Education

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Attorneys and law enforcement personnel at University of Utah are reacting to recent attacks by so-called cyber-squatters. Thousands of University employees are being targeted by an internet scheme making fraudulent purchase orders with sites that attempt to appear to be representing the U. Valoree Dowell is the interim communications director for the University of Utah. She says right now the purchasing department is busy alerting suppliers to the scam.

US Department of Education via Creative Commons

The country’s top education boss was in Utah today to praise and learn from one of Salt Lake City’s highest-achieving Title 1 schools.  U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan stopped by Northwest Middle School to talk about gains the school has made with the help of a federal school improvement grant.

Tulane Public Relations via Creative Commons

Next year, thousands of Americans will take the GED test and obtain a certificate that’s equal to a high school diploma.  But come January 1st the test will be a much different experience. The GED Testing Service has announced a new exam for 2014 that focuses more on college and career readiness and less on high school completion. 

The Spanish Fork City attorney’s office filed a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct against a Spanish Fork Junior High School teacher accused of kicking one of his students. Meanwhile Utah State School Board members are considering beefing up teacher discipline standards. 

Utah education officials unveiled a  list of the state’s highest performing Title 1 schools based on end of year exams. Schools in Utah classified as Title 1 often serve students facing poverty.

Ann White is the State Coordinator of Title 1 Improvement.  She says Title 1 schools have a number of unique challenges beyond having a large population of low-income students.

Snow College

Members of the Utah State Board of Regents announced last week that Snow College President Scott L. Wyatt will be the new president of Southern Utah University.

Wyatt will succeed SUU President Michael Benson who stepped down last spring to accept the top job at Eastern Kentucky University. A 21-member committee conducted a nationwide search and considered nearly 70 candidates for the job.

At Friday’s announcement in Cedar City, State Board of Regents Chair Bonnie Jean Beesley praised Wyatt’s work at Snow College.

http://biologylabs.utah.edu/rose/

A new University of Utah program will allow students who attend Nankai University in China to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree by attending both schools. The new partnership was announced Thursday.

Robert Newman is Dean of the College of Humanities. He says the U of U’s 3+X program is a flexible agreement. Hence the name, Chinese students who are admitted to the program have three options.

http://tooeleschools.org/schools/secondaryschools/dhs/Pages/default.aspx

The United States Department of Defense announced today it is providing a $13 million grant to the Tooele County School District for a new high school.

The federal Public Schools on Military Installations Program provides funding for schools most seriously in need of new facilities. In addition to the federal grant, Tooele County School district has set aside about $2.7 million in matching funds for the new school, which did not require a tax increase or bond measure. Principal Robin Nielson says the benefits are two-fold.

State School Superintendent Martel Menlove describes the current state of education in Utah as amazingly successful, but with ever-present needs for improvement.  Menlove delivered his State of Education Address last night at M. Lynn Bennion Elementary School in Salt Lake City.

Menlove calls public education in Utah the most effective and efficient system in the world.  Public Schools in Utah operate with the lowest funding per student in the nation.

Menlove says Utah education continues to be a success story and these are some reasons why…

U.S. Department of the Interior

Students around the country were able to watch a broadcast of the ceremony commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address in Pennsylvania today. Afterward, several schools participated in a video conference call with a National Park Service Educator and a Gettysburg Park Ranger.

Guadalupeschoolslc.org

Guadalupe School is $1.5 million away from fully funding its new 50,000 square feet learning center on Salt Lake City’s west side.  The school provides education and support for underserved infants, children, and adults, largely through donations.

http://www.slcc.edu/ssvp/contact-us.aspx

The State Board of Regents has appointed Doctor Deneece Huftalin as interim president of Salt Lake Community College. 

Huftalin will fill the post that’s soon-to-be vacated by President Cynthia Bioteau. Bioteau has accepted a job as the president of Florida State College in Jacksonville.  Huftalin has been with SLCC for 21 years as director of academic advising, dean of students and currently as vice president of student services. She says President Bioteau has situated the school to be an amazing force in the higher education fabric of Utah.

http://www.behs.besd.net/

 The Box Elder School Board voted 5 to 1 Wednesday night to allow non-curriculum-related student clubs. That’s good news for a group seeking approval for a Gay-Straight Alliance at Box Elder High School. But the group has one last hurdle to cross.

Salt Lake Community College

Salt Lake Community College students, studying to be the next great cartoonist, radio reporter or graphic designer now have the opportunity to get a more real-world; hands-on education at SLCC’s new building for the School of Arts, Communication & New Media,   The state of the art facility opened this fall on the South City Campus. 

In the new media center, students taking an advanced audio course are learning how to superimpose sounds like doors closing or floors creaking onto a film that’s already been made.

The $495 million Jordan School District Bond failed to get the support of voters in Tuesday’s election.  District officials say lower-than-expected voter turnout and misinformation killed it. 

The latest tallies show only about 32 percent of voters favored the bond. The growing district is calling for eight new elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Steven Dunham is a spokesperson for the Jordan School District.

Next Tuesday, voters in Jordan School District will choose to support or deny one of the largest bond measures in Utah history. Critics say it’s too much too soon. But a spokeswoman for the school district says the measure is nearly too little, too late.

Earlier this week, mayors in South Jordan, Riverton and Bluffdale published an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune condemning the size of the $495 million bond. And the Utah Taxpayers Association accused the district of refusing to commit to lower-cost construction.

About 600 at-risk kids in are in Granite School District are enrolled in preschool this year because of a new program made possible with money from Salt Lake County, Goldman Sachs and Chicago investor J.B Pritzker. 

At Wright Elementary School in West Valley City, first-year teacher Lindsay Shackelford says her students are learning about shapes, the alphabet and addition.

File: Head Start

Salt Lake and Tooele County’s federally funded Head Start program has survived the recent government shutdown without dropping kids off the list. The real challenge has been the so-called sequestration. Head Start is a development program including meals that serves 2000 preschoolers and their families through SL-Cap/Head Start.  Joni Clark is the community partnership manager.

Utah’s higher education officials launched a campaign today to encourage students to enroll in at least 15 credit hours a semester. The message of the campaign: “time is the enemy” when it comes to college completion. 

Bob Nelson

The Utah Refugee Services Office hosted about 280 Salt Lake area high school students at its 3rd annual Refugee Youth Conference today Wednesday. The RSO runs with federal and state funding under the wing of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Beatrice Niyonzima comes from South Africa.  She’s now a senior at East High School. Niyonzima says meeting other refugee students helps her hold onto the vision of being able to succeed.

Students Help Those in Need with "Grow a row"

Oct 16, 2013
Karina Puikkonen/KUER

Autumn is harvest time and many gardeners in Utah are pulling up plenty of vegetables from their local plots.  Some will give their surplus veggies to friends and family, but one Salt Lake City school is donating their produce to those who need it most. 

Students at Nibley Park Elementary rush out the school doors after the final bell rings.  A small group heads to a quiet corner of the schoolyard where Aimee Horman, Chair of the School’s Community Council, leads a different kind of after school activity. 

File University of Utah

The University of Utah Information Security Office is warning the U community of a significant increase in recent months in email attacks known as Phishing. In an email blast to U faculty, staff and students last night, the Office says at least three individuals, all faculty members in the School of Medicine, were victims of email attacks. As a result, their individual paycheck direct deposit information was accessed and then stolen.

Steve Corbato is the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer at the University of Utah.

Ogden School District officials are looking at ways to alleviate large class sizes this school year. With an overall enrollment increase of nearly 200 students, many elective classes and some core classes are feeling a squeeze.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert joined statewide education officials Wednesday for a discussion about the state of public education.

Governor Gary Herbert says in the last two years, the state has made strides in funding public education. However he says because of a growing student population Utah continues to claim the title for lowest per-pupil spending and has the largest class sizes in the nation. In addition the high school dropout rate is 19 percent.

Despite few resources, Herbert says there is work to be done. 

The Utah State Board of Education is trying to decide how best to discipline teachers who’ve been involved in misconduct. Specifically, they are asking: under what circumstances should they be expected to permanently revoke a teacher’s educator license? 

More public school students in Utah are taking advanced placement exams; and they did better on those tests this year than last. According to the latest data from the College Board, the organization that develops and administers standardized tests, Utah participation rates increased about 8 percent in the 2012, 2013 school year.  And there was a 7 percent increase in the number of exams with scores of 3, 4, or 5. Those scores translate to college credit for some colleges and universities.

The Ogden City School Board agreed last week to extend Superintendent Brad Smith’s contract for another two years. Under the new contract, Smith, who earns $120,000 per year, is offered an additional $6,000 in potential bonuses, contingent upon his performance over the next year. Jennifer Zundel  is Vice President of the Ogden School Board. She says most district superintendents in Utah earn upwards of $200,000 per year.

Bob Nelson

The Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building on the University of Utah campus has just received the Gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. That certification mandates the entire building project including the finished product be environmentally responsible, designed to be energy efficient, improve air and water quality while reducing waste. Ted McAleer is the executive director of U-Star, the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative.

Schools across Utah for the first time have been issued a single letter grade for their performance. According to the results of a new school grading system, released this morning, more than half of the state’s public schools got an A or a B, while the rest got C’s D’s or F’s. The education community responded this morning by calling the new system poor policy. But lawmakers contend it shines a light on poor-performing public schools.

The Utah State Office of Education released the letter grade evaluations of Utah Schools today. The grades are based on a combination of student growth and student performance on state testing in language arts, math, and science. The State Office of Education also graded high schools with the additional metric of graduation rates. If a school failed to test at least 95% of their students they automatically received an F grade. That's what happened for schools like Viewmont High School in the Davis School District.

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