On Dec. 11, the school board of Lincoln County held its monthly meeting. At the start of the meeting, individual schools presented their reports.
C.O. Bastian High School was the first to speak, mentioning that one of its students took first place in a nationwide art contest for underprivileged youth, specifically in pencil drawing.
Next up was Meadow Valley Middle School (MVMS), which discussed its Mentor and Me program before presenting a report on students’ recent science projects. Teacher Travis Pearson showed the board a few videos of experiments, which included an egg drop and a cloud in a bottle. Pearson took a moment to point out that MVMS students have increased their overall grades in science. The presentation wrapped up with a video from the students’ weather balloon, which rose to incredible heights before eventually making its way back down to earth (specifically, the mountains outside of Lund, Utah).
Pahranagat Valley Elementary School (PVES) presented next. This month the kids learned about different holiday traditions like the significance of the poinsettia flower and “king cake.” They also learned about other holidays that take place around Christmas like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. This, coupled with PVES’ Christmas program which will be held Dec. 18, ensures that there is no shortage of holiday spirit in Alamo.
Pahranagat Valley High School (PVHS) spoke next, reporting that the Panthers took state in football this year. The administrators were proud, if a little surprised; Principal Mike Strong was quoted as saying, “If people were betting, I don’t think they would have bet on us.” PVHS also mentioned the volleyball team, which took regionals but was eliminated during the state tournament. Nevertheless, the team remains excited about next year.
Next, board business began, starting with the 2020 augmented district budget. Superintendent Pam Teel referred to last month’s audit, saying, “It was remarkably unremarkable, which is good.” However, Teel cautioned, the district’s decline in enrollment (a five percent decline since the 2018-2019 school year) is an indication that changes need to be made in the near future.
After approving the Lincoln County High School senior trip (a Mexican cruise), the board was saddened to hear that Katie Lee was resigning from her secretary position. In a letter to the board, Lee explained she was leaving the position because of her desire to help her daughter, who has health problems, and to homeschool her child. The board approved the resignation and thanked Lee for her service.
This resignation leaves a vacancy in the district. There were more hours on the table for this new position, with a 40-hour week but a higher pay grade. These changes were summarily approved.
The rest of the board’s business included some changes in the performance plan, the district’s discipline plan and the student conduct policy. Following this, a few policies were read, including a new “sun policy.” Students can now bring their own sunscreen to school but schools are responsible for providing sunscreen. The policy talks about the threat of skin cancer and the fact that students are often exposed to the sun during their day-to-day activities.
The next policy pertained to the teachers’ supply assistance account. This account provides a stipend for teachers to buy school supplies, and while the amount it offers is less than a teacher usually spends, it does take a bit of the pressure off educators.
The next meeting will be held Jan. 9.