By Julie Johansen
The Aug. 23 meeting of the Emery School Board was for further discussion on four items of concern. All board members were present, including student board member Kallee Lake, superintendent Ryan Maughan and business administrator Jackie Allred. Those items for consideration were boys’ volleyball at Emery High, national archery in schools, transportation funding and a school safety update.
Discussion on boys’ volleyball at Emery High was led by Principal Steven Gordon and Athletic Director Jake Atwood. The Utah High School Activities Association has created a Southern and Northern 3A division, but there are currently only nine 3A high schools with committed boys’ volleyball teams.
One concern is having enough athletes for existing spring boys’ sports, especially with not having a current feeder program from the middle schools. Some suggested solutions included allowing students to attend high schools where the sport is offered or having an open gym program during the spring to see if there are enough athletes interested to start a program. The financial impact of offering another sport was also discussed. Further discussion is planned for the October meeting, giving time for those involved to study all the facts with this requested addition.
Huntington Elementary School Principal Jody Carter also proposed a new archery program. Archery is an activity that helps many students that aren’t involved in other sports have an opportunity to participate. Transportation for early morning practices would be a barrier to consider. Data and documentation for positive results from archery participation was presented.
Allred and Tracy Rowley, Emery School District Transportation Supervisor, explained the state’s formula for transportation funding through reimbursing actual costs in miles and minutes. The state’s guidelines indicates that the district would be eligible for 3.17 mechanics, but only one is currently employed. The efficiency ration is affected by to-and-from miles and minutes. Additional discussion was held on wage rates and possible benefits.
Finally, House Bill 61 was discussed, which states that each school is responsible to appoint a School Safety Supervisor, complete a threat assessment and enter a grant request by Sept. 15 that will address the weakness of the schools. Rural schools are given priority in this grant funding. Emery County Sheriff Tyson Huntington explained the trainings and efforts in his office, stating that the office is willing and able to help the school district with safety at every level.