Utah education news

Uintah teachers fear lame-duck ouster of district superintendent

Members of the Uintah School District Board of Education are scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss, among other items, the contract and conduct of district Superintendent Mark Dockins. But some teachers worry the meeting is intended to fire the popular district administrator in the waning days of 2016 before a majority of the board is replaced. “They’re just trying to make one last effort to get rid of him while the current board is there,” said Heather Heath, a second-grade teacher at Davis El... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Students, alumni upset with U.'s sex-assault response deliver letter to school president

A group of four University of Utah students and recent graduates walked into President David Pershing’s office Monday, letter in hand, prepared to dismantle the school’s recent response to sexual assault complaints and discuss future policy changes. An hour later, they walked out happy, they said, with the president’s response. “They seemed receptive and were on board with most of the things we said,” said Mira Reynolds, leader of the group SLC Against Sexual Assault. Pershing immediately apolog...

SLC alternative high school expands scholarship program to include adult students

Diana Mejia first enrolled at the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center in 2011, shortly after she emigrated from Mexico to the United States. She started by taking English classes before working toward a high school diploma through the alternative high school’s adult-education program. Today, 46-year-old Mejia is a student at Salt Lake Community College, where she was recently accepted into the occupational-therapy assistant program. “To have an associate [degree] is very important to me...

2 Utah school districts named to AP Honor Roll

Two Utah school districts are among 433 nationwide to be included in this year’s Advanced Placement Honor Roll. The recognition, awarded to districts that increase both AP participation and success rates, continues a seven-year streak for Davis School District. Davis is one of only four school districts in the United States and Canada to have been listed in the Honor Roll each year since its creation. “This distinction is due to the hard work of our great teachers, administrators and parents wh... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

University of Utah students, graduates call for sex assault policy changes

A group of students and recent graduates from the University of Utah are demanding that school administrators change the way they respond to sexual assault on campus. And they posted an online petition Thursday to gain support for these demands, which include increased funding for the Women’s Resource Center and a public town hall meeting to discuss campus sexual assault. The group, SLC Against Sex Assault, was formed last week after President David Pershing sent a campus-wide email about an all... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Updated air quality guidelines encourage Utah schools to hold indoor recess at lower particulate levels

Utah schools are being told to play it safe before sending students outside for recess this winter. New guidelines from the Utah Department of Health lower the bar for when students should be kept indoors due to poor air quality. “Their lungs are still developing,” said Brittney Guerra, a specialist with the Utah Asthma Program. “They’re a sensitive group.” The new recommendations call for all students to be kept indoors when levels of fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, reach 55.5 micrograms p...

Utah school board picks Mark Huntsman as chairman, increases leadership positions

Members of the Utah Board of Education selected a new and larger leadership team on Friday ahead of recently elected members being added to the body in January. Incoming board members were included in the vote for leadership positions, which saw Mark Huntsman selected as chairman, Terryl Warner as vice-chairwoman and Brittney Cummins as second vice-chairwoman. A third vice-chair position was also created on Friday, with incoming board member Alisa Ellis selected to fill that position. Huntsman...

Utah school board votes to require loosening of athlete transfer rules

Members of the Utah Board of Education gave final approval on Friday to a policy that compels the Utah High School Activities Association to loosen transfer restrictions for student athletes. Under the policy, sub-varsity athletes will be allowed to transfer schools at will, and varsity athletes will be allowed to transfer under defined circumstances. The policy was approved with a 9-5 vote of the board, despite widespread opposition among the public and private high schools that voluntarily aff...

BYU scraps proposal to relocate memorial to fallen soldiers

A tribute to Brigham Young University alumni who died in war is staying put in the school’s student center. The university announced Wednesday that it will redesign Memorial Hall into a space for peaceful reflection and meditation, but that its centerpiece — a wall of plaques listing lives lost in conflicts over the past century — will remain in its current location. “We look forward to the improved space that has been envisioned in providing a place of remembering and peace, where students can ...

Utah publisher says its textbook depicts 'paternalistic view of slavery'

The head of a Utah publishing company admits that one of its textbooks — now pulled from Connecticut school districts — depicts a “paternalistic view of slavery.” A passage in a chapter on slavery in fourth-grade textbook “The Connecticut Adventure” reads: “Compared to other colonies, Connecticut did not have many slaves. Some people owned one or two slaves. They often cared for and protected them like members of the family. They taught them to be Christian, and sometimes to read and write.” Lay...

Video: Unitah, Park City high school bands to perform Wednesday in Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade

Peter Limon was a teenage sailor in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The now-93-year-old was waiting in the San Diego airport Saturday for a flight to Hawaii, returning for events marking the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack from Japan. When members of Uintah High School’s band told him they were headed the same way to perform in memorial events, he was delighted. “I heard about the band, very nice,” he said, smiling, on the band’s Facebook Live update to friends and family. He shared memor... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Utah charter lobbyist says procurement code's lease exception protects schools

When a Utah school district builds a new campus, administrators traditionally outsource construction after soliciting bids from private companies. That process is outlined in Utah’s Procurement Code, which requires public entities to solicit bids for services in an effort to drive down taxpayer cost through competition. But the sequence is sometimes reversed at charter schools — which are individual school districts under Utah law — with private firms independently building a facility and then...

BYU to demolish campus smokestack, move to natural gas

A nearly 60-year-old feature of Brigham Young University’s Provo campus will meet its end in the coming days. Demolition will begin this week on the smokestack of BYU’s Central Heating Plant, spokesman Todd Hollingshead said, as the school shifts away from coal-powered utilities and toward natural gas machinery. “We’re always trying to stay on the front end of being environmentally friendly and meeting emissions standards,” Hollingshead said. “It was just the right time for us to take the next ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Universities across U.S. exploring 'sanctuary' status for immigrants

Albuquerque, N.M. • Universities and colleges in several states are considering labeling themselves “sanctuary campuses” amid fears from immigrant students and pressure from activists following the election of Donald Trump. College administrators in New Mexico — the state with the highest percentage of Latino residents— are looking into proposals that would grant immigrant students living in the country illegally protections while they pursue their studies. Meanwhile, advocates in California, Ge...

Whatever happened to ... the ubiquitous digital 'Utah teapot'?

Martin Newell remembers that he and his wife, Sandra, weren’t in the habit of discussing his research when they sat for tea one weekend in 1975. The British couple had moved to Salt Lake City so Newell could work under professor Ivan Sutherland at the University of Utah — the home of countless breakthroughs underway and yet to come in computer graphics and animation. But Newell suspects his wife held the common opinion “that this whole thing about drawing pictures with computers was a very stran... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>