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Midvalley Principal Reports to Board of Education

Posted in News & Announcements

On a rotating basis, the Canyons District Board of Education invites principals to give a short presentation on current events at the school. Mrs. Baker presented to the Board Meeting last night (December 5, 2017). Here is a copy of her remarks:

Midvalley Elementary celebrates its 60 birthday this year. Built in 1957, it was the best the community could offer for its children at the time. Large, spacious rooms with natural light, the school sat in the midst of small farms and the baby boom after World War II. Midvalley was the pride of the community. A flag with 48 stars hangs in our hallway. It wasn’t until 2 years later that Hawaii and Alaska were added to the USA. The Midvalley community is so excited to have a new school building from the recently passed bond. Thank you for having the courage to put the bond initiative on the ballot and for the patrons who see its value.

Many things have changed since the dedication of the school, but what has stayed the same is caring teachers committed to giving the neighborhood children a quality educational experience and parents who love their children and want the best for them. We would like to share with you a few of the supports that are being implemented at the school this year, which build on this historic foundation.

As you can see on tonight’s agenda, we are asking for a revision for our LAND Trust Plan. The Building Leadership Team and School Community Council are looking forward in long-term planning to make some adjustments in how English Language Arts are supported. We believe emphasizing skill based instruction is the most important way we can change how instruction is delivered. We anticipate that this will provide improved achievement for all students at the school. Dr. Dowdle will be speaking to you about this revision later in the meeting. Many of the pieces of this plan, which do not require a change in plan approval, are already in place this year. We are excited to see how over time this makes a difference for all learners in the school. Our teaching staff has participated in professional development in positive behavior support and restorative practices, skill based instruction, and close reading instruction this fall. Our achievement coach, LaNae Goates, will be following up with coaching supports for all of our teachers.

All teachers at Midvalley have implemented Morning Meeting this year. Morning Meeting is a responsive classroom strategy and an engaging way to start each day. Morning Meeting structure builds a strong sense of community, and sets children up for success socially and academically. Each morning, students and teachers gather together in a circle for ten to fifteen minutes and interact with one another during four purposeful components:

  1. Greeting: Students and teachers greet one other by name.
  2. Sharing: Students share information about important events in their lives. Listeners often offer empathetic comments or ask clarifying questions.
  3. Group Activity: Everyone participates in a brief, lively activity that fosters group cohesion and helps students practice social and academic skills (for example, reciting a poem, dancing, singing, or playing a game).
  4. Morning Message: Students read and interact with a short message written by their teacher. The message is crafted to help students focus on the work they’ll do in school that day.

We believe these brief meetings are setting students up for a successful academic and socially interactive day. We also see this daily support as a tool to help us reduce tardies and absences. Students love Morning Meeting and don’t want to miss it. We invite Board members to join us any morning to share with us a morning meeting in a classroom.

We would also like to publically thank the CSD Foundation for the grant this fall for our Beverly Taylor Sorensen teacher, Terri Culberson, to purchase ORFF instruments for our music program. These instruments allow students of all levels to play and learn about notes, keys, and rhythm. This generous contribution will get us started towards having the world-class program Ms. Culberson envisions.

We would like to recognize the School Community Council Members and our intrepid PTA Board and thank them for their service to the school. We couldn’t excel without them, and along with our staff, are dedicated to do what is best for children. We feel deeply grateful that several Eagle Scout candidates adopted us for their projects this year and have helped us fill a comfort closet for students. This has included generous donations for new socks and underwear, gloves, hats, coats, and food that students can eat on weekends, or if they need a little extra beyond our breakfast and lunch program. And as the holidays approach, we would like to thank all of the anonymous families that are helping us provide a way to give something special to over 80 students who will need a little help to get a visit from Santa this year.

Thank you for allowing us to share a few exciting happenings at Midvalley Elementary. We think you can see that we are a school of four walls with tomorrow inside.