utah Teacher Turnover

The teacher shortage is a national crisis and hitting especially hard in Utah, where research is showing that over 50% of teachers are leaving the profession.I’m sure after a long day of nurturing young minds followed by a late night of grading papers and typing class newsletters, you would like nothing better than some light reading on teacher turnover.Here are links to several studies by the U of U, Utah Education Policy Center, on our state teacher retention:

Teacher Turnover in Utah Between 2013-14 and 2014-15

Beginning Teacher Turnover in Utah Between 2008-09 and 2014-15

Teacher Retention in Utah: Exploring 2011-12 SASS and 2012-13 TFS Survey Data

Our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sydnee Dickson, said the following,

“The Utah State Board of Education’s mission is to provide an opportunity for education excellence for each Utah student. Recruiting and retaining quality teachers in the classroom is a fundamental part of that mission that supports educational equity and quality learning.”

I know we have many education advocates working on The Hill this legislative session, but we also have well meaning policymakers, who propose rules without understanding the affect on teacher morale or the classroom implications. Please reach out to your local legislators so that teacher voices are included in every discussion about education.

You can find contact information for your legislators at www.le.utah.gov

Cheers!

Tabitha