South Summit education committee | ParkRecord.com

South Summit education committee

Megan Yeiter , The Park Record

The South Summit School Board wants to establish an education foundation that will allow the school district to organize its fundraisers and reach out to other businesses for donations. South Summit School District Superintendent Barry Walker said a representative from the Weber School District Foundation come to the board meeting last week to recommend options for a foundation.

"The board members decided that they would put a committee together and each board member would come back with one or two people that could serve on that committee," Walker said. "It would be an exploratory committee that would further research."

South Summit School Board President Matt Flinders will also visit several education foundations to see what those nonprofits are like, Walker said, adding that the board hopes to have the committee established by the end of the school year.

"We’ve been looking at other districts and the amount of funds they are able to raise with a foundation and we realized that we’re in a good area to start a foundation with ties to people who are willing to serve. We felt like it was time," Walker said, adding that they are trying to consolidate asking businesses for donations.

"We have a lot of fundraisers that go on within the sports teams and the clubs and so we are trying to just ask for help one time a year instead of asking groups continually," he said, adding that eventually they would like to ask for financial donations outside of the district.

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School Board Members also discussed changes that will be made to school-wide lunch prices under the Hunger Free Kids Act. Walker said the federal government is making changes to its lunch policies in order to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into each meal and they are making changes to accommodate the new policies.

"It’s probably going to make the cost of meals more," he said. "Last year we received a letter that the school district has to charge within a certain range for lunch, and we were informed that we would have to increase our lunch prices 5 cents each year until we got into that range."

Walker said the increase will be in effect at the beginning of next school year. Meals will cost $1 for breakfast, $1.55 for elementary lunch and $1.80 for middle and high school lunch.

The school board also approved changes in its substitute pay scale, which will compensate para-professional teachers, such as teachers’ aides, the same amount as a certified substitute with a state teaching license. The school district currently pays its certified substitutes $10 per hour.

"The board decided that our para-professionals understand the programs within the school and because of that experience they are probably equally as effective as the licensed teacher," he said, adding that they set aside a portion of the budget each year for substitute teaching expenses.

Finally, the board decided that each member will take a series of online workshops in order to receive a Masters Board Award from the Utah School Board Association. The association is encouraging school districts across the state to participate in the online training, Walker said, adding that the school board will be working through a checklist for the next few months.